Blue pen, Google Analytics graphs, computer, Cost-effective Long-term Marketing Strategies during an economic downturn and global pandemic

Cost-Effective Long-term Marketing Strategies in an Economic Downturn & Global Pandemic

Part One

Email Marketing

A hand holding letters - to indicate email marketing

Email marketing is one of the wisest cost-effective, long-term marketing strategies, bar none. For every $1.00 spent, a marketer makes $38.00. That’s a whopping 3800% return on your investment. In an economic downturn, you need to squeeze every ounce of leverage from your marketing budget. No other investment comes close to the value you get from this versatile marketing strategy.

Why versatile? Emails are one of the easiest ways to communicate with your audience. And that’s a top priority in an economic downturn. Add a global pandemic to the equation, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Your audience is frightened, confused, and in some cases, jobless. 

Considering the 3800% ROI, building and nurturing your relationship with your audience through email is extremely cost-effective. And staying connected through the chaos is essential. You’re on a journey with your audience. 

And they need to feel your presence on that journey. The more you communicate with your audience, the more they’ll see you as reliable and trustworthy. This is especially the case if you can find ways to help them through their current struggles.

Additionally, email campaigns are great for launching new products or re-marketing older ones. But don’t underestimate the power of emails in other areas of the buyer’s journey. 

5 Email Campaigns to Stay Top-of-Mind with your Audience: 

  1. Newsletters
  2. Roll-out broadcasts
  3. Product support
  4. Surveys
  5. Announcements on future innovative products

For more on why “top-of-mind” is essential, check out another article I recently wrote. The Wellness Connection Copywriting is a more niche-focused branch of my copywriting business. Take a moment to explore and, while you’re there, read Marketing During an Economic Downturn & Global Pandemic.

Lead Generation: Build your Audience

No discussion on email marketing can ignore the importance of building your list. It’s one of the most productive things you could do during an economic downturn. 

4 Steps in Lead Generation

Step #1: Create something relevant to offer prospective customers/members/supporters. Look at your services, projects, and messages. Consider your organization’s goals. 

Mind mapping is a great way to sort out ideas. Focus on relevancy for your prospects that will further your long-term goals. Once you have a focus, create something useful for your audience. 

4 Valuable Resource Products for your Audience:
  1. White papers (How to or Tips, Problem/Solution)
  2. Free reports
  3. How-to manuals
  4. Expert guides

Step #2: Build a landing page for the resource product you’ve created. The prospect submits her name and email address to access the free resource download.

Step #3: Generate traffic to that page through social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, and paid advertising.

Step #4: Tag and segment your new prospects as they opt-in for the free resource. You could label them according to the types of free resources they opted in for. You could also base the tags on the end goal you’re attempting to achieve. 

Nurture Your Audience

Personalized Welcome Email Campaign

4 Advantageous Ways to Use Welcome Emails:
  1. Introduce yourself on a deeper level. 
  2. Identify yourself as a fellow traveler with similar struggles and goals. 
  3. Offer them solace, advice, and solutions. 
  4. Invite them to sign up for a weekly newsletter. (Permission-based marketing is a solid foundation for all communications with your prospects. So ask, rather than assume they want your newsletter just because they opted in for your resource product.)

These emails propel your new audience members on their journey with your organization!

Send a weekly newsletter to those who subscribe!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Free Traffic/Positioning

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) graphic

Another vital marketing strategy during an economic downturn involves free, organic traffic generation. During a pandemic like COVID-19, in-person customer visits either decline or are not possible. This can also be the case for trade shows, association events, and conferences.

As a result, travel, trade show, conference, and event costs go down. That frees up funds for alternative marketing investments that help to keep your organization top of mind.

Ideally, you want to move some of your advertising dollars into long-term marketing investments. SEO-optimization is, hands-down, the best long-term free traffic generator.

