Businesses have plenty of platforms at their disposal to get their messages to the masses, but email marketing is still one of the most crucial. Emails are a reliable, affordable and efficient way to reach prospects of all types, regardless of their position in the customer journey.
Email blasts are a commonly used type of content marketing and can be highly engaging (or irritating, if executed poorly). When planned carefully, these campaigns can provide incredible ROI (return on investment) without alienating your audience. If you want to learn how to send a compelling email blast to your subscriber base, this guide will set you up for success.
An email blast is a stand-alone email message you send to at least a large portion of your contact list. The goal is to reach as wide of an audience as possible with minimal investment on the front end. Also known as broadcast emails, bulk emails or mass emails, email blasts are usually independent of targeted campaigns and are more urgent in nature.
The message within an email blast is usually promotional, such as enticing news about a sale or special. Email newsletters typically fall into the e-blast category as well. Email blasts may also include important news or unexpected updates that you must communicate quickly. While seemingly innocuous, e-blasts get a bad reputation when executed poorly, so it is essential to use them properly.
When sending an email blast, there are several steps you should follow.
A powerful, intuitive service to help deliver your e-blasts is essential to success. Email marketing software allows you to create a contact list, segment that list, design emails, build campaigns, and schedule delivery. Marketing automation is one of the key functions of these services, making them beneficial for more than just e-blasts.
An email list is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal, as it’s a direct line to potential and returning customers. Simply put, an email list is a collection of email addresses from people who have consented and opted in to receive communications from your company. There are several ways to grow your email list, but you should never add contacts without their permission, as it violates federal regulations on email marketing.
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Email list segmentation divides your contacts into smaller groups (segments) based on related characteristics. This may include demographics such as age, location, and gender and/or metrics such as previous purchasing behavior or stage in the customer journey. Segmenting your list helps you understand your audience while helping increase engagement by personalizing the emails.
Email blasts are usually sent to most of your contacts with little differentiation. However, depending on the size of your list, it may be worth targeting your e-blasts when possible. For example, tweak the messaging and delivery time slightly to fit the different regions where your subscribers reside.
Now that you’ve created a contact list and segmented it according to useful criteria for your company’s marketing efforts, it’s time to produce an email blast. The way you complete the email design will depend on the marketing service you use. Email templates may be available, but the messaging is what counts.
Use a compelling subject line that is engaging and clearly invites immediate action. When writing an email campaign, keep the body copy simple and punchy, using bold text or bullet points to stand out to those just skimming your message. Impactful calls to action at the bottom should tell the reader what you want them to do (e.g., “shop now” or “sign up today”) and provide a link for easy conversion. After proofreading, you can schedule the blast for delivery.
Sending the email blast and noting the number of conversions is not the end of your mission. It’s also vital to examine how recipients interacted with the email’s content and links to better understand the results of your team’s efforts. Email analytics such as your open rate, click-through rate, and deliverability indicate levels of success as well as areas that need improvement. It is crucial to continually review this data to help refine your efforts and boost the results of your future email marketing campaigns.
When you’re crafting an email blast, these practices could be the difference between conversion and spam designation:
Email marketing requires a delicate balance. Too many messages can frustrate recipients, while too few can send your business into obscurity. The sweet spot for your business depends on your type of operation and the needs of your contacts.
Most companies should send an email blast at least once per month, but no more than once per week. This ensures you remain relevant to your audience without being invasive. Consider testing different frequencies and comparing historical email data to see how often your contact list wants to hear from you.
Statistically, Omnisend found that the best days of the month to send marketing emails are the fifth, seventh and 12th days, especially if they land on a Tuesday or Thursday. As for the time of day, 8 a.m. tends to get the best results.
Make sure your business model is a fit for an email blast before making it part of your strategy. You’ll want to balance being top-of-mind for your customers and not coming off as spammy.
An e-blast is best for when you want to communicate important information across segments. Therefore, they tend to perform best when used for a specific purpose, not as a general marketing tool. Being deliberate and strategic in your blast will all but ensure good results. Here are some examples of the perfect e-blast occasions:
A message letting your entire contact list know about a limited-time offer or flash sale is one of the best uses of the e-blast technique. Relying more on imagery in the body of the email to encourage clicks may also pay off.
Here are a couple of sample subject lines that are perfect for a bulk email push advertising a flash sale:
Announcing a new addition to your product line or adding a new service to your agency is another great use for an email blast. In this case, consider segmenting between prospective customers and existing ones to maximize effectiveness.
Try one of these sample subject lines for your next launch:
If your company offers online training or in-person events, an e-blast could be the perfect way to encourage people to save the date or register. A subsequent reminder email blast could include ways the recipient can share their attendance, potentially boosting conversion.
Consider these sample subject lines when crafting an e-blast for your next webinar or event:
Use personalization and segmentation to ensure email blasts are relevant to each recipient.
Marketing newsletters are somewhat in a league of their own, in that they tend to be more structured and in line with longer-term campaigns. However, they are still generally considered email blasts because they are usually sent to most contacts on the sender’s list. They typically contain company updates, blog snippets, promotional information, or fun content such as quizzes.
Subject lines for newsletters should reflect the copy within, but inviting subscribers to engage by asking questions or offering a unique value-add tends to increase open rates.
There are several reasons why a business may want to deploy an email blast.
With so many risks at play, you may wonder if sending a single email as a blast is worthwhile at all. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to get the best results possible.
Due to the lack of personalization with email blasts,consider your business model and the habits of your most engaged users before you implement email blasts as a marketing strategy.
The purpose of email marketing software is to make sending email blasts easier. We have analyzed dozens of email marketing software platforms and evaluated them on different aspects to select the best email marketing software for email blasts. Here are some of our top picks.
Constant Contact is an easy-to-use and robust email marketing platform that makes sending email blasts simple. In addition to a wide variety of email templates for different industries and purposes, it provides marketing automation with behavioral triggers that allow you to personalize your emails, which makes each email feel like it was sent individually rather than as part of a blast. Its drag-and-drop editing, free stock photos and content-creating AI make creating email blasts a snap. Learn more in our review of Constant Contact.
If email blasts are a big part of your marketing strategy, consider using Campaigner. While it’s more expensive than some of the other options, Campaigner has over 900 predesigned and customizable templates as well as precoded HTML landing pages to increase the size of your email list. The higher plan includes automation workflows, segment sampling and purchase data, making your email blasts easier and more effective. Learn more in our review of Campaigner.
Beginners will appreciate the nearly full function of Mailchimp’s free email marketing platform. It is intuitive and has the templates, reports and list management of the paid platforms but with no cost is a great choice for start-ups and those new to email blasts. Once you get your feet wet, you can upgrade to the paid plan, which gives you multiuser accounts, the ability to do A/B testing, additional templates and advanced reporting.
Benchmark provides advanced features such as behavior-based email follow-up, A/B testing and automated customer journey templates at a price that is affordable for most small businesses. The drag-and-drop editor makes creating email blasts easy, and an HTML editor is available for more complex needs. Many email templates are available, and the service also provides an AI component that can help you write your email blast content quickly, whether it is tailored for B2B, B2C or e-commerce. Learn more in our review of Benchmark.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.