The COVID-19 outbreak has produced a great challenge to the UK and the globe. Businesses are struggling to know what to do for the best; to hunker down until the worst has passed, or to continue as best they can and prepare for the long haul. 

For those marketing to the affluent, the question is what do they do? Do they continue marketing amidst the chaos of the coronavirus? Are they going to see response from high net worth and sophisticated investors and consumers in such an anxious time?

The short answer is yes

More people are going to be at home and will, most likely, have a lot more time on their hands. If there was a ‘perfect time’ for direct mail and direct marketing campaigns, the time would be now. Additionally, as other businesses go quiet as they cut back, this is a brilliant opportunity to turn up alone. It’s an chance to ‘get in there’ and speak to your ideal market with little other marketing distractions.

Marketing now can elevate your voice and your offer.

However, the likelihood that affluent people – or anyone for that matter – are going to be thinking of their next investment opportunity or high-end purchase is going to be minimal. Sunny springtime may be upon us but most are worried, anxious and confused about what’s happening and what’s going to unfold in the future.

These worries can be divided into three categories:

  • Health – high net worth individuals are usually 50 years or above. Naturally, their health will be less robust in comparison to a young and fit person. Therefore, worries about catching and suffering the coronavirus are going to be on their minds as they are at higher risk.

  • Wealth – in the past month, the FTSE 100 has fallen by 25%. Though we saw a dramatic increase of more than 9% on Tuesday, stock markets are projected to fall much lower before we see a consistent increase again. For the affluent, this will undoubtedly generate some loss within their personal portfolios and generate worry.

  • Relationships – Like most, high net worth individuals will be worrying about not being able to see their loved ones who live away. Though technology provides a great scope for online communications with our children – grandchildren even – there’s great anxiety surrounding the welfare of close family and friends. 

With high and mixed emotions then, how do you market to the affluent? 

Choose effectively, speak sensitively

If you’re wanting to market to the affluent now, there are two mindsets you can have as you design a campaign. 

1. Sales-orientated

Sending a direct mail campaign that encourages a sale could go either way. It may be that, with accurate targeting and the right message in the right media, you’ll get affluent people responding. Nevertheless, there is also a real chance that there will be little response. It really is 50/50.

This is reflected in the mixed opinions of various marketing circles. Expert copywriter Dan Kennedy suggests there is a low chance people are going to respond – even if they have the money and resource to do so – to any sort of campaign at the moment. There are too many emotional distractions as well as worries about the economy.

On the other hand, others think this is a great opportunity for people to buy. That is, self-isolation isn’t an excuse to avoid buying or investing; rather, it’s a reason to take action and engage with new investments or luxury products. As suggested earlier, this unusual time provides an opportunity where, normally, it feels like your offer is one amongst many. As businesses reduce their marketing efforts and/or move to digital marketing, entering in gentle conversation with prospects through direct mail will establish your brand and offer as distinctive from the rest. This might generate response and, resultantly, some sales.

If you decide to market a sales or investment offer now, it’s important to be wary of the message you send and the offer you provide. Craft your investment offer around the problems and anxieties high net worth individuals are having now. Speak into those problems gently, kindly and supportively. At this time, people need a friend rather than a sales pitch. Be sensitive  to make your message most effective. But also remember there is no guarantee you will receive real investment interest at this time. 

2. Value over sales: the ‘freemium model’

Many companies are thinking in the immediate present – how can I keep cash flow now? How can I cut my costs now? What’s my strategy to get me through the here and now?

However, sometimes it’s important to look ahead. The coronavirus outbreak is forcing new ways of living, working, marketing and purchasing. Don’t presume things will go back to normal once the virus has cleared. There is a possibility new habits will stick. 


Therefore, offering something of value now over an investment or purchase offer might be better in the long-term. What are people wanting? Well, ideally, they want a cure to the coronavirus and for the pandemic to stop. Unfortunately, marketers aren’t that powerful. But, there is an opportunity for marketers to alleviate the anxiety and worry of their prospects with value. As a result, you are generating leads for later. Offering free value to your ideal clients or investors can help you generate a pool of prospects for for the future, because you are investing in a relationship now. Usually, offering free products or services is a no-no when it comes to marketing to high net worth individuals. As Dan Kennedy says,
“Bottom dwelling is NOT the path to success.” 
Being free often means people will take but not convert and they won’t see the value in the marketer’s offer. And yet, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the game here. Consumers and investors are looking for support and empowerment as they struggle with the worries mentioned above. With a gentle and meaningful message, you can position your brand as considerate and supportive. Therefore, you are building goodwill and generating an association between positive branding and your business. This gives you a firm foothold to convert your leads once the timing is right. Also, ‘free’ in a time of crisis goes a long way. Offering something free as part of your direct marketing will create gratitude. This gratitude and the optimism your marketing generates will create high expectations which you can leverage with an attractive offer as part of a following campaign. Kindling a relationship with prospects based on goodwill frames your business and the relationship as more authentic and trustworthy.  Ultimately, what I am saying here is that there is credibility in kindness, and a small free gift or product  along with an empowering and encouraging message will be remembered when we’ve passed this topsy-turvy period. You could offer:
  • A video to watch
  • An online workshop
  • A free report
  • Insightful cheat sheets
  • An advice booklet
Another tip for you here is this: make the client or prospect aware of the original value. Here’s an example from marketing expert, Drayton Bird.

By stating the original value whilst offering your service, product or training for free, the fact that it is free will be appreciated much more. Again, this goes back to good will and nurturing a helpful relationship between you and your prospect. Also, it makes this offer more attractive.


The coronavirus has presented a lot of challenges and a lot of time to overcome them. Now is a great marketing opportunity if you’re looking to create meaningful brand awareness through direct mail campaigns to the affluent. If you’re looking for sales, be aware rates of response and conversion could go either way in terms of success. Nevertheless, you can make the most of your marketing by offering solid value that will keep your prospects uplifted in this difficult time, in addition to broadening your long-term horizons by nurturing leads for later.

Here are three final things to consider as you market to the affluent during the coronavirus:

  • Nail down the ‘who’ – ensure your target market is as accurate as possible. Take this opportunity to cleanse your data, profile your clientele using our high net worth database and dig deeper into who your ideal prospect is. You’ll gain a better response if you’ve got this right.

  • Craft value – be creative in how you offer free value that is long-lasting to your prospect, solves or alleviates their problems and builds brand awareness.

  • Send it through – a postcard is an ideal way to offer a free product and communicate a caring, considerate message. For a mailing of 2000, we charge a done-for-you price of a £1 per item, which includes design, copy, postage and consultancy.

Call us now for advice on the best strategy to market to the affluent during the coronavirus outbreak. We can help produce the best value for your offer, and craft the words that will position you in the best way possible for brand building and future leads.

Call us at Finely Fettled on, 01535 654930.