Some swear by it, and some swear at it, but we can all agree that email blasting is a marketing activity that is not going anywhere in the near future. So the best approach to dealing with these mixed feelings is to understand how to make an effective email blast.
What is an email blast?
In the simplest form, an email blast (e-blasts) is a mass email sent to many recipients at once. This is often some promotional offer or any other marketing-related email a business sends to its subscribers.
However, it’s not always exclusively for digital marketing purposes. It can be a product update or a policy change, like that recent email from Netflix letting everyone know that the “password-sharing habit” has to come to an end.
Email blasting has been around pretty much as long as emails themselves. However, over time e-blasts evolved into more specific terms like email newsletters, broadcast email, and other types of email names.
Email blast vs. Email campaign
If you’re new to the world of bulk email sending, you might think we’re talking about an email campaign and, for some weird reason, are being fancy by calling it a “blast”… So let’s differentiate the two.
An email campaign is a series of strategic emails sent to a targeted group of recipients over a specific period. These emails aim to nurture the relationship with the recipient, get some brand awareness through constant contact, and in the end, secure a sale.
The main objective of an email blast is to reach as many people as possible with a single email message creating a broad impact and not needing to follow up.
Both have their place in a comprehensive email marketing strategy but have different goals.
Examples of email blasts
- Flash Sale
An excellent example is Amazon’s audible flash sale email blast for marketing purposes. The email has a perfect visual hierarchy that conveys its main message, the urgency, the pricing, the benefit, and a visible CTA button right in the middle. No fluff, no-nonsense, straight to the point.
Laravel News, the official blog of Laravel, understands its target audience (developers) and does a great job structuring its newsletters and not wasting anyone’s time. There is no intro or fancy design. They dive straight to the point of presenting a new article with the latest package release notes and this month’s top community links. Emails like these are budget-friendly and easy to create and send with the help of email automation tools.
Here is an example of HubSpot sending out an email blast inviting subscribers to attend a webinar. What’s great about this email is that it’s personalized (addressing the recipient by name), and the entire message of the email is highlighted in the header and bolded in the first sentence. The next part that stands out is the “Meet the Speakers” section which is clearly presented, followed by a CTA underneath.
The key takeaway here is that the recipient needs a few seconds to sufficiently understand what the email is about and not spend a lot of time reading the entire text.
- New Products
The clothing retailer Next generates a substantial amount of its business from eCommerce activities. So it’s no surprise they make an extra effort to update their community about new products. The email design and copy are nice but nothing otherworldly, right? The cool part is that they do a fantastic job segmenting their audience.
The recipient of this email has been buying adult clothing with Next for a good few years. But recently became a parent, bought some baby onesies a couple of times, and ever since has been getting updates on new kid products.
With toddlers generally outgrowing their clothes every six months or so, factor in seasonal changes, parents make great buyers, and such email blast campaigns are winners in conversion rates.
Benefits of email blasting
Numbers always win, and with e-blasting, the email deliverability and open rates are naturally high once you build a solid subscriber base. Subsequently, this leads to higher conversions at a low cost compared to other marketing channels. The best part is that with the correct email-sending service, it’s easy to measure these metrics and see whether your emails are successful.
The simplicity of getting your email delivered via blasting is another benefit and is often an overlooked one. No complex social media campaigns or posts across multiple platforms that need to be scheduled as stories, shorts, and whatnot. All you need to do is add the addresses from the collected contact list and hit the send button. So whether you’re a small business or a large corporation with tons of marketing automation in place, e-blasts are great for you.
Of course, your message has to be well-crafted, have the right subject line, a good call-to-action button, etc. But the fact is that once that hard part is done, distributing that message is straightforward and quick. Not to mention that if a recipient wants to share the email, it takes one finger motion to expand the message’s reach further.
😢However, it is not all cotton candy, popcorn, sit back and relax when it comes to email blasting.
For many recipients, the messages can just be irrelevant, leading to them quickly deleting the email or transferring it straight to the spam folder. We’ve all done this, especially once we know who the sender is, but still kind of want to get their emails just in case it’s something worthy.
Another reason email blasting gets a bad rep is that your email subscribers know the message was sent to a mass audience rather than to them exclusively. This makes it impersonal and leads to a feeling of detachment from the sender.
So email blasting is not there to be a core approach to your email marketing strategy.
How to send an effective email blast?
