With everything that’s happening in the world right now, it’s really hard to know what to do.
We’ve all seen the emails come through that are just completely tone deaf. So should you just stop sending emails altogether? No! But you should at least acknowledge what’s happening.
Yesterday I got an email from Ryan Lee, Founder of Rewind, an energy bar company.
In a sea of emails from brands I had completely forgotten about, Ryan’s email stood out because he addressed how people are actually feeling.
And while a lot of businesses are raising prices, he lowered them so much (40 percent) that he’s not even going to make a profit on his bars right now.
I asked him how he came up with the idea.
“People are nervous right now. They’re scared. And I started this business to serve others,” he said. “I come from the non-profit background (spent 6 years working in a Children’s Hospital) and GIVING is in my DNA. It feels really good. It’s weird, but I thrive in high-pressure situations.
“People are nervous about having enough food and we sell healthy bars. I WISH I was able to give away all our bars for free – but that would put us out of business because almost all our money is tied up in our inventory.
“So I thought about it for 30 seconds – and simply decided to give them the bars at my cost. We won’t make a dime on this entire round of inventory and it pushes back our path to profitability, but we’re in this for the long run. We truly want to help our peeps and they seem to appreciate our gesture.”
Ryan listed his biggest pet peeves about emails that are coming out right now.
- They’re so impersonal. “They’re using language written in a boardroom. “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience” just won’t cut it. Talk like a human being!” People are nervous. They’re scared. And they only care about providing for their families…they don’t care about your “business process” or legalese.
- Ignoring what’s happening. One of my competitors is just running regular, generic “sales” emails with ZERO written about what’s happening in the real world. It makes them look so out-of-touch and shows they don’t really care about their customers. You don’t have to be all gloom and doom, but you must address what’s happening.
Ryan recommends that companies stay in constant touch with their tribe and speak like a human being. Explain what’s going on with your inventory, shipping, if there will be delays and explain what you’re doing to serve and support them.
In addition, show pictures and videos. Open up your business and be fully transparent.
“Do more live videos. Show them you’re with them.. right alongside them, in real-time. We’ve been doing two to three live videos every day, answering questions. Consider doing an online event – something that’ll bring your tribe together.
“The most important thing is to let them know you have their back!” he said.
If companies are not willing to lower prices, he suggests finding ways to add more value and support.
“You can add bonus products (physical or digital) if lowering your prices is out of the question,” he says. “We have a Facebook group that we’re in every day, all day. We answer questions. We try to keep people’s spirits up by inspiring and motivating them.”
If you have extra inventory, returns, etc. maybe there’s a local charity or families in need that could use your products.
“We’ve donated thousands of bars to a local inner-city school with low-income families who are struggling to feed their children,” said Ryan. “Use this time to step up and lead. Use this time to show you care. Your customers will remember businesses that stepped up and lead with soul – and they’ll never forget those who tried to take advantage of their pain. That will stay with them forever.”
The right messaging will help you in the long run.
Ryan is taking a hit in the short term, but he’s taking a longer term approach here. He’s building trust with his customers rather than acting like nothing is out of the ordinary.
The whole world is taking things day by day. Acknowledge that you have no idea what’s to come. Use the time to strengthen the relationships you already have. That’s the kind of thing you’ll never regret. And your customers will thank you by coming back again and again.
Privy is a Boston-based business offering a suite of email capture and conversion tools, including exit-intent driven website pop ups and banners to grow email lists, reduce abandonment and drive sales from a website or online store, without any coding or development skills needed. Read more at privy.com