With all of the online marketing methods available – from blogging, to social media, landing pages, and more – email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach out to prospects.
Yet, email is a complex beast. It’s a staple of digital marketing, but it’s not as straightforward to succeed with it as you think.
The process is fairly standard: Build your email list, do timed email blasts, nurture leads, and win. Except every single part of that “fairly standard” process can be tricky.
Email blasts are especially challenging.
After all, each blast will either help nurture your leads or cause your prospects to unsubscribe, or worse, mark you as spam. Luckily, you probably already have the basic ingredients you need to cook up awesome email blasts.
What Is an Email Blast?
An email blast refers to any single email that is sent to a large list of recipients.
Email blasts are often used as one-off announcement emails. Whether it's a limited time offer, a sale, a new product launch, or other company updates, sending an email blast will ensure your information gets seen by your audience all at once.
Pros and Cons of Email Blasts
Pro: It Can Help Spread Your Message Faster.
If you have a huge new product or promotion and need to get the word out ASAP, an email blast is the perfect solution.
Since email blasts are commonly sent to an entire email list, you can be sure that your entire audience will hear about it.
Con: They Can Be Seen as Spammy.
Unfortunately, over the years, people have come to see email blasts as spammy. I mean, it is fair to assume if you don't put in the proper effort to target, personalize, and properly time your message to your audience, it's going to go right in the trash bin.
People don't want unwanted emails that are irrelevant to them. If you're sending out an email blast to an entire list of recipients, it's highly possible you will lose the attention of a handful.
Pro: It Can Improve Brand Recognition.
In a way, an email blast can boost your brand recognition. If you're a company that runs promotions and deals often, sending out highly targeted, impactful email blasts to your audience on a regular (but not too regular) basis can keep your brand at top of your prospects' minds.
Keep in mind: To build brand recognition, you should have consistent branding elements in your emails to provide a sense of familiarity to your recipients.
Con: It's Not a Scalable Tactic.
Email blasts are just that: one-off emails that can be sent to a large audience. Don't confuse it with a traditional email campaign.
Because of this, it's safe to assume you should be sending out email blasts to your audience every other day. Therefore, it's not a very scalable marketing tactic that should be built into your marketing strategy, so don't bother spending too much time on email blasts.
Pros and cons aside, email blasts still can be very beneficial to your company – if they're done right.
20 Email Blast Tips You Need to Know
When sending a email blast to your audience, don't just type, select, and send. It is still a marketing tactic, after all!
Here are 20 email blast best practices to help you get the most bang from your next email blast.
1. Don't Think of It as an Email Blast.
Ok, this first tip might seem hypocritical, but hear us out.
If you plan on just "blasting" out emails whenever you see fit, you need to sit down and rethink your email marketing strategy.
Every email you send from your company, whether a part of a campaign or a one-off promotional email, should deliver value to your audience.
Encourage prospects and customers to engage with your brand and build a relationship with your company. This can be done by offering industry insights, promotions, and new opportunities to learn and grow with your company.
2. When It Comes to Your List, Think Quality, Not Quantity.
It's a common misconception that you need a list of "thousands" to effectively use email marketing. Not true! Email marketing is a smart strategy no matter what size your list.
Build a quality list of opt-ins, customers, and personal contacts that you have a strong working relationship with.
3. Keep Your Brand Front and Center.
Make sure your email gets recognized!
Use consistent fonts, colors, logos, and other brand identifiers so that recipients can easily identify where the email is coming from. To streamline the process even more, build a template using your brand style guide to keep all your emails uniform.
Don't have branding elements? Hire a graphic designer and put together a brand package. It's money well spent!
4. Be Consistent.
Consistency is key to brand awareness and recognition. This is where an email template can help – the same format and structure can become more familiar to your audience, so the next time they receive an email blast, they know right where to look for your offer.
5. Get to the Point.
Don't force your recipients to read through a novel of text. Nothing is worse than opening an email hinting at a special deal and having to sift through paragraphs of nonsense to actually get to the main reason for the email.
