You’re likely aware that achieving the highest open and click-through rates in email marketing involves segmenting your email list audience before sending out messages.
This approach tailors the content to meet the unique needs and interests of each segment, significantly increasing the likelihood of engagement.
However, there are instances when you might opt for a different approach and send an email to a large portion of your email marketing contact list simultaneously. This is known as an “email blast.”
Contrary to common belief, email blast campaigns can be beneficial and have their merits. In the following sections, we’ll explore the value of email blasts in email marketing.
Additionally, you’ll learn about the appropriate timing and methods for employing an email blast with your email list. To maximize the effectiveness of these email blast campaigns, we’ll also provide you with valuable tips and best practices that you can implement.
As you delve into the details, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to leverage email blast campaigns strategically, complementing your existing segmented campaigns to achieve optimal results in your email marketing efforts.
What Is an Email Blast?
Before we get into our tips for generating positive results from an email blast marketing campaign to your email subscribers, let’s begin with an email blast definition.
As we mentioned in the intro, an email blast or e-blast is a mass message almost your entire email list audience receives.
It’s a blanket message intended for just about every one of your email subscribers, but you will do customer segmentation before sending the email blast (more on this later).
Now, not all email marketers rely on email blast campaigns as part of their best email marketing campaigns. That’s because these generalized messages don’t often perform as well as segmented emails do.
We say “often” because that’s not always true.
How to Create an Email Blast
- 1. Know Why You’re Sending the Email Blast
- 2. Make Sure Your Subject Line Grabs the Recipient’s Attention
- 3. Use Your First Three Sentences to Make an Impact
- 4. Add Some Personalization
Email blasts, although not to be used very often, can come in handy while executing your email blast campaigns.
Hence, you’re going to want to get started with your own email blast campaigns sooner than later.
While we certainly recommend you read the tips we’ll share later in this article, for now, here are a few other methods for creating the best email blasts to your email list.
1. Know Why You’re Sending the Email Blast
Why did you choose an email blast over a more targeted, tailored email for your email campaigns? It shouldn’t just be because you felt like it.
Your blanket email should have some purpose that you cannot achieve with a more segmented message.
For instance, do you want to send a newsletter to your email list? An email blast makes for the perfect template in which to send your email newsletters.
Has your company recently expanded, shifting initiatives or introducing a new project or merger? You’d send a company-wide email blast only to your employees, not your customers.
You could also have just launched a discount on a big seller and you want your entire audience to know about it. This email blast would go to your customers.
No matter which reason of the above suits you best right now, do know that the best email blast campaigns call for the same level of planning as targeted email campaigns.
It might not look like it on the surface, but you’re not just randomly sending emails with no foresight.
2. Make Sure Your Subject Line Grabs the Recipient’s Attention
Like you would with a tailored email, you must put some time and care into the subject line of your next email blasts.
After all, as we’ll show you later in this article, it doesn’t exactly get the same open rates as more targeted emails do.
That should come as no surprise at this point, but it does mean you have to work harder to achieve the results you want for your email blast campaigns.
Part of that begins with a stellar subject line.
Our first tip for writing the best email blast subject lines is to refrain from using any language that comes across as spammy and will find its place in the spam folder.
Saying things like “free limited offer,” in your subject line, even if that’s exactly what you’re offering, might land your email marketing message straight in the spam folder.
Or, if the email recipients in your email list even get your message, they’ll send it to the trash bin.
Keep your punctuation down to normal levels, and don’t abuse the caps lock key for your subject line, either.
Both can also send your email marketing message in the spam folder/spam filter where it will never be seen by the email recipients.
We’ve covered on this blog many a time how to write great subject lines, so use what you know and apply it to your next email blast headline.
It’s best to let the reader know exactly what they’ll see in the email through your subject line. This way, they’re incentivized to open it.
For instance, if you’re offering 40 percent off all cookware this weekend, then say so in the headline. Don’t dance around it. You can save the more creative headlines for your targeted emails.
3. Use Your First Three Sentences to Make an Impact
Okay, so you’ve got your recipient to open your email based on your subject line. Now, how do you keep them engaged so they keep reading your email marketing message? You have to ensure your first few sentences shine.
These sentences also referred to as the preheader, will show up on most browsers after your subject line. The preheader acts as a preview to what’s inside the email, so you have to make it good.
Whether you launch more into your deal or you write about something related, you have to hook your reader in and keep them there.
4. Add Some Personalization
Email blasts and personalization might sound as different as night and day. After all, aren’t email blast campaigns just blanket emails to your whole audience?
For the most part, yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave out all personalization.
For instance, putting the recipient’s name in the subject line or email header can go a long way towards getting them to open the email marketing message.
