What Is an Email Blast and How to Do It Right
Whether you’re creating a website for your new business or planning your next big event, you’re going to need a way to spread the word. There are more than a few marketing choices you have available to you, but a simple, affordable, and highly effective method is the email blast.
The email blast is a core component of email marketing. The purpose of such emails is to drive more traffic to your site, increase brand awareness, or notify users of an important update or upcoming event.
Email blasts are a powerful asset to your marketing strategy, and they can help you build deeper relationships with customers if you get them right. If you get them wrong, however, they can come across as annoying or even spammy.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what, exactly, an email blast is - and how to use it properly in order to boost conversions and grow your brand.
What is an email blast?
An email marketing strategy, in its most basic sense, is the use of email as a tool to promote your brand. An email blast, specifically, is a single marketing email that you send to a large number of subscribers on your mailing list.
Email blasts are an efficient form of communication for sending newsletters, promotions and discounts, new product updates, and eBooks and tutorials.
Email blasts: the good and the bad
That said, email blasts don’t always have a great reputation. There’s some controversy over whether email blasts are actually effective, or whether they’re just another form of spam.
The main criticism of email blasts is that they’re simply irrelevant to a large portion of the recipients. When the same email is sent to a large bulk of subscribers - irrespective of their interests, wants, or needs - it can come across as impersonal. On top of that, users may find them invasive, offering little more than additional clutter for their inboxes. As a result, the recipients may ignore the emails, mark them as spam, or even unsubscribe. Many even shudder at the term “email blast.” After all, does anyone ever want to be blasted with anything?
This bad reputation, however, is largely a matter of semantics and unlucky past experiences. Tarnished by a history of poorly created, irrelevant, and pushy promotional emails, the term itself sometimes puts people off.
Despite the reservations of some, the effectiveness of good email marketing remains indisputable. Just as any bad marketing email can degenerate into spam, any good marketing email can bolster a brand’s image and offer real value to users. Whatever you choose to call it - a marketing email, an email blast, or an email campaign - there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
How to do an email blast properly
The most effective email blasts feel more personal than promotional. You’ll want the content of your emails to be genuinely interesting and engaging for the recipients, so that they welcome your emails and enjoy reading them.
These email marketing tips will help you create an email blast the right way:
Choose an email marketing service.
Build, don’t obtain, your email list.
Segment your audience.
Target your campaign.
Use a compelling CTA.
Take advantage of analytics.
Optimize and improve.
01. Choose an email marketing service
While you probably already have an email account, you’ll need fully equipped email marketing services for your email blast strategy. Marketing automation tools help minimize the grunt work, allowing you to easily create different mailing lists and send emails in bulk.
There are several email marketing services out there, including:
We recommend Wix email marketing because of its easy contact integration and beautiful, customizable templates that make your emails look instantly professional. The platform also provides easy-to-read stats on opens, views, and clicks so that you know which types of emails resonate best with your audience.
02. Build, don’t obtain, your mailing list
Once you’ve chosen your email marketing service, it’s time to start compiling a mailing list. As a word of caution, don’t add people to your list without their permission; present-day laws and regulations require that users must first sign up, or opt in, to receive emails from a business. Plus, sending out emails indiscriminately is unlikely to convert users - and may actually make your business look bad.
In contrast, sending to people who have taken the time to subscribe - and who therefore have demonstrated interest in your brand - means you’ll be reaching high-quality users with more potential to convert.
To get more subscribers, you can implement the following strategies:
Place calls-to-action (CTAs) on relevant web pages and blog posts.
Include landing pages on your website that link to email signup forms.
Entice users to subscribe by offering them free value, such as a free eBook or coupon code.
Promote your brand with social media marketing.
Build a relatable brand identity using appealing brand language and visuals.
Using these methods will spread the word about your subscription option and encourage people to sign up.
03. Segment your audience
You want to make sure your email list contains genuine subscribers, but there’s more to it than that. Once you’ve built your list, you can break it into groups to ensure that the right emails are sent to the right people at the right time.
This process of dividing up your email list by category is called segmentation. Segmentation allows you to create different sets of emails for different groups of people, allowing you to provide users with content that addresses their specific interests.
Segmentation by demographics: There are a few different ways to segment your mailing list. One option is to divide your users by age, location, gender, or another demographic metric. For instance, you might create one group for middle-aged women in the US, a different group for teenage girls in the US, and a third group for middle-aged women in Australia.
Segmentation by purchasing behavior: Another option is to divide your mailing list by user behavior. Let’s say you have an arts and crafts eCommerce website, and you’ve decided to segment your existing customers based on their purchasing record. When you have a sale on yarn, you send an email promotion only to customers who have purchased knitting supplies in the past - and not to customers who have purchased oil paints. Because you’re sending this email only to customers already interested in knitting, the email campaign will be perceived as useful, rather than spammy, and the recipients will be more compelled to buy.
Segmentation by customer journey: Relatedly, you can divide your email list based on your users’ journey through the marketing funnel. That way, you’ll be able to send a variety of different email types depending on your customers’ familiarity and interest in your brand. For example, you might send welcome emails to new subscribers, in-depth content to repeat buyers, and reminder emails to those with items in their shopping cart.
