More companies are moving toward remote structures to retain employees—and marketers need to take note to keep customers from quitting their brands, too.
By Lauren H. Dowdle
Conference rooms and business attire have been replaced by Zoom calls and pajamas (at least from the waist down) for many since the start of the pandemic. Even as some companies begin returning to somewhat-normal schedules, many employees are still demanding the option to work remotely—and employers are listening, as shown by these stats:
- 16 percent of companies in the world are 100 percent remote
- 77 percent of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home
- 85 percent of managers believe having teams with remote workers will become the new norm
So, what does that shift mean for marketers? Check out six ways remote work will impact marketing—and what you can do to adapt.
Catching consumers’ attention just got harder.
People have never had particularly long attention spans, which is why it’s always been important for marketers to captivate their audience right away. But thanks to the pandemic, their audiences are now not only juggling their own at-home workloads—they might also be surrounded by children doing remote learning and a partner who works from home. It’s safe to say they’re busy.
So, your job is to cut through that noise and engage them with a valuable campaign. The best way to do that is by providing targeted content. You can do that by segmenting lists, conducting surveys, and pulling customer data from various sources. Personalizing email campaigns shows the subscriber that you know them and what they want—which gives them a reason to focus on your messaging instead of the often-crazy remote life around them.
The way they talk about work is different.
An email marketing campaign mentioning office life or commuting might make the brand sound outdated and disconnected from what’s going on with their work-from-home customers. But not only should brands avoid using terminology or phrases related to working in-person, they can take that a step further and craft campaigns specifically for remote workers.
Take this Public Rec email as an example.
Subject line: There’s Always a Favorite
The header text reads, “What we’re wearing: Staff picks while staying at home.” They feature comfortable clothing options in this campaign, which is something any remote worker can relate to wearing.
Find ways to show your subscribers who work remotely how your products, content, or services provide them value—especially in their new work environments. Or, put together content tailored to remote working, like “How to Stay Productive at Home,” or “Things Every Remote Worker Should Know.” There are ways for every brand—no matter its industry—to show it understands and supports its customers.
E-commerce is a must.
When COVID-19 first appeared, many stores closed or limited in-person shopping—and wary consumers also began limiting public interactions. That opened up the floodgate for online shopping, which had already begun growing before the pandemic thanks to sites like Amazon.
E-commerce sales in the United States are expected to surpass $1 trillion this year—something that, prior to the pandemic, wasn’t forecasted to happen until 2024. And with more people working from home, fewer of them are out and about—leading to even more online sales from both the young and old.
Marketers can take advantage of that shift by showing how their brands cater to online shoppers. That includes letting them know about online shopping policies/returns, free shipping options, online ordering with in-store pickup, or any other options the brand offers. This information can be added to the bottom of your email—or it can even be the whole message of the campaign like in this email from Attention Grace:
Subject line: ✨ Free Shipping Sitewide Ends Sunday ✨
Giving a deadline for when the free shipping will end or setting a minimum order amount are great ways to engage subscribers and let them know about your online shopping options. Then they can make an order between virtual meetings from the comfort of their couch.
Email open times have changed.
As schedules and new habits emerge from working from home, so have the times people check their emails. For example, many once read emails when commuting to and from work. Or, they opened their messages when they first woke up to head to work—and that time has now gotten later since they don’t have to drive to work.
So, the best time to send email campaigns might have changed for your subscribers, as well. The best way to see when you should email them is by conducting A/B tests to see when campaigns earn the best open rates and engagement. You want your message to be there whenever they are.
Employee values are shifting.
More workers are requesting to work from home—or they’re quitting to find a company that allows them to. That’s one cause of the Great Resignation where millions have left their jobs. Marketers need to take this remote mindset to heart so customers don’t quit their brand—instead showing they are willing to evolve with their audience.
Working from home allows employees more flexibility in their lives, providing many with the opportunities to focus on their families, hobbies, and causes they support. That opens the door for marketers to create campaigns highlighting what their brands are doing to give back. For example, they can send emails about how they give back to the community or donate a portion of their proceeds to a cause.
Consumers—especially younger ones—want to know what the brand supports. Many will choose to purchase from companies based on similar values, so be sure your customers know about your brand. Even better: Give them ways to give back and engage with you, like in this email from Patagonia:
Subject line: You donate, we’ll match
Mobile-friendly is mandatory—not simply an option.
Having more people working from home means more of them on their phones. (Just make sure it’s on silent before the next video call.) With an estimated 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide, it’s vital that brands ensure their sites, emails, and other online offerings are mobile-friendly.
And we don’t simply mean your campaigns and platform work on a mobile device. No, they need to be easy to navigate and interact with on a variety of mobile devices. Check email campaigns and other online content to see how it will appear on a variety of device types.
Position your brand for success.
The pandemic, regulations, work locations, and consumer expectations are constantly evolving—and your marketing strategy must do the same. Marketers who look ahead for trends and are ready to make changes based on their findings will be the ones to have the most success. Show customers your brand understands their new working environments, and provide them with valuable content and resources that will help them navigate these changing times.