Align yourself with a good SEO-optimization copywriter. Put her on retainer and let her go to work analyzing your website pages for on-page SEO-optimization. An SEO-content expert can improve current pages and write new content. (All SEO-optimized, of course!)

SEO optimization is a long-term strategy. It requires ongoing investment. But, over time, it can lower your marketing costs. A forward-thinking approach like this will increase the return on your investment. It’s priceless, especially in an economic downturn.

4 Benefits of SEO Optimization:

  1. Effective SEO optimization will help to position your organization’s value.
  2. SEO optimization drives organic traffic to your site, increasing brand awareness.
  3. Well-written SEO pages and articles boost your organization’s authority. 
  4. Buyers feel comfortable with organizations that have a strong presence in their niche. 

During an economic downturn, consumers are hunkering down. They’re, analyzing every spending decision they make. If you use this time to strengthen your online presence, you’ll see dramatic results when your audience is ready to buy or donate!

Part Two

Conversationally-Designed Chatbots

Rules-based Conversationally-designed chatbots, yet another way to nurture your audience, offer a fun, engaging approach to assisting internet users. The world pushes and pulls your audience in so many different directions. Distractions, both online and offline, make it difficult for folks to tick off their to-do lists, much less accomplish the goals they set for their latest dive into the internet cosmos.

Consumers demand faster, more efficient ways to complete internet-related tasks. Research, customer service, and shopping, even ordering a meal or taxi, to name a few. Well-designed chatbots provide positive user experiences and facilitate speedy and successful transactions. 

One chatbot can handle thousands of requests simultaneously and much faster than you could via phone, email, or face-to-face encounters—saving you time and allowing you to tend to other pressing business tasks.

Besides, people want to live life as remotely as possible during a global pandemic. They’re looking to the internet to solve that problem. Convenient, fun, and engaging, offering versatile use cases, they can significantly reduce operating costs while improving your ROI

Chatbot Use Cases

  • Customer Service
  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Qualification
  • Sales
  • Surveys
  • Segmentation
  • Omni-channel marketing
  • And More!

Direct Response Marketing

Whether you create direct mail letters, magalogs, sales landing pages, or video sales letters, direct response is one of the most effective ways to get your message to your audience.

The key to a successful campaign, the persuasive copywriter crafts creative, clear, and compelling calls to action. Historically, this marketing strategy proves itself a super-star for use cases such as product rollouts, fund-raising, volunteer recruitment, and flash sales.

Not only do these campaigns remind your audience that your company is alive and well — and thriving, but they can also provide much-needed products and services relevant to your audience in the current crisis. 

Your direct response campaign’s message boosts your credibility and builds trust with your audience, even those who cannot respond to your call to action.

Cause Marketing — Non-Profits + Businesses = Win/Win

NGO Non-profits - Cause Marketing graphic

What’s the saying? “Teamwork makes the dream work!” How about another favorite? “It takes a village!” Collaborating with others and pooling resources is one of the most effective ways to accomplish goals. This business needs to boost ROI. That non-profit organization needs to increase funding. Why not pair up and make a difference in the world?

Nothing says, “trust us” better than aligning your business with an important cause. People want to support worthy non-profit organizations. If they know that purchasing your product or using your service helps a non-profit, they’re more likely to respond to your offer. And that’s a win/win for all three parties.

From the non-profit’s perspective, aligning yourself with credible, relevant products and services boosts public awareness for your cause—and increases your funding. The cause marketing campaign brings in much-needed revenue and points the company’s customer to your website. Those seeking more ways to help will visit your site, possibly resulting in new members, donors, and volunteers. Again, a win/win for all!


And there you have it—a variety of marketing strategies that could mean the difference between slow-to-no recovery and resilient-to-thriving recovery. I hope to see more businesses and non-profits thriving, not only after this global crisis but during as well. So, I encourage you to pick at least one of the above methods and give it all you’ve got. See you in the trenches!

That concludes this two-part series, Cost-effective Long-term Marketing Strategies. Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to read future articles!

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