You may even have better click-through rates as well. Automation can come in handy here, allowing you to personalize each email without spending hours upon hours doing so yourself.
Another great reason to personalize your emails? There’s a lesser chance that they’ll end up in the spam filter.
77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.
How to Send an Email Blast
- 1. Choose Your Program
- 2. Segment Your List
- 3. Send Your Emails
- 4. Track Results
If you’re ready to send an email blast campaign to your mailing list based on the information you’ve read thus far, you may wonder, how do you get started?
That’s a good question, so let’s get right into it.
1. Choose Your Program
You can’t rely on your Gmail or Outlook to send email blasts…at least if you are worried about email deliverability and don’t want most of your messages in the spam filter.
Instead, you should invest in email blast service or email marketing software. Going this route increases your chances of your emails getting to the recipient.
You could even find a free email blast service or email marketing software if you’re on a tight budget.
2. Segment Your List
We’ll talk more about the segmentation of your subscriber lists later in this article, but you do have to do it.
Yes, email blasts aren’t quite so random and blanketed as you thought, huh?
3. Send Your Emails
With your program chosen, your audience segmented, your headline written, and the email drafted, you’re ready to get sending!
4. Track Results
This will also come up later, but for now, do know that you must track your results with an email blast campaign.
In that regard, it’s no different from any other email marketing campaign.
Focus on metrics like open rate and click-through rate.
You may also want to see if you’ve earned more subscribers or lost them with this email blast campaign.
When Is the Best Time to Send an Email Blast?
Is sending an email blast really as easy as we made it seem above or is there more to it?
For instance, when would you even send your blast emails? Are there certain times where your email list audience may open a blast email compared to others?
Per their research, the best day to send emails is on Tuesdays, as that’s regarded as the top day for more open and click-through rates.
Otherwise, Thursday is the next best day, followed by Wednesday.
Never run email campaigns on Saturdays and Sundays.
You have several times in which to send your messages to your email list.
Whether you automate these or press the “send” button manually, only do so at the following times:
- 6 a.m., in which CoSchedule says half of the people (50 percent) will start to send emails
- 10 a.m., which may be an even more ideal time for emails than first thing in the morning
- 2 p.m., after the lunch rush but still before most people leave work, so they’re eager for something to break up the afternoon drudgery
- 8 p.m., which may seem late, but is your last chance to reach out before most people sign off for the night and go to sleep
Of course, those days and times can vary from company to company.
While you should use the above data as a guidepost, always test among your own audience for when they’re most likely to open and read your emails.
Then, follow your own schedule.
9 More Ways to Get Positive Results from an Email Blast
- 1. Curate Your Mailing List
- 2. Create a Landing Page Associated with the Blast Topic
- 3. Use Plain Text
- 4. Don’t Refrain from Using Images, Though
- 5. Keep Your CTA Above the Fold
- 6. Introduce Interactivity
- 7. Make Sure Your Copy Is Short but Sweet
- 8. Don’t Forget Your Contact Info
- 9. Test to See if Email Blasts Work for You
If you’re interested in sending out effective email blasts as part of your email marketing efforts, you’re not going to want to miss the rest of this article.
We’ll cover nine awesome tips, tactics, and methods for getting positive results from mass emails.
1. Curate Your Mailing List
If you wanted to send email blast campaigns because you thought it would save you time picking through your email lists, think again.
These may be more generalized blasts, but they still require some legwork before you ever hit the “send” button.
For instance, you need to go through your contacts list and do at least a bit of segmenting.
This time, you’re not focused so much on gender, location, time zone, and other demographics.
Instead, you want to boil your audience down to their most general stats.
Who has bought from you and answered your emails and other communications regularly? Who in your mailing list can you trust to open most of your messages?
The customers that have stuck with you for the long haul and with whom you’ve built a great professional bond should float to the top of this list.
You can trust that they’ll engage more with the emails you send out, even if these emails lack the targeting of your other messages.
You need every single contact who fits the above description on your email list before you send out your mass email. That gives you the best chance of earning a decent open rate.
With most blasts, email marketers have the misconception that they need to send emails to the most recipients possible. That’s not necessarily the case.
Instead, like with any email, it’s better to reach out to those with the highest receptivity to your email marketing messages.
That’s how to get the best results.
2. Create a Landing Page Associated with the Blast Topic
What’s the point of your email blast? Do you want to inform your general audience about a new product or service?
Maybe clue them in on some other big news going on with your company?
Whatever the purpose, you’ll want to make an accompanying landing page that you can link to in your mass email marketing campaign.
There are several reasons to do this. For one, you can separate the wheat from the chaff quite easily.
If someone opens your email but doesn’t engage with the landing page or other links, then they’re probably not all that interested.
