Bigger screens = more opens.
Among the bad news, there is a glimmer of hope. Businesses are closed, people are laid off, working from home, and worried about the future. Not surprisingly, many businesses are using all forms of digital media to stay connected to their customers. What is surprising is how much better email is working for local businesses.
When the crisis started in March, email open rates increased because more people started working from home and checking emails on a laptop instead of a mobile device. That trend changed this month after inboxes filled up with indistinguishable messages from big companies telling us how they are responding to the pandemic. Many brands ignored good advice on how to effectively use email during the crises. Consequently, response rates suffered so the number of campaigns dropped like a rock.
Local open rates are up 66%?!
In sharp contrast, emails from many of surefi’s small, local merchants performed very well. The average open rate for food and beverage businesses is around 20%. Since the stay-at-home orders, the average open rate for our customers is up 66% from an average of 21% to almost 35%! A few specific campaigns we have helped create have performed even better when announcing delivery, hours, or special events.
I think the reason our clients are getting such a strong response is all about relationships. First, the list we send to is made op of people who have actually visited our client’s site, used their email address to sign up, and have not opted out. Second, (and most importantly) the people on the list really care about the small business sending the email. Whether a customer gets to his or her favorite place a couple of times a month or a few times a year, local businesses give our communities their soul. When we get a sincere message from a local place, owned, staffed, and frequented by our friends and neighbors we want to know how we can help. My takeaway is that your customers care about your businesses. While the future is more unclear than ever, customer relationships will continue to be an enormous asset. Take good care of that customer list. Use it wisely during the stay-in period and make it part of your strategy as the “dance” begins.