Jawfish Digital

Targeted Email Marketing Messaging in the Face of an Economic Downturn

As an economic downturn continues due to the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our world is facing new challenges like increased social distancing, limitations on in-person business, and dependence on virtual technology. Because of these changes, targeted email marketing messaging is becoming more important than ever for engagement.

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What is Email Marketing?


At the most basic level, email marketing is exactly what it sounds like: using email for marketing campaigns.

Although email marketing sounds as simple as sending a few emails to customers and prospective clients, there are more elements to creating a successful targeted email campaign. Effective email marketing is a relationship between the brand and subscribers that encourages customer engagement through components like welcome emails, newsletters, and special offers.

Email marketing is not a new concept, but it is a marketing strategy that can play a huge role in a company’s success during an economic downturn. There are about 3.9 billion active email addresses around the world, and over 40% of business-to-business (B2B) marketers consider email marketing to be one of the most critical factors for successful marketing.

Like any form of digital marketing, email marketing is important to stay relevant in the fast-paced business environment. It is an easy asset to evaluate; most platforms allow you to learn about your audience, track engagement, and analyze metrics. Email marketing is a small investment of resources that allows brands to reach large audiences quickly and efficiently.

Why is Email Marketing Important in an Economic Downturn?

With the changing economic climate, targeted email marketing messaging is becoming increasingly important to reach audiences. The world is not only facing an economic downturn, but also forcing businesses to navigate into unprecedented practices to adapt in response to the lasting effects of COVID-19.


Targeted email marketing messaging is vital for businesses to maintain relationships with their audiences as well as to reach new customers. During an economic downturn, the content, scheduling, and subscriber engagement of these campaigns are the most crucial components.

It is important to approach email marketing with flexibility as your target audience’s priorities evolve during this time. Understanding how the economy is affecting your audience is crucial for conveying effective, relevant messaging in the economic downturn.

Making the Most of Subject Lines

First impressions matter, and subject lines are an email’s introduction to the audience. Subject lines are the first step in implementing accurate, targeted messaging in your emails. With more brands heavily relying on digital marketing, an influx of email marketing campaigns in customers’ inboxes means it is crucial to make the most of your subject lines.


Especially in times of economic downturn, appropriate subject lines need to be engaging and clutter-free, and it is still just as important to avoid any phishing or clickbait style subject lines.

Each business is going to be vying for their clients’ attention in the inbox, so capitalizing on short and informative subject lines that address your content in a catchy way is the best way to increase your engagement rate.

Avoid clichés when developing your subject lines. Be clear and concise while focusing on using your subject line to accurately reflect the content in your email.

Maintain a consistent voice with your subject lines and content, as well. If your content is an announcement or a serious notice, it is important for your subject line to reflect that, whereas if your content is lighthearted, it may be appropriate to take a more fun approach to your subject.

While businesses and brands will certainly have to adjust their branding in light of the economic downturn, it is not necessary to completely change tactics if there is a pattern of marketing that has already proven to work well.

By understanding what has worked in the past, and being flexible enough to adapt those tactics into appropriate messaging for the economic downturn, your subject lines can be successful components in your email campaigns.

The Importance of Clear Messaging and Appropriate Content

During an economic shift, your target audiences’ priorities will be evolving. It is crucial to understand how the economic climate is affecting your customers, so you can tailor your messaging to fit their needs.

Inundating your client’s inbox with “fluff” or sending an excess of emails to stay at the top of their inbox can do more harm than good. The focus should be on presenting your messaging clearly and effectively, rather than overwhelming audiences with content.

In keeping with the times, it is important to evaluate content to be sure it is relevant to your target audience and appropriate for the current economic climate. Regardless of your brand’s purpose, customers are going to be juggling shifting priorities during the economic downturn, so it is important to handle the situation accordingly.

For example, if you are a retailer who usually targets consumers, it could be more beneficial to shift your messaging to talk about sales and products at lower price points rather than promoting expensive inventory.

Along with adjusting your content, check your scheduling and align it with your clients’ needs. If your engagement rates seem to be lowering, analyze your metrics to see when you are getting the most participation from audiences, then try scheduling your emails for those times.

Having a general understanding of your audience’s needs and planning ahead to provide appropriate messaging will make these campaigns most effective during the economic change.

Addressing Customer Concerns

Whether your business has cultivated a large customer contact list over the years or your company is still in the early ages of collecting valuable contacts, understanding the effects of the economic downturn will help brands address the current concerns of customers.

Focus your content on your audience’s needs while simultaneously continuing to promote your brand’s messaging. During times like these, customers want to feel heard by businesses.

It is not necessary to completely halt or change all of your branding tactics, however, since your main priority as a business is still to promote your message to your targeted audience.

Simply understanding the economic climate, and fine-tuning your messaging to address any customer concerns is a great way to show your audience you care. Email marketing messaging is an effective way to promote your brand to a large audience while ensuring your customers know how you plan to support them during an economic shift.

In the digital world, finding out what customers think is easier than ever through social media comments, website contact forms, and online reviews. Do your research, and implement anything that seems fitting to your message to address concerns raised by customers.

Targeted email marketing messaging is a great way to engage with clients as well. There are features, such as email surveys, that make it easy to hear what customers have to say about specific aspects of your branding. Take advantage of these features to ensure you are doing your part to address customer concerns.

Customer Segmentation During an Economic Recession

Once you have an understanding of your audience base and want to get started with your email marketing, implementing customer segmentation strategies can expand your messaging and brand promotion.

Simply put, customer segmentation is dividing customers into groups based on common characteristics to make it easier to market effectively to your audience. This strategy can play a huge role during a recession since clients will be responding to the economic changes in different ways.

Personalizing your marketing tactics to different groups can help with retention, as well as the overall customer experience. Implementing customer segmentation during an economic downturn can help your email marketing campaigns successfully reach their targeted audiences.


There is not a one-size-fits-all approach for customer segmentation during a recession, but there are several steps that can help you maximize the results of this strategy. While traditional customer segmentation can focus on categories like demographics, geographics, or behavioral patterns, you can expand these to tailor your messaging to specific group reactions to the economic downturn.

Start by getting to know your consumers’ habits, and focus on understanding how the economic downturn is affecting them. Once you have a grasp on how your customers are reacting to the changes, begin implementing your customer segmentation strategies.

For example, some of your clients may be willing to invest in the risky climate, whereas others may simply want to handle upkeep on current investments. Understanding which groups are reacting in similar ways will allow you to target your email messaging with appropriate calls-to-action.

Customers who want to continue investing or participating in your branding as normal will be inclined to engage with email messaging that invokes a call-to-action, while other customers who want to limit their spending during this time may engage more with messaging that promotes special deals or sales.

Looking for more help with your targeted email marketing messages? Contact Jawfish Digital to learn how we can help you.