It’s Time to Get Your Email List in Shape

Written by: Cassandra Bailey

One of the realities of COVID-19 is that many of us will have to rely on email as a primary method of communication for the foreseeable future.  However, most companies do not have the email infrastructure to do this well. Here are some best practices to put in place right away to ensure that you can communicate effectively using email throughout this crisis.

Collect All Email Addresses

Chances are you don’t have all the email addresses you need to communicate effectively.  You may be in an industry where all your employees don’t have company email addresses. Your client emails may be sitting in your sales reps’ Outlook accounts.  You may not have current email addresses for all your investors. There are likely little pockets of email addresses in different parts of the company. It’s time to bring them all together in one central location and make sure you have email addresses for everyone that matters to you.

Segment Them Based on Your Five Primary Audiences

Different audiences are going to want to know different things from you.  They have different concerns and fears. Their stresses and uncertainties are not the same.  For that reason, make sure you have lists for each of your five primary audiences: employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and industry influencers.  If you don’t have any lists built or segmented, start with your most important audience and prioritize from there. Within a few days, you should have them all ready to go.

Track Who Opens and Clicks

It’s important to know who is opening your emails and who is not.  If you don’t have an email marketing tool in place, now is the time. We often use MailChimp because it’s easy to set up, affordable, and pretty user-friendly.  Create an account now and upload all your segmented lists as well as every other email contact you can find. This will be helpful now and in the future. If you’re not sure how to get started or which email marketing tool is best for you, we can help.  

Follow Up with People Not Engaging

There will likely be people who don’t open your message and don’t read it.  It may be incredibly important for those people to see what you’re sharing, but email might not be how they best receive news and information.  Using your email marketing tool, run reports 24 hours after each email you send. Divide up the list of people who haven’t opened the message and work with a team to contact them in other ways.  It’s your responsibility to ensure they’re getting the information they need.

Keep Working the Lists

Over the course of a crisis, there will be new people you need to add to your email distribution list.  There may be some that are having deliverability issues. They are likely some that are entered incorrectly or spelled wrong.  If email is one of your primary communication channels, assign someone to keep cleaning and improving your data for the best communication you can offer.

Create Surround Sound

Keep in mind that email is not a primary communication channel for many people.  Think about how you can use other channels, like social media, text messaging, and phone calls to repeat your email messages.  Clarity and consistency are key.

If you need help getting your email marketing tools and lists in shape quickly, we can help.  Contact us at, and we’ll be sure to reply immediately.

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