A Brief Guide to Using Controversy in Email June 25, 2020, | Posted by Guest

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It’s no secret that we live in controversial times. For every issue that exists out there, it seems there are at least two firmly entrenched viewpoints and often many others as well; a lack of consensus means that brands often dither on whether to embrace one side or the other, avoiding saying anything at all--and ultimately end up losing out because everyone wants them to say something. But embracing controversy in your email marketing campaigns also isn’t easy; there’s a strong need to understand the level of response that your brand should have to a given situation, as well as to have a good read on your audience(s) and what they will respond best to. While we at Site Impact don’t necessarily think it’s a brand’s job--or even a great option--to weigh in on every controversy, it’s important to know how to handle controversies when they come up, even in your email campaigns. Today we’re going to look at some basics.


Not every controversy needs a statement

There is certainly no shortage of issues that carry with them a controversial slant, with deeply opposed players fighting for control of the narrative and majority opinion. Although this post is ultimately about how to handle controversy in your email marketing campaigns, it’s important to note first of all that not every single big issue of the day needs a branded commentary. There are times when wading into the waters of controversy won’t help anyone; it will only foment more controversy. It’s important to weigh whether your brand’s message--if sent--will clarify a point, help a cause, or just create more noise. Once you’ve made that decision, however, you can consider the finer points.


Consider your audience

This is true of all campaigns; any message your brand sends out under any circumstances should be considered in terms of your audience. Of course, if you have a diverse range of potential customers, it’s also important not to send different messages to different groups--that makes you look at best wishy-washy and at worst exploitative. But think about what your audience may be looking for from your brand: do they want leadership or support, do they want solidarity, do they want to see an expression that the matter at hand is more complex than your brand is able to readily weigh in on? From there, you can craft a message that will be true to your brand but also create a deeper connection with your audience.


When it comes to controversies, it’s important to practice discernment and to carefully consider your position--and how to frame it--in any email marketing campaigns you send out regarding an issue. If your commentary won’t help clarify anything for your prospects, or help to make things better in the situation, it may be better to keep mostly silent. If you do decide to send a campaign regarding a controversial issue, consider your message and the audience that will receive it very carefully. Contact Site Impact to learn how we can help you with any campaign you want to create.