Lead with the value proposition of the email you’re sending. Make sure your main message is concise and to the point – don't make your audience fish around for the good stuff.
6. Personalize Where You Can.
Just because you are sending out a mass email doesn't mean you can't give it a personalized touch!
Many email service providers offer personalization tools that will automatically insert first names, company names, and more into an email to personalize your message to each recipient.
If you have this ability, use it. An email that's addressed directly to you always feels a little bit better than just "hey there."
7. Time Your Emails.
How often should you send blasts? Monitor data to see how many recipients open your email and what days and times are best. Check the click-through rate and how many unsubscribe.
Know which are loyal customers and which are potential prospects. Make changes and keep testing until you find the sweet spot.
8. Embed Hyperlinks.
Hyperlinks make CTAs easy to execute. Plus, your email blast software can keep track of how many readers click the link and which offers are most productive.
Consider A/B testing your CTAs using different wording to see what resonates with your audience the best, or try using the same link two or three times in a single email to optimize conversions.
9. Write to Your Audience.
Who is your typical reader? Is it the CEO of a mid-sized corporation seeking solutions, or a mom and dad looking for educational software for their toddler?
It might seem obvious, but write to your target audience. Emotions sell when it comes to any marketing. You need to connect on a personal level, so always write to your audience. This is why creating buyer personas is key to reaching the right audience – if you haven't already developed personas for your business, start there.
10. Use Imagery to Captivate Attention.
Pictures can tell a lot about your product or service, sometimes even more than a paragraph of text.
Use high-quality images in your email blasts, and optimize them appropriately. Keep in mind proper alt text best practices and image sizes – long downloads can lose prospects!
11. Make Them An Offer They Can't Refuse...
People love getting value! Whether it's a two-for-one coupon or access to valuable premium content, incentivize your emails to increase engagement and encourage recipients to buy into what you're offering.
12. Make It Easy to Take Action.
Put as few clicks, forms, and page loads as possible between the email you sent and the action you want accomplished.
If you require your recipient to sign up for something, for instance, offer one-click signup integration with existing accounts such as Google or LinkedIn to make it easier for them.
13. Give Multiple Options For Maximum Convenience.
Sometimes what you want to achieve can be done multiple ways – want them to contact you back if they show interest?
Allow them all the available options to do so: They can reply to your email, make a phone call right then and there (make sure to include your phone number), and navigate to your contact page (include a link) with options pre-populated when they click through.
14. Use Social Media Widgets.
An email blast should never have a dead end – always give your email recipients additional ways of engaging! Ask them to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Use widgets so they can just click to follow you.
This is a great nurturing tactic. Even if they're not yet ready to buy, they'll choose a company they're engaging with when they are.
15. Only Blast Opt-Ins....
...and never buy lists! Sending unwanted email is the fastest way to end up blacklisted. To be extra safe, use a double opt-in system.
16. Clean Your List Regularly.
Inactive users are more likely to report your email as spam. Every so often, review your email list and remove inactive users to reduce the chance that you'll be blacklisted.
17. Send a Test to Yourself First.
Revision is key to any piece of content your business creates. Send a test email to yourself or a coworker before blasting it out to the whole world (Ok, it's just a targeted list, but it probably feels like the whole world.).
This is a good practice to make sure there are no formatting, spelling, or grammatical issues, and it also gives you the opportunity to “see it through your customers' eyes.”
18. Make Your Emails Interactive.
The point to an email blast is to engage, inspire action, and solicit a response. Make your CTAs direct and to the point.
Keep your design clean and focused, and remember every element should support your message!
19. Keep Your Contact Information Prominently Visible.
Make it as easy as possible for your recipients to reach out to you.
Use a professional signature that includes your direct phone number and email address. As a bonus, include your photo in your signature so people will see who's sending these emails!
20. Always Provide Value.
Prospects found you because they were seeking information. Today, consumers expect more from the companies they engage with, both online and off.
Make sure you provide the value they're seeking and keep them engaged by offering something of value in every email blast!
The email blast is a cost-effective way to engage, convert and sell to your customers. These 20 tips and best practices will help you to develop an email marketing strategy that really works!