“This is a hard, confusing, uncertain and just plain weird time.”

“It’s been a tough week, but we’re all in this together.”

“It’s fur your own good.”

These are just a few of the lines copywriters are using in COVID-19 outreach emails. You’ll find them all below.

The key to successful email marketing has always been expertly balancing tone, lightheartedness, sincerity and the demands of the CTA. And, in this hard, confusing, uncertain and just plain weird time, it’s natural to wonder whether we can maintain that delicate balance.

It’s a high-wire act. Let’s see how brands these days are keeping their footing.


Deeply, madly, truly upbeat

We have to hand it to swimwear brand Chubbies. It seems never to have met a social condition it can’t make light of.  (For additional evidence, see Chubbies’ email in our April Fool’s Day blog post.)


Chubbies - My co-worker ate my report.


Random acts of kindness

RXBAR is in the business of making protein bars and related healthy snacks. So, live-streaming free no-equipment-needed exercise workouts supervised by buff trainers would appear to be out of its bailiwick — and an act of undeniable generosity. Note, too, how the brand integrates its email and social media channels.


RXBAR - 7 days of free at-home workouts


Let’s get serious

Ethical clothier Everlane decided its first priority should be to solicit charitable contributions to the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund. Its SHOP 100% HUMAN CTA button clearly takes a backseat.


Everlane - Let’s Help Our Fellow Humans


Let’s stay silly

Informal-apparel brand Teddy the Dog takes a reliably punning approach to its email and website copy. Like Everlane, it uses this opportunity to solicit contributions to the Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund. Unlike Everlane, its charity appeal takes a backseat to comic relief wording, subject line and deeply silly graphics.

Teddy the Dog

Teddy the Dog - I'm In Need Of Some Quarantinis 🐶🍸


The importance of being earnest

Dropping conventional CTAs entirely, apparel and footwear maker Rhone sent its subscribers an earnest message of solidarity from co-founder and CEO Nate Checketts. Sandwiched in the middle, however, are several “hopefully helpful things” to do (including readings, workouts and recommended streaming shows) to lift recipients’ spirits.


Rhone - Not Another COVID-19 E-Mail


Should you adopt one or more of these approaches? Our guess is that timing is everything.

We can’t help noticing that stress levels seem to be doubling week by week. So, as this crisis unfolds, decisions on using levity, sincerity or a strategic blend of both in your messaging should depend on what you know about your customers and how they are responding to your emails. Keep an eye on email activity (opens, clicks, conversions, unsubscribe and spam complaints), and be ready to change course.

Best of luck in navigating these tricky times!

Editorial image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay

Post tags   Email strategy, Email trends