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Top tactics to recession proof your email marketing

January 09 - 2023

Email Marketing Strategy 5 min read

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Wow. It’s been quite the few years, hasn’t it?

Businesses and consumers alike have had to contend with lockdowns, staff shortages, strikes, rising energy costs, and now a looming recession.

But it’s safe to say that many businesses are becoming experts in adapting, reacting, and being flexible. And we have every faith that with the right advice and support, you can continue to thrive. Even during difficult times.

To get you started, here are our top email marketing tips to recession proof your marketing.

Make it easy for users to sign up


Cut through the noise

Consider your tone of voice

Add value

Reward loyalty

Ask for help

Make it easy for users to sign up

The first step in ensuring your email marketing is successful during a recession is to build your email list with quality data.

During a recession, many consumers become apprehensive buyers. They are giving more thought to what may have previously been a casual purchase. And they also have a lot on their mind, meaning less time for research, brand engagement, and handing over their details.

To ensure your recipients are signing up with your brand, make it as easy as possible for them.

A recession is not the time for lengthy sign up forms or subtle calls to action. Instead, focus on placing your sign up form in an area of high engagement on your website. Follow this with fields that cover the basics, only asking for essential details. And of course, don’t forget to use action words within your call to action, such as “Subscribe now!”.


Automation is a key time, resource, and money saver for email marketing.

Yes, a little effort is required at the start to create emails and set up the automation journeys. But once this is complete marketers can sit back and let their email automations run in the background, with little manual intervention. Whether that be to send welcome campaigns, transactional emails, stock notifications, or abandoned basket reminders.

By automating your email communications, you are saving essential marketing budget which can be utilised elsewhere, or absorbed into the business for additional cost benefits. But you are also producing timely, relevant, and personalised communications that stand out from the crowd. And help to keep apprehensive buyers engaged with your brand.

Cut through the noise

Talking about busy inboxes, with email being a popular recession-proof channel, many brands are pulling out all the stops in their communications.

During a recession, there’s no time to rest on your laurels. Your emails have to be bigger and better than ever before to truly cut through the noise.

If you are already automating your emails then you’ve made a great start. But it’s important to review every element of your communications to ensure they are as engaging as possible.

This involves catchy subject lines, relevant product or content recommendations, and the use of dynamic content to personalise email banners, copy, and imagery.

These tactics don’t have to cost a lot, but they make a big impact.

Consider your tone of voice

Recessions are difficult times for most of us. Many are struggling with rising costs, job-losses, and budgeting stress.

Brands must acknowledge the mood of their audience, ensuring that their emails show empathy and understanding throughout.

For instance, instead of promoting your highest-ticket items, focus on budget-friendly, everyday essentials, or discounted items. Your brand can even be useful by highlighting relevant finance options to help spread costs.

And aim to eliminate further stress by incorporating clear terms and conditions, delivery updates, and contact details in your emails to make purchases as simple as possible.

Add value

You can add further value to your email communications by offering additional cost-saving opportunities.

Where possible, increase the amount of discounts, freebies, sales, and incentives to entice your consumers to make a purchase, without breaking their budgets.

Additionally, consider implementing an affiliate or referral program. This is a great way for you to spread brand awareness at little extra cost. And your customers can benefit financially too.

Reward loyalty

This brings us neatly onto our next top tactic, rewarding loyalty.

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. So, especially during a recession, keeping your customers sticky should be a top priority for any business.

With many consumers happy to shop around to save money during a recession, brands need to work hard to keep their customers engaged. And rewarding their loyalty is key to achieving this.

Email offers a variety of options to make your customers feel special. There are of course the discounts, sales, and referral schemes that we’ve mentioned. But something as simple as a birthday or anniversary email can keep your brand in the forefront of your recipients’ minds.

Ask for help

Last but not least, there’s no shame in asking for help to make the very most out of your email marketing.

During difficult financial times, it can be tempting to tighten budgets and pause marketing activity. But with email being one of the most cost effective channels available, making wise investments in your communications early on can make a significant difference down the line.

Why not get in touch with us to explore your options for email marketing support? We’d love to hear about your email marketing strategies, and offer our email marketing expertise.

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