May 29, 2020
Why this is the perfect time to launch an email newsletter
One of the biggest marketing challenges during an economic downturn is maintaining brand awareness with current and prospective customers. The audience most primed to lift your sales during and after the recovery. This job was built for email newsletters.
The demand hasn't evaporated for medical devices and healthcare services during the pandemic. It's just bottled up and waiting for the recovery to uncork. So it's crucial to keep your brand top-of-mind and nurture demand. Cash might be flowing slowly, but attention to digital media has mushroomed. Our recession marketing post delves into the strategy behind this.
The message you need to communicate now
E-newsletters inspire loyalty by presenting a well-rounded image of your brand and the people behind it. Your content can range from education about your product – awesome for justifying price – to human interest snapshots that capture your people and the values of your brand.
The price is right
At first blush, you have to love the price. Email has one of the lowest costs per thousand (CPM) of all marketing tactics. It targets your most important audiences, current customers, and prospects edging toward the bottom of the sales funnel waiting to be converted. Depending on production demands, you can launch an email newsletter for an average CPM of $10 - $30 plus agency fees. The low cost of scaling up email makes it more than worthwhile to fatten up your list.
Amp up web traffic
Our e-newsletters tease articles (blog posts) on our clients' websites, so every click-thru accounts for at least one unit of traffic. This carry-on effect exponentially multiplies when content is shared within a company or on social media. Aside from organic search, e-newsletters can become a powerful driver of web traffic. Make that qualified web traffic!
Boost value by repurposing content
Content produced for your e-newsletter is also a treasure trove for other digital platforms, such as Tweets, LinkedIn articles, Instagram for people pieces, FAQs, and a narrated version for a podcast. Salespeople can use a log of your posts to share articles with prospects by sending them back to your website.
A performance advantage through analytics
Through A/B and multivariant testing, you can increase your newsletter's value with every send. And tracking will help refine your approach based on who's clicking on what, what topics are popular, and the time spent with the content on your website.
Meanwhile, statistics from your email platform, such as open and click-thru rates, will give you a quick read on ROI.
Email-newsletters have a unique ability to influence and nurture prospects toward an eventual sale by maintaining brand awareness and increasing loyalty. This is a cost-effective tactic that creates content that drives web and social media traffic.Learn about email-marketing at Biotica.
Show You Care with COVID-19 Hashtags
We're obsessed with social media hashtags. And why not? Hashtagging your social media posts has the potential to expand their reach dramatically. In the case of COVID-19, proper hashtag use signals that your brand has empathy and that you are good people.
Use COVID hashtags on posts related to the pandemic. Like news about your company or practice that shows how you are coping, helping others, and adapting your operation to stay safe. Explain to customers how you're modifying products and procedures to increase protection. And don't forget to add fun bits about how your employees are handling quarantine. Humor is in.
A word of caution: don't use COVID hashtags to popularize posts that aren't related to the virus. You'll risk being labeled an opportunistic cad and dragged through the streets of social media hell. We've seen it, and it's ugly.
Back to COVID hashtags and a few examples of the ones we think are most useful.
#COVID-19, #COVID19 – these are the go-to handles for anything pandemic related. A change of office hours, safe packaging, new procedures for #patients, or your reopening status, slap a COVID-19 hashtag on it.
Are you posting about the trials and tribulations of working from home, add encouragement with #StayatHome
#MyPandemicSurvivalPlan can be a lighthearted way for you and/or your staff to share the eats, drinks, stunts, and music that are keeping your heads screwed on tight. Feel free to add #QurantineandChill to that mix.
Of course, we all have our favorites. Ours is #Covidiots. Here's the definition provided by "TheLightKeeper on Tumbl'r:
- A person who stubbornly ignores 'social distancing' protocols, thus helping to spread COVID-19. 'Are you seriously going to visit grandma? Dude, don't be such a covidiot.'
- A person who hoards groceries needlessly spreading COVID-19 fears and depriving others of vital supplies. 'See that guy with the 200 rolls of toilet paper? What a covidiot.'
#FlattenTheCurve and #SocialDistancing are terms that will likely make it into the lexicon beyond the pandemic. #SocialDistancing may replace #Ghosting, and Weight Watchers will likely adopt "#FlattenTheCurve as its new tagline. Incorporating these tags and others, like #StayHomeSaveLives, #can be a shorthand public service announcement from your brand. Your brand has clout. So use it for the common good to show you have empathy for the struggles everyone is enduring.
