Please don’t call it an email blast

August 12th, 2013 by Robert Pease

The phrase “email blast” has made its way into the everyday language of marketers…and that is not necessarily a good thing.

Email marketing started around this concept based on what had been done in the world of direct mail – bulk mail.  That is, send in large volumes, send all at once, and if you send enough of it “some” will convert.

This doesn’t take into consideration the true cost of this type of email marketing.  The tools themselves are pretty affordable if all you want to do is batch and blast.  The true cost comes in the form of unsubscribes, missed opportunities for true engagement, and being reported as a spammer.

We advocate the “small batch marketing” approach where certain content is shared with certain prospects at the right time.  There are still very good reasons to mail your entire list – with a newsletter, a big announcement, etc. but please, please don’t think you are making marketing progress based on the number of emails you send at any one time. Force yourself to call it a campaign…and to document purpose, call to action, and measure of success. Applying even this basic discipline will improve the effectiveness of your email marketing activities.

Open rates can be misleading, click rates too, and with multiple email accounts feeding multiple devices it is very hard to discern what is a unique open or forward.  One thing you can easily count are the number of unsubscribes based on your “email blast.”

Quick note:  Although the title of this post came to me on a run, kudos to Mitch Lapides for writing a post with this title in early 2012.  Thanks Mitch!

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