Since we’re talking about an email blast, that lack of interest can happen more often than you’d think.
Those that do click your landing page link express a higher level of interest. You might segment or reorganize these people on your contacts list per the last item in this article.
Either way, you want to pay more careful attention to these contacts.
Another reason to add a landing page to your email blast?
Since you’re not targeting your audience with a blast, the content of the email marketing message itself is often quite general.
The landing page provides more information, thus encouraging sales.
When the reader clicks your landing page, you’re guiding them through the next steps of the sales process.
You’re giving them the information they want, such as product specs, data, and pricing.
Then, at the end of the page, you’re providing them with a CTA they can click on if they want to proceed.
Hopefully, at that point, they make a purchase and your company earns a sale.
Then it’s up to you to keep working with this contact to get their repeat business.
Mass emails, as we said, don’t exactly have the most favorable reputation among email marketers. That’s because they’re often very general and don’t have clear results.
By adding a landing page to your blast, you could see the kinds of sales you want.
3. Use Plain Text
You might think because you’re writing a more generalized email that it must possess every visual trick in the book. If it doesn’t look flashy, have an awesome graphic, and other eye-catching visual details, no one will care, right? Not exactly.
In fact, some email marketers vouch for plain text blasts. 2017 data from Marketo found that plain text emails don’t always get fewer opens than emails loaded with HTML elements. Also, according to Marketo, if you provide an offer link in your plain text email, you could see a boosted click-through rate (17 percent) as well as an increased click-to-open rate (21 percent).
We have an even more convincing reason to send plain text blasts. That’s personalization.
Campaign Monitor says these emails add an element of personalization, and we have to agree. Check out this example below.
Image courtesy of AWeber Blog
Now, compare that to this email.
Image courtesy of SmartMail
Both emails have some personalization, but which seems more personal to you?
We’d have to say it’s the first email. There is something about plain text emails that make them seem more intimate and friendly.
When you’re writing an email blast, it’s especially important to incorporate those senses of intimacy and friendliness.
You already have a less targeted, blanket email marketing message that could apply to almost anyone on your email lists.
By writing it in plain text, you introduce the personalization your email marketing message otherwise lacks.
4. Don’t Refrain from Using Images, Though
Text-based email blasts may come across as more personalized, but you have to admit: visually, they’re a bit boring.
If your recipients keep getting plain text after plain text emails, they may unsubscribe to your list.
Wouldn’t you consider it if a company always sent you the same ol’, same ol’?
You already know that an email campaign has a lower rate of receptivity than targeted, personalized emails. That means you should expect a lower open rate to match.
If you can convince your recipients to open your email marketing message, then you better give them something visually appealing for their troubles.
How do you do that? With images, of course.
Now, you can’t just use any image, as we’re sure you know.
Since images can come across as less personalized (as we just mentioned), you have to strive to make your email images individualized.
Select images that either create or augment the sense of personalization you’ve worked so hard to foster.
Here’s an example of what we mean.
Image courtesy of HubSpot
And, why not? Here’s one more:
Image courtesy of Movable Ink
Despite the first email having no one’s name in it and beginning off rather vaguely with “Hey, it’s…”, it still comes across as quite intimate.
That’s because most of the email is in plain text format. Reading the message, it feels like an email you’d get from a friend or old coworker.
Yes, it’s selling you concert tickets and Spotify and the artist’s music, but it’s never pushy.
As for the email from FreshDirect, this one marries images and personalization beautifully.
The fridge magnets arranged to spell the recipient’s name would catch anyone’s attention.
The 50-percent discount would hold that attention, hopefully boosting the click-through rate.
5. Keep Your CTA Above the Fold
That FreshDirect 50-percent discount? That was their call to action or CTA.
We’ve written a lot about CTAs on this blog, but every good email campaign should have one.
Yes, even if you’re sending mass emails as part of your email campaigns.
Just to mention it again, email blasts already don’t have the best reputation.
By skipping something as integral as a CTA, you’ll tank your own success rate.
Then you’ll write off mass emails as a whole, which you shouldn’t.
Most email marketers use CTA buttons, but you can also slip in a link. That’d look much better in a plain text email, for instance.
No matter which type of CTA you prefer, where you put it matters a lot for the success of your email campaigns.
You want your CTA to catch the reader’s eye, so it needs a prominent spot. However, it shouldn’t detract from your message or interrupt the reading flow.
Okay, so where should you put your CTA then? It needs to go above the fold. This old-school term dates back to the early days of printed newspapers.
It literally refers to the fold halfway down a newspaper. You’d want an image above that fold so people would see it.
In Internet terminology, having your CTA above the fold means a user can see the image in its entirety without clicking midway down the page.
