Writing a COVID-19 Email Series Your Supporters Will Want to Read

May 15, 2020  |  Richard Gabrintina

As nonprofit supporters have settled into new socially distant daily routines and the initial furor around COVID-19 has worn down, many feel a growing sense of “pandemic fatigue.” They have likely received a barrage of COVID-19-related emails from every corporation and organization that they interact with, which can make it hard for your message to break through. Revamping your email series strategy to adapt to the current condition could make all the difference.

Creating a COVID-19 Update Series

While an email series does involve automation, an effective email series during a crisis requires a genuine human touch and an even greater sense of empathy. Language, voice, and tone should give careful consideration at how the situation has affected each person differently. Avoid any messaging that could be interpreted as being generic or exploitative and offer the much-needed value your supporters need at this time.

It’s important to update your supporters on how your organization has been impacted by and is responding to COVID-19. However, inboxes are being flooded with similar emails from other organizations and companies. What exact information should you include in this type of email to help your organization stand out? Show your audience you value their well-being, attention, and inbox space by using these guide questions to help craft the right message:

Impact

  • How has your organization been impacted?
  • Has your organization’s office(s) closed?
  • How have previous and existing efforts been affected?

Response

  • What measures has your organization taken to ensure the safety of its staff and employees?
  • How is your organization directly supporting COVID-19 relief? Or, has your organization partnered with any other organizations that are? How have these efforts made an impact?
  • Are you able to provide relevant resources to your subscribers during this time of crisis?

Building out an email series in response to COVID-19 can be an effective method in engaging your supporters when it is targeted and automated correctly. Look at the data around which supporters are interacting with your organization currently and how they are doing it. Certain actions, like clicking on an initial COVID-19 update email, can trigger a future email in the series.

This might look like sending an email to your supporter thanking them for their past support, asking them to give monthly, and showing them how exactly an upgraded donation can make an impact. Using data, statistics, or a visual component like an image or video can take your message to the next level.

For more information on maintaining audience engagement during times of crisis, watch our recent webinar, “Keeping Your Supporters Engaged When Crisis Is the New Normal.” Already polished your email strategy to properly reflect these times? Check out our COVID-19 resource library for other useful tips.