Pandemic Email Etiquette

ARK Blog

pandemic email etiquette

Businesses today are forced to navigate uncharted territory as we all brace ourselves for the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have scrambled to transition live workspaces into remote hubs to keep their staff safe while hoping to maintain the status quo in this new normal. In a time where we have shelter-in-place orders, shutdowns, and uncertain times ahead, small businesses should tread carefully when communicating during a pandemic. Here are a few tips on pandemic email ettiquete to consider before drafting that next email to your audience.

When to Avoid Sending an Email

Many of us are already experiencing information overload when it comes to COVID-19 and how to fight it. If you’re feeling like you need to jump on the information bandwagon to reinforce that message (i.e. wash your hands, social distancing practices, etc.), we urge you to reconsider.

Here’s why:


  • Unless you’re a reputable and trusted source like the CDC or WHO, your audience doesn’t want regurgitated information cluttering up their inbox. It’s a risky move that will likely increase your number of unsubscribers.
  • If your intent is to ride the COVID-19 popularity train by letting your audience know that “your just there to support them” or the all too common, “we’re in this together” message, then what value are you really adding? You’re just one business in the same pool of “well-wishing” emails saying the exact same thing.
  • You could be risking your reputation and email deliverability. If you send your entire email database your coveted COVID-19 email, then this could cause high bounce rates, spam complaints, and unsubscribers. The high risk isn’t worth sending this type of email.
  • If after all this, you still desire to send an email because you wish to communicate that your workers are now remote and you’re offering paid time off in light of the recent crisis to support your team, then consider other marketing channels to convey this message instead of email. Social media is often the go-to for messages like this. Again, you’ve worked hard to gain your subscribers’ trust and you don’t want to do anything to forsake that relationship.
  • If you’re thinking this is the perfect time to run a sale, resist this urge. Think from your customer’s perspective. Would you be enticed to engage when worried about an elderly relative or anxious about your finances with unpredictable times ahead?

When to Send A Pandemic Email

  1. Often businesses actively participate in events, conferences, or conventions. If you’ve recently received news that an event has been canceled, it’s acceptable to send an update via email and on social media communicating that information.
  2. If you’re a business who is adjusting the way you do business to limit human interaction for the safety of others, then an email is sufficient to communicate that update. For example, a restaurant who is closing their dining hall to support social distancing, but they plan to keep their drive-through open. This is information that people need to know to do business with you.
  3. If you have a system outage or failure. This is something you’ll need to communicate immediately.
  4. Canceled travel plans are often acceptable as it affects others and how they do business with you.
  5. If you’re in the healthcare industry, by all means, send out that COVID-19 email.


Now that you understand the do’s and don’ts of pandemic email etiquette, let’s chat about how we can help! At ARK Marketing, our team is ready and able to guide you. Contact us today!

Check back soon for more useful tips on how to leverage your small business in a big world of competition. If you need help managing certain aspects of your small business or you’d like to know more about the services ARK Marketing has to offer, email us or comment below! Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram for industry news, inspiration, and helpful tidbits for finding small business success.



The ARK Crew

Get the latest word from ARK

Email Signup

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email

Branding & Design

Website & SEO Services

Thanks for swinging by

Want these Direct To your Email?