Since you often don’t have to scroll or click when reading an email compared to a landing page, you have more freedom with CTA placement.
Here are some various ideas to inspire you. Feel free to play around with your CTA, but always A/B test to see which placement works to your advantage.
Image courtesy of Smashing Magazine
Image courtesy of Campaign Monitor
Image courtesy of Econsultancy
6. Introduce Interactivity
Another way to make your mass emails must-read besides images? Add some interactivity to the mix.
Per an article from Neil Patel, in 2017, most marketers (27.2 percent) believed interactive content would dominate the year.
That would prove to be partly true, as interactivity in emails has gained steam in recent years.
Image courtesy of Neil Patel
How can you introduce interactivity in your emails? Try these methods from Patel himself:
- Link to a forum if you have one and ask users to make threads and participate.
- Include GIFs and other interactive images, such as scratch-off discounts and deals.
- Let your readers book consultations or appointments with you via a digital calendar.
- Add videos.
- Ask readers to write reviews and fill out surveys and polls.
7. Make Sure Your Copy Is Short but Sweet
We may sound like a broken record here, but it’s important to reiterate again: email blasts don’t perform as well as targeted emails.
You don’t want to do anything to shoot yourself in the foot or impede your progress then. Sending long emails would be one such mistake.
You’re already asking a lot from someone to open an email blast email.
To then see it’s paragraph upon paragraph of nothing but the text would make anyone click away ASAP.
Links are your friend here. You can make your email messages rife with content while cutting down on the paragraphs by using links.
Let’s say you’re talking about a topic you’ve written about a lot on your blog.
Rather than regurgitate the same information for your email, just link to the relevant blog post(s).
Those who want to read more will do so and those who don’t will just keep scrolling.
So how long should you make your email? It depends.
Here’s the response rate per word according to 2016 data:
Image courtesy of Sleeknote
According to that info, you can get a 51-percent response rate if your email sticks to 75 or 100 words. Going a bit longer to 125 words nets you a response rate of 50 percent.
It goes downhill the more words you have.
For their part, HubSpot reported a 50-percent response rate with their longer email.
Keep in mind that’s a sales email, though. You also have to take into account that these stats center around targeted email marketing messages.
Email blasts may not have the same high success rate.
8. Don’t Forget Your Contact Info
In an email, a blast or not, you want to make it easy and convenient for your readers to take action.
Maybe that action is learning more about your company, so you provide clearly-marked links in the email body.
You could want them to buy something, so you have CTAs that take them right to your store.
If you want them to schedule a consultation or even respond to your email, you have to make that easy, too.
The best way you can do so is to include an email signature with every message you send.
An email signature can help you in a lot of ways. If you provide a link to your site, it gives you free traffic.
You can also get more social media followers by providing buttons that redirect the reader to your social media feeds.
Those who want to learn more about your company can easily do so just by clicking what’s in your email signature.
That could begin them on the road to buying from you.
Your email signature also needs your email address and your phone number.
This way, the reader has several means of reaching out to you if they so choose.
9. Test to See if Email Blasts Work for You
How do email blasts get their less-than-stellar reputation?
Companies test for metrics that matter to them, such as ROI, open rates, click-through rates, sales, subscriber counts, and more with the help of their preferred email blast software.
They then compare those results for blasts versus targeted email messages. You know which one delivers better results by now.
That doesn’t mean mass emails have no place in your company.
The fact of the matter is, you never know until you try. However, you can’t just send email blasts once or twice and then call it quits.
We recommend you plan a multi-month email blast campaign. Some marketing experts even recommend keeping it up for a whole year.
It’s your choice whether you send these blasts for six months or 12 as part of your email campaigns.
We do recommend you give it longer than a week or two before discarding mass email messages as a potentially valuable method for your company.
Tracking results over a six-month or 12-month span lets you get comprehensive results. With that much time dedicated to split testing, trends can form.
You can study them to see what your audience was most receptive to. Did your email blasts work better when you accompanied them with a landing page or images?
Does your audience prefer targeted messages more?
The latter is almost universally true, and that’s okay.
There’s no valid reason to cease sending targeted email messages entirely.
If you sometimes mix in email blasts with these targeted email marketing messages, you should see the best results yet.
While it’s true that email blasts typically don’t achieve the same level of success as targeted messages, there’s no need for email marketers to completely disregard mass emails in their campaigns.
Though email blasts can be less effective due to their broad and unspecific nature, with a bit of personalized targeting and incorporating the tips mentioned in this article, you can still attain respectable open and click-through rates for your email campaigns using a few well-timed e-blasts.
So, why not give it a try and experiment with a strategic approach to email blasts to see how they can complement your overall email marketing efforts?