However you choose to segment your mailing list, your goal should be to create emails that are personal, relatable, and genuinely valuable for each group.
04. Target your campaign
This brings us to the next point: targeting. Once you divide your email list into different segments, you’ll need to create targeted emails designed to speak to each of these groups.
Start by creating a buyer persona for each segment. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of a typical customer, designed to give you insights into actual people who might be interested in your brand. When creating your buyer personas, consider the demographics, interests, and demonstrated online behavior of each customer type.
Then, based on this information, create slightly different email campaigns for each of your customer segments. If you’re targeting millennials, for instance, you might want to use modern, casual jargon to make your brand more relatable. If you’re targeting people who love the outdoors, you might want your emails to boast awe-inspiring landscape photography.
You should also consider whether you have audiences in multiple countries. In that case, you should keep in mind that what’s culturally relevant for one audience may not be culturally relevant for another.
Depending on your particular audience segments, you’ll need the language, appearance, and overall message of your emails to appeal to these distinct customer types.
05. Use a compelling CTA
A call-to-action button, or a CTA, is the little snippet of microcopy that encourages your audience to click. It’s the most essential ingredient of your email blasts - without it, you wouldn’t get any conversions or traffic to your website, defeating the purpose of your entire email campaign.
To create an effective CTA, you’ll need to define the goal of each email blast you create. Is your goal to get people to make a purchase? To download an eBook? To reserve their spot for an online course? Whatever your intentions may be, make them very clear in your CTA.
There are many CTA examples you can browse as inspiration for your email blast. For instance, a CTA encouraging people to participate in a sale might read “Shop the Sale,” while a CTA encouraging you to download an eBook might say “Download My Free eBook.”
In addition to the text itself, your CTA needs to link to the relevant web page, landing page, or online form. That way, you can direct interested users toward fulfilling the desired outcome of your campaign.
06. Take advantage of analytics
As we mentioned, the best email marketing platforms have integrated analytics data. Rather than composing your campaigns as you go, you should look at key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand which emails do and don’t perform well with your audience.
Delivery rate: This tracks the number of emails delivered. If some of the emails on your list aren’t getting delivered, then those email addresses may not exist.
Open rate: This displays the number of emails opened so that you know whether subscribers are actually paying attention to your messages.
Click rate: This shows you how many people clicked on a link within your email, and which links generate the most traffic.
Bounce rate: In contrast to the number of emails delivered, the bounce rate shows you how many addresses were either invalid or had an issue receiving your message.
Spam complaints: This shows you whether any of your emails are getting marked as spam. Continually monitor this metric so that you can improve your strategy accordingly.
While all these numbers might seem confusing at first, your email marketing platform calculates these metrics automatically. Depending on which platform you choose to use, you will be able to view your email marketing statistics on a dashboard so that they’re clear to understand and easy to analyze.
07. Optimize and improve
Now that you know which metrics to look at, it’s time to use those numbers to improve your future email blast campaigns. Be sure to take note of the success of each email you send. Which emails have an open rate or click rate above your typical average? On the flip side, are there any emails whose metrics are especially low?
Compare your various campaigns, and think about which types of emails prove most effective with your audience. There are dozens of factors that could affect your metrics, whether it’s the placement of your CTA, your subject line, the look and tone of your emails, or the inclusion of discounts or special offers. You can also take a look at whether the time or day of the week you send your email blasts affects your conversions.
The most important thing to remember is that successful email blasts are a product of experimentation and adaptation. You’ll always need to tweak and tailor your email campaigns based on the data so that they become a welcome presence in your subscribers’ inboxes.
What to put in your email blasts
Now that you know the right way to go about your email marketing strategy, let’s go over some examples of the kinds of content you can put in your email blasts:
One major purpose of an email blast is to reward your subscribers by offering them real value. You can do this by offering them exclusive access to in-depth, informative content such as eBooks, webinars, PowerPoint presentations, and more. This will incentivize users to keep opening your emails, while simultaneously showcasing your knowledge and authority in your industry.
Relatedly, you can tell subscribers about your latest company news and tips in the form of a daily, weekly, or monthly email newsletter. Email newsletters offer readers insightful, actionable content, often by linking to articles on your blog. They’re a great way to promote your blog and encourage readers to engage with your brand on a consistent basis. Plus, a compelling email newsletter design will instantly entice your audience and help solidify your brand image and personality.
Company updates and new products
You can also send an email blast to spread the word about changes in your product or company. These can range from notifying people of new features to promoting your new website. For product updates, it’s a good idea to segment your mailing list based on new and existing customers. This way, you’ll be able to send different campaigns to them based on their familiarity with your brand.
When you have an event coming up - whether it’s a webinar or a tenth anniversary party for your company - send an email blast to your subscribers to share the news. This is a good way to touch base with them and put your company at the front of their minds, while offering them the benefits of a fun or educational activity.
Flash sales and discounts
If you have an eCommerce website, consider sending email blasts whenever you have a sale or special promotion. Site-wide sales will pique the interest of a broad range of customers, so feel free to send this message as a mass email to all your subscribers. Special promotions and coupon codes, on the other hand, will be most effective if they’re targeted toward recipients with demonstrated interest in the items in question.
By Rebecca Strehlow
Wix Blog Writer