One important thing to understand is that e-blasts can still be used in marketing despite being disliked by those who prefer email marketing campaigns. If done correctly, email blasts can be a blast. 🥁
So here are some best practices to make the most out of your e-blasts:
- Build the audience like a wine collection.
There are two main points to remember here: sending emails to a list you bought from a data vendor will bring poor results if any. Secondly, you can get into serious legal trouble.
Instead of purchasing an email list, build your own by encouraging people to subscribe with valuable content and incentives. These can be exclusive promotions, early access to new products, etc. You can even send a personalized welcome email to new subscribers, asking them to select topics they’d like to hear about.
Of course, this is a complicated and timely path, but one that will yield results in the long run. Furthermore, you’ll avoid breaking any regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act, and emailing people who didn’t choose to get these emails in the first place.
- Segment like a detective and then target like a biathlete.
Once you have an organic list of new subscribers, spend time investigating who they are and consider how to segment them for better conversion. Take into account factors such as demographics, purchase history, location, and all the other important elements you can think of.
Once you have invested time and effort in email list segmentation, targeting specific groups will be easier. Personalized emails based on who the group is and what will resonate with them will drive engagement.
For example, suppose you are targeting an elderly couple. In that case, you could focus on your product’s safety and security benefits, highlighting its ease of use and peace of mind. On the other hand, if you target young parents, you could focus on the safety and security benefits of the product and emphasize the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your little one is protected.
- Add some Charles Dickens and Picasso in your email content.
No one likes reading generic text, so don’t shy away from being creative with your content. Using engaging language, vivid descriptions, and a conversational tone will make the email STAND out.
However, it’s a thin line between being creative and coming across as a spammy promotional email, so be cautious. Especially when it comes to email subject lines, since this is the first thing people see, being more straightforward and factual is a better idea in this case. Also, remember that many email service providers have spam filters that detect such language and can block your domain after a few violations.
Another important part to mention is the wording and placement of your CTA. Don’t get carried away with too much creativity that will lead to confusion, a CTA should always be clear, concise, and compelling.
Creative text is great, but the visuals do the attention capturing. Focusing on crafting a solid email design can make all the difference in how effective your communication is. The best way to go about this is to have a template that aligns with your overall brand design. Seek a designer that can help you create an email template that evokes emotions but is functional and has a clear hierarchy with an intuitive layout.
- Choose email marketing tools that’ll make you an analytical mad scientist.
Now that you’ve made all these steps, it’s time to send the email. This is where choosing the right email marketing service is crucial. The correct marketing platform can provide the tools and resources needed for effective reach and, more importantly, tracking and analyzing the results.
If there are no insights into your email efforts, you’re shooting in the air, hoping to hit something. Measuring the success of your email blast is what will bring success – how else would you know what needs improvement and what’s working?
Your email marketing software should give you access to some core metrics, such as:
- Open rates – indicate the effectiveness of your subject line and generally how well your emails are received.
- Click-through rates – shows the percentage of an engaged audience and if the email effectively guides them to the links. Read more on click rate.
- Conversion rates – the moment of truth for your CTA button.
- Unsubscribes – if the numbers are high, consider cutting down the number of emails you send or/and doing better segmentation for better content relevance.
- Spam complaints and Forwarding rates – demonstrate your email’s level of interest and influence.
- Dare to be great in optimization.
At this point, you’ve taken all the necessary steps, and what’s left is to optimize and improve your emails based on the metrics’ results. And this should be a Non-Stop process.
In this case, the phrase “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” is not the philosophy to go by. No matter how well the performance is, there is always room for improvement.
Doing an A/B test is one way to determine if something works better. With A/B tests, you can experiment with different subject lines, layout designs, and call-to-action to see what resonates with your audience more and choose the best email.
But what is a good open rate for an email blast?
Before you lock yourself in a room with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates and start sobbing over a low open rate, you must understand what’s considered a good one in the first place.
Between 15-30% is considered a good open rate! Yes, it’s that low, but the truth is that it also highly varies depending on your industry. So doing some competitor research is a must here.
On the other hand, a bounce rate of 2% is regarded as normal, and a conversion rate of 2-5% is suitable for email blasts. So, while striving for high open rates is a must, it’s also important to remember the rest of the key metrics and not just focus on one.
And there you have it, folks! We hope this article is just enough to get you started on the path of e-blasting. But if you wish to have more than a basic understanding of how e-blasts work, step up your email game and learn what email marketing is all about.