Craft your marketing message
Your customers want to hear from you. They’ve got questions about how this new normal impacts the services you provide. It’s your job to get them the information they need in clear, concise language.
Open for business. Are you working? Let your customers know. Create messaging that reflects if you’re open, or not, and any changes to hours or routines. If you’ve got regular customers on a regular schedule rotation, be sure they know when their service will resume.
Changes to service. Are you performing the same services? Have you devised new services during the pandemic downtime that complements or enriches your previous offerings? Are there new, creative options you can offer to help your customers?
Special COVID-19 accommodations. If there are still restrictions in place in your region, how are you and your crews practicing social distancing and equipment cleaning that customers need to know about? Have you created new online billing systems that limit in-person contact?
Adopt a grateful tone. If you’re ecstatic to be back to work, it’s OK to tell your customers you missed working with them. Thank them for their loyalty and project a hopeful tone for the future. We all need some reassurance right now. A bit of humanity in a crisis goes a long way. Consider this experience as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with your customers as we all try to connect in more authentic ways.
Where to deliver your message
Once you know what you want to say, there are many outlets for your messaging. Consider multiple outlets to reach both current and potential new customers.
Website. Consider posting updates on your website homepage or blog. Many companies have created COVID-19 pages on their websites to address coronavirus-related questions.
Email. If you’ve got a customer database, use it. Email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact allow you to upload your database to send professional emails and track email opens. These programs offer free or low-cost email templates that make your emails look like digital newsletters. Create a link in the email that links to the COVID-19 info on your website.
Social media. If you’ve already established a business page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, post your messaging on these platforms. Always include a link back to your company website to drive traffic there.
Digital advertising. Paid ads on Facebook and Google Ads can be relatively inexpensive, and they allow you to target your service area and customer demographics.
Direct mail. If you mail out invoices, include information in these envelopes. To reach new potential customers, postcards are can be cost-effective, if targeted at your main customer audiences.
Phone. Don’t forget the phone. If time allows, calling key customers to offer reassurance and to confirm a restart of your services provides a personal touch.
Before you send anything out, remember to use a spell-checker, and have someone else read your message before you send it to check for clarity, typos and grammar. Need help? I’d love to hear from you.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is an award-winning writer, marketing expert and founder of What’s Your Avocado? Marketing and Public Relations, Mount Vernon, Washington, which specializes in marketing content & strategy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stacie Zinn Roberts is a nationally recognized, award-winning writer and marketing expert with more than 25 years of experience. She has won more than 40 national awards for her work including the United Nations Environmental Program for retail environmental marketing, as well as from organizations such at the Public Relations Society of America and the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. She’s written for industry publications such as Golf Course Management, Sports Turf, Golfdom and PR Daily. She spent eight years as the president and director of marketing for Environmental Turf, where she developed the branding for SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, the grass that eventually became the greens grass for the Rio Olympic Golf Course. Stacie served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Florida Turfgrass Association as Chair of the Research & Scholarship Committee where she worked closely with the scientists from the University of Florida’s turfgrass breeding program. Stacie founded What’s Your Avocado? Marketing & Public Relations in 2012.