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Email First: The New Normal for Keeping You Connected to Customers in Challenging Times


Remote working is definitely having a moment, empowering brands to collaborate with each other and connect to customers and partners from great distances. When you can’t meet face-to-face, your email program can quickly become your most effective channel to create personal connections, bridge social distances, and build lasting relationships.

In a digital and mobile world, email is the most personal way to communicate with your subscribers. Unlike other marketing channels, like paid social or SEM, when it comes to email, your customers are specifically opting-in to receive your communications. They’re asking to hear from you. They’re inviting you into their inbox and trusting you to deliver actionable insights and a great experience. 

Email also allows you to personalize your communications beyond other marketing channels, essentially creating a 1:1 communication between you and your customers. With advanced targeting and personalization capabilities, like triggers based off of an action (or lack thereof), you can send your customers communications that provide useful information at exactly the right time.

It’s not surprising that brands who rank high in customer experience often are bolstered by a highly effective and personalized email marketing program. The ROI of effective email marketing is unparalleled—organizations gain $36 for every $1 spent on email. In challenging times and when budgets are tightening, it’s a no-brainer for marketers to double down on reliable programs that deliver the best ROI, help them achieve their business goals, and support customer care. Now, more than ever before, the time is right to put email first in your customer communications and overall marketing programs mix.

Is your organization ready to put an email first strategy into practice? When the average consumer is bombarded with 5,000 ads per day, how do you break through the noise and ensure your message reaches the right audience, with error-free, on-brand content, at the exact right time and on any device? More importantly, with so many organizations moving to remote working, how do you flawlessly scale an email-first approach across your geographically dispersed marketing organization?

Companies like Zendesk, Altos and Namecheap are great examples of customer-centric organizations who put email first and are achieving significant and tangible business results. Check out these compelling facts and figures:

  • Zendesk transformed the company’s email production process by empowering its global marketing team to build, test, and collaborate in one centralized system—saving the company 3 hours per email.
  • Digital marketing agency Altos uses a centralized email workflow system to collaborate effectively, efficiently create flawless emails, and gain the insights they need to be trusted advisors to their clients. In doing so, they improved email accuracy by 25%, increased email deliverability by 20%, and accelerated time to market for new emails by 10%.
  • Accredited domain registrar Namecheap streamlined their email production and approval workflow across 10+ internal stakeholders to create error-free emails, faster. They saved 2-3 hours per email by centralizing their email workflow for the entire team. That’s precious time for a company that depends on email to build and maintain the trust they have earned from their 2+ million subscribers.

Putting an email first strategy into practice might seem like a daunting task for organizations with worldwide teams and remote workforces. To help you get started quickly on this path, use this simple three-step framework to optimize your email program in these important areas: pre-send, post-send, and marketing performance.


  • Bridge social distances by collaborating in a central email system to streamline workflow, ensure brand consistency, and accelerate time to market for new customer-facing campaigns.
  • Test every email on every client, device, and system—every time. Trust is paramount in uncertain times and no one wants to get stuck in a spam folder or have to send the follow-up “Oops, we made a mistake” email after an important customer communication.
  • Invest in solutions that integrate seamlessly with the email service providers you have in place today. Time and budgets are precious and you need solutions that make the most of both.


  • Go beyond basic open and click-through rates (they are table stakes) to understand the time of day people read your email, how much time they spent reading it, and what they did with it after they read it. 
  • Harvest these powerful insights to get closer to your customers, increase engagement with your campaigns, and create personalized email experiences.


  • Put email the center of your overall marketing programs mix. Share the insights gained from your email program with every member of your marketing team—especially your CMO. How customers engage with your email can tell you as much about your messaging and branding as a tracking cookie. These powerful insights can be easily applied to optimize your webinars, events (in person and virtual), and paid media programs.

In uncertain times, getting back to basics and taking common-sense approaches are valuable in so many areas of our lives right now. Email is your most trusted and reliable channel and the new normal to connect with your customers, show them you care, and assure them you are in this for the long haul. Utilize this valuable channel to build personal relationships with your customers—and ensure your team (whether distributed or not) is prepared to go email-first.