Treat your anxiety with a does of nature
You probably have a Buddha-like presence and a resting pulse of 50. Still, even before the pandemic, we've found marketing to be a tad stressful. So, we're always looking for ways to blow off steam. Exercise, healthy drinks, non-healthy drinks, yoga, you name it. Now, we think we've discovered the ultimate tranquilizer — nature.
For decades writers, artists, and scientists of every stripe have wondered at the calming effect of being in nature, just looking at it or biking through a tree-filled park. By contrast, the high-stress levels of everyday life, amp up levels of the anxiety-producing hormone, cortisol, which ratchets up our blood pressure and cause a myriad of physical and mental illnesses. But nature appears to reverse the effects.
In Japan, the Nature Effect, known as shinrin, is studied in earnest at hundreds of forest parks. Many of these parks also double as research facilities for scientists. They take measurements of cortisol levels, heart rate, and blood pressure before and after forest walks. They've recorded an average decrease in cortisol levels by 12 percent, a 7 percent decrease in sympathetic nerve activity, a 6 percent reduction in heart rate, and a 1.4% decrease in blood pressure. These forest centers have become a national pastime for thousands of Japanese, and their government funds them generously.
There's no replacement for experiencing nature with all five senses. Still, new studies show that positive effects accrue just by looking at ocean waves, pine forests, or mountains. Surprisingly, that includes viewing nature on a computer screen, television, or lower quality video. The effect corresponds with fractal geometry. Fractals exist when the whole of an object is created by different sizes of the same shape. The perks up the brain's chill alpha waves and activity in the visual cortex that apparently really mellows us out. Other fractal images, not from nature, are also calming.
That made us think of making a web page devoted to beautiful nature imagery where anyone can get a dose of the secret sauce. Thus, "your daily zen" was born. Try it for a couple minutes and see if the magic works for you.
For an entertaining overview of nature effect studies around the world, see Florence Williams' book, "The Nature Fix."
Fight Boredom with Board Games
You've blasted through Netflix's Tiger King in a weekend, and now the week stretches out in front of you like a barren wasteland. How about digging the board games out of the game closet and getting your competition on? Here's your chance to determine if Colonel Mustard did indeed do it in the library with the candlestick.
Retailers have seen an uptick in board game purchases in the last couple of years, suggesting we've been looking for some good ole'-fashioned fun, long before the Coronavirus came along. But now board games are being boosted even more by a COVID-19 fueled renaissance and giving, us all a chance to connect with our housemates on a non-digital level.
If you're tired of Monopoly (or you just don't want to fight over who gets to be the racecar), here are a few newer games we have in heavy rotation.
- Exploding Kittens. Not as messy as it sounds, and a quick game when it's getting close to bedtime.
- Settlers of Catan. A good strategy game that lets you build civilization. But settle in, this one takes a minute.
- Ticket to Ride. Because who doesn't want to be a ruthless railroad baron.
- Codenames. And Disney Codenames, for the younger set.
- Cards Against Humanity. Adults only please, unless you're ready to scar your kids for life.
And if you need more players, ingenious types have been using Zoom to get their board game fix with their fellow gamers.
Creativity Vs. the Covid-19 Quarantine
If necessity is the mother of invention, boredom during quarantine might be the stepmom of creativity. The uptick of goodies being created and shared on social media has been a welcome side effect to everyone staying at home.
Two factors that inspire creativity have been foisted upon us, in spades, by the pandemic: constraints and boredom.
Studies have shown that providing constraints to problem-solving can fire up our brains in novel ways. We all know those people who need a looming deadline to get the creative juices flowing. And being in quarantine definitely constrains our access to resources.
Combine those constraints with boredom, which can goose the mind into searching for stimulation, and the seeds of creativity start to sprout.
Here are a few of our favorite exercises in creativity that have been making the rounds over the last couple of months:
Some Good News with John Krasinski. Our former Officemate does a newscast from home that features only good news from around the globe.
Sure, Steve Martin's a wild and crazy guy, but he's quite the banjo picker as well.
The J. Paul Getty Museum challenged quarantiners to recreate famous works of art from home. The results were amazing and hilarious.
Snow skiing and/or mountain climbing in your bedroom? Why not?
Socks eating cars? Of course!
And don't even get us started on the time-suck that is TikTok.