The term originated in the early days of email marketing when sending a mass mailing (read: blasting) was a new idea that contrasted with the more familiar way of using email as two-way correspondence. At the time, the internet was a lawless wasteland didn’t have many regulations, so once the wrong person got ahold of your email address, they could and would spam you with whatever they pleased. It was completely free advertising!
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
In dividing your list in this manner, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication. Some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new versions. If you don’t give them the chance to choose, you risk losing them all-together. Since customers make the best buyers, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your customer email list.
If you are still interested in trying direct mail, I would suggest using USPS Every Door Direct Mail Service. With this service, you can target the specific area you are interested in sending a mailer to. If you have the budget, send out 1,000 direct mail pieces to start and see how many sales you get. It’s a good idea to include a promotion, like 15% off of your first purchase, to entice people to buy your product. If you use a code that is unique to your direct mail campaign, you will also be able to track how many sales came directly from your direct mail piece.
Maggie Aland is a staff writer for Fit Small Business and editor of the Marketing and Reviews sections. She writes on a variety of marketing topics, ranging from newspaper ads to how to market your business on Facebook. Before joining Fit Small Business, Maggie worked as a marketing associate at a niche publishing company. There she was responsible for determining the marketing plan and keeping up with the budget of 10+ B2B products. Her experience includes email, direct mail, social media, events, and more. When not editing or writing, you can find Maggie looking for the best brunch spots in NYC.
The concept is simple. If someone is reading an in-depth blog post of yours, chances are they’re very interested in what you have to say on the topic. The key is to then offer them something that is directly related to the topic they’re reading about. You know they’re already interested, so by offering instantaneous extra value it’s not difficult to see why people would gladly sign up.
Launch Outlook and click the “New E-mail” button. Click the “To” button and, if necessary, choose an address book. From here, choose your blast recipients, which appear in alphabetical order. Press and hold down the “Ctrl” key, then click once on each person that you want to include in the group. If you’d rather do a blind blast -- where recipients can’t see each others' names -- add one name to the "To" field, then click the “Bcc” field and add the recipients here instead, then click the “OK.”
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was passed by Congress as a direct response to the growing number of complaints over spam e-mails. Congress determined that the US government was showing an increased interest in the regulation of commercial electronic mail nationally, that those who send commercial e-mails should not mislead recipients over the source or content of them, and that all recipients of such emails have a right to decline them. The act authorizes a US $16,000 penalty per violation for spamming each individual recipient. However, it does not ban spam emailing outright, but imposes laws on using deceptive marketing methods through headings which are "materially false or misleading". In addition there are conditions which email marketers must meet in terms of their format, their content and labeling. As a result, many commercial email marketers within the United States utilize a service or special software to ensure compliance with the act. A variety of older systems exist that do not ensure compliance with the act. To comply with the act's regulation of commercial email, services also typically require users to authenticate their return address and include a valid physical address, provide a one-click unsubscribe feature, and prohibit importing lists of purchased addresses that may not have given valid permission.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in marketing, statistics, business administration or a similar field is the common requirement to enter a career in marketing. If you'd like to specialize in e-marketing, you could complete a bachelor's program in this field. Certificate and master's degree programs in e-marketing are also available, if you have a different education background and now want to enter this field.
So far I have refrained from telling her all the reasons I hate the term eblast or email blast. She clearly doesn’t like sending the email and doesn’t think too highly of it, so correcting her email marketing terminology is not likely to be a fun conversation. But I do think "eblast" is worth talking about with you. If you’re an email marketer, you’re probably annoyed by the term “eblast” or “email blast” too.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
As we wrote in an earlier post, 7 Email List Hygiene Best Practices for a Fresh & Clean List, it’s far better to let people unsubscribe – to make it really easy for them to unsubscribe – than to keep them on your list. Don’t blast people – force people – into getting your email messages. Email marketing at its best is not mass advertising. It is tailored, persona-driven, relationship-building, inbound marketing.
To do an email blast, start by finding an email blasting software or website you can use, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. Then, upload your email blast and all of the contacts you want to send the email to. When you're writing your email blast, include a compelling subject line, like "Act Today, 25 percent off all shirts," so people are more likely to open it. Also, try to use actionable language throughout your email, like "Buy now" or "Call today," to encourage people to act when they read your email blast.
It's important to know the exact result you want before you begin. Then make that result happen by ending your message with a specific call to action (or CTA). A call to action might be "call us now," "use this discount code in our shop," or "schedule a demo." Make sure the CTA is direct and appealing, and that you show the reader why it's worth their time to click, visit, or call.
Email marketing has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels available when it’s done well. Email today needs to feel like one-on-one conversations with each audience member, but it also needs to scale. Make sure your strategies are up-to-date so your emails are getting delivered and cutting through the noise.