Managing email marketing with the distributed team during a crisis

With over a hundred countries and more than half of the world population under some kind of lockdown because of the COVID 19, the marketers and brands are compelled to re-analyze their email marketing strategies and tailor them to suit the current time of the crisis. In addition, the unprecedented growth of this virus has made social distancing and remote working the new normal, thereby making it difficult for businesses and marketers to manage their operations or communications.

Sure, email marketing is a low cost, high ROI option that can help marketers keep their communication inline. However, doing so with a distributed team requires planning, management, and control.

Therefore, as you reallocate your resources and shift your priorities, it becomes imperative not only to assist your clients and customers but also keep a check on your staff and employees to facilitate smooth and seamless functioning of your business.

According to a study from IWG Global, 57% of tech workers in the US are already working remotely. This percentage has only increased during the crisis. While some companies are reaping the benefits of remote working with a happier and productive workforce, few others are in fear of losing control and employees taking undue advantage of unsupervised working hours.

However, these flexible work arrangements have more benefits than risks. So, if you want to streamline your email marketing strategy with a distributed team during this crisis, it is high time you embrace remote workers with an open heart. Here are a few handy tips that will help you do the needful.

Tips to manage your email marketing strategy with a distributed team.

Pay attention to results rather than hours worked

The first and foremost step in managing your email marketing with a distributed team is to bring a change in your mindset. With remote working becoming the need of the hour, the paradigm of an ideal employee has changed. It is no longer a concern on how many hours an employee has worked. Instead, what matters is the results they have produced.

Bring a change to your management mindset and let go of the anxiety and fear of remote workers not being as productive as in-house staff. Start by focusing on your campaign and communicating your email marketing goals to your distributed team. From day to day deliverables to deadlines, give them insight into everything. Remember, you need to trust them to deliver their best. Once they do that, you can analyze their performance on how quickly and efficiently they have handled the campaign.

Decide how your distributed team is going to function

The next step is to map out everything about how you want your team to work. A result-oriented working approach should begin with a clear, precise, and documented email marketing plan. So, before your distributed team begins working on your email marketing campaign, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How am I going to handle the whole crisis situation?
  • What kind of email content and HTML email template layout will be relevant now?
  • How am I going to encourage my distributed team to give their best during these trying times? 
  • What will be the standard communication hours for the entire distributed team?
  • What will be our preferred method of communication – Skype, Zoom, Slack, or other? 
  • What are the other types of communication and project management tools that we can make use of?
  • How many meetings will we conduct in a week and what topics will these meetings cover?
  • What kind of HTML email KPIs will we measure?

Once you have brainstormed these questions and got the appropriate answers, go ahead by creating a guideline for your entire team. You can even develop a guideline book and upload it on Google drive where everyone in your distributed team can access it. It will help you update it as and when needed in the future.

Select the right communication tools

Now you have a clear idea of how you want your team to work. So, the next thing to do is to find the right tools to communicate with your employees in a seamless and smooth way. There are a large number of software and applications that can help you manage your distributed team with ease. Research what would best suit you and your workers and get going. Here are a few tools that can help you do the needful.

  • Messaging: Slack, Twist, Google Hangouts Chat, Convo, Skype.
  • Document storage: Google Drive, Zoho, Dropbox, Quip, OneHub
  • Calendars: Calendly, Monday.com, Float, Teamweek, Google Calendar for business. 
  • Project Management: Trello, Asana, Basecamp, Jira, iDoneThis.
  • Video-Conferencing: Zoom, Skype Video, GoToMeeting, PukkaTeam, UberConference, Join.me.

Select your KPIs

With an impeccable distributed team in hand along with all the right communication tool, you are good to go to the next step. Here you need to track and measure the success of your email campaign. You can do so by analyzing the KPIs that are critical for your team. In this context, you can consider measuring statistics such as

  • opens, click-through rates, and HTML email deliverability rates.
  • Bounce and unsubscribe rates.
  • Spam complaints and social shares. 
  • Forwards, conversions, and ROI.

So, these are the KPIs that you must keep in mind to get an idea about the performance of your email campaign during these unprecedented times. However, while choosing your distributed team’s KPIs, make sure your whole team supports the most critical KPIs of your email marketing campaign in general. This would help you communicate with your remote employees that how their work ethics have contributed to the business’s overall performance.

Include your distributed team in everything

While remote working is all about working from anywhere with no commuting, fewer expenses, and better quality of life, your distributed team might miss the office vibes and the camaraderie with their co-workers, especially in such times where everything is uncertain and gloomy. Therefore, it is imperative to include your distributed team in everything and make them feel the office vibes once in a while. You can do so by hosting a virtual team lunch or get together via video chat. In addition, you can even celebrate their birthday, work-anniversary, or big wins through a team video call. Consequently, you can even make use of communication apps mentioned already to foster a stronger bond amidst employees.

Simply put, make sure your distributed team doesn’t feel left out. Remember, if your distributed team feels truly appreciated and becomes a part of your close-knit team, they wouldn’t only get instant gratification but would also give their best to your business.

Keep your communication consistent

Making your communication consistent is imperative to keep your employees in line with the work. Hence, begin by planning short and daily structured stand-up meetings in the mornings. It will help you communicate your project status and goals for the day with your distributed team. Further, you can go for a longer wrap up meeting once in a week in which you can talk about the wins, challenges, and the plans for the next week.

Wrap up

The world is facing a major crisis right now. The way you carry your business during this pandemic will have a great impact on your ability to retain both your clients and employees in the long run of business. 

In the words of James L Allen, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it”. So, make sure you reveal the best of your traits during this global crisis. 

Make use of the above-mentioned tips and not only manage your distributed team but also be empathetic and compassionate towards them and everyone around you in general.

Email marketing guide for distributed team
Distributed Email Marketing Challenges & Keys to Solve It

Featured image source: Freepik (Affiliate Link)

Published by Kevin George

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email template design and coding agency specializes in crafting custom Mailchimp templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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