Step 1 to Saving Your Business: Stop Sending Inhumane Emails

Have you been cringing at the emails recently? I sure have. I recently received an email asking me to start an investment– which is clearly not happening right now.

I’ve started to notice the types of emails I’m receiving. There are people creating canned responses to the crisis and sounding like a robot, or people who haven’t changed their insensitive automation, but every once in a while there’s this rare existence of a humanized message that makes me feel like I’m being cared for as a customer and that people are out to help me in this crisis.

My question to you is, which one are you sending? Because I think it’s time to can the canned responses and to get real. Hold on to your customer base by showing them you see, hear, and understand what they are going through and promise to care for them more than ever before. Be as human as possible.

As a start, let’s look at subject lines. Here are some I’ve seen this week that I thought were maybe a little less on target than what they could have been.

  • This is our COVID-19 update.
  • COVID-19 message from (Company Name) CEO.
  • An important update for coronavirus.
  • Statement on COVID-19 from (Company Name) Response Team.

These are generic and at this point, if you weren’t the first person to send that headline one week ago, 74 other companies have sent that to every single one of your customers in the last four hours.

Meanwhile, here are a couple of examples of emails that I’ve gotten this week that made me feel warm and fuzzy and gave me that tingle inside that made me want to not stop doing business with these people.

  • Coronavirus is a huge test for world leaders, here’s what we can learn from them.
  • We’re not doing anything about Coronavirus and here’s what should change.
  • How we are supporting our frontline team during the coronavirus crisis?
  • What you can expect from us at (Company Name) as we face uncertainty ahead.

These are human. They are speaking from the heart and with truth and conviction. Such examples of realness breed trust and loyalty in the long-term.

General Mills made significant efforts to humanize their marketing this week. HEB went above and beyond for their employees by increasing hourly pay. And the endearing CEO of Marriot put himself on the line a way few leaders would.

Instead of talking with cold and sterile, compliant and policy-centric corporate jargon, even these large companies were able to be themselves and act human in these times of difficulty. I’m not saying these are clients but I am saying they agree with me. Thinking for yourself and getting to the truth to say what you really mean and to talk like a real person is now more important than ever.

This approach is not just about the way it looks, it’s the results that it drives. Your communication, the words you use, and the value you’re providing has an opportunity to either completely drive away your customer base or make them completely fall in love with you.

Being human will not solve all of the issues we face today, but it will build trust. In times of strife and crisis and trouble, the only things that history remembers are the bold and compassionate. Be honest, be open, be flawed, and talk like a real person – not a robot.

Review your emails campaigns and automations. Ensure you have deep empathy for your customers and build trust with them so that you don’t lose a single customer through this.



Hilary Corna

Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, Podcast Host, Founder of the Human Way ™...

Hilary’s favorite title is HUMAN.


I am starting a revolution. One business and one person at a time.



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