Do Email Blasts Actually Work?

Do email blasts actually work?

In a rush? Have the pdf version delivered to your inbox!

Email blasts may have worked back in 2000, but in 2018?

In 2018, email blasts have given their place to email campaigns.

How are email campaigns different?

Table of Contents

  1. Who are you, really, Email Blasts?
  2. Email blasts are it!
  3. The red flags about email blasts are…
  4. Your 5 reasons why email blasts are old and email campaigns are gold
  5. How to send an email campaign (and not its distant cousin, email blast)
  6. Conclusion
  7. TL;DR

Who are you, really, Email Blasts?

Email blasts go by a number of names: email newsletters, email campaigns, and others.

To introduce ourselves, Moosend is an email blast software that you can use to design your email blast newsletters and reach out to your audience. But let’s take a step back.

Email marketing, represents the marketing vertical that includes email blasts.

An email blast is a digital representation of your brand’s news and offers in the form of an email. An email blast service, like Moosend, is a tool that you use to design and send your email blasts. Fun!

What about mailing lists?

An email blast is sent out to one or more mailing lists.

A mailing list represents your audience.

This is where you store each one of your end users personal data like their email address, country, t-shirt size or anything else you may need for your email marketing strategy.

You can store your mailing list offline in excel or csv format. Of course.

But we highly recommend that you take advantage of advanced features available on email marketing and automation platforms like Moosend.

This way you perform more advanced actions and enjoy better results.

email blasts icon sketch

At the moment, email marketing is the primary strategy for marketers to reach out to their audience in a personable way.

The strategies and techniques behind email marketing campaigns can get as sophisticated as a marketer’s practices.

For that reason, tools like Moosend simplify a great part of this process and help you reach out to your audience in seconds rather than days.

Email Blasts Are It!

Said noone ever.

At least noone in 2018, with a degree in Marketing and a reputable clientele.

Or anyone whose marketing tactics actually amount to a profitable return.

It’s 2018. Your Email Marketing can be a lot more than an email blast.

First off, don’t trust a communication method that is called “blast”. Let’s start there.

An email blast is this:

via GIPHY

An email campaign is this:

via GIPHY

With all these Email Marketing tools available, email campaigns are the new black.

Maybe 7 years ago email blasts made sense.

Digital marketers could not get particularly picky as emails were not as sophisticated in 00’s.

Why?

Because emails were just making an entrance, and everyone was thrilled that the ROI was so massive.

Again, that was the 00’s.

Hey, we didn’t even have facebook, back then!

Reporting was growing in importance and email had to live up to the new needs.

That’s how Email Marketing was born.

Back then, email blasts were “the best thing out there”.

Right now, email blasts are emails thrust upon mailing lists and users.

Simply put, the red flags about email blasts are:
i) unsegmented
ii) untargeted
iii) unpredictable
iv) unclear
v) uncalled for

 

FIVE REASONS WHY EMAIL BLASTS ARE OLD AND EMAIL CAMPAIGNS ARE GOLD

1) Email blasts are sent to entire lists, unsegmented.

I know I’ve said this before for another major Email Marketing truth, but …

Email blasts overlooked the number 1 rule of Email Marketing;

You can’t be all things to all people.

(I didn’t say that, Michael Porter did, the father of Marketing.)

(I’m the daughter.)

(Just kidding. Or not, who knows.)

Segmentation is the first step of the three-step approach of the marketing model; the STP model.

Email campaigns follow this model.

You see, STP stands for Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning.

Segmentation corresponds to identifying segments with specific needs, more focused and effective marketing messages.

You can segment your audiences using:

  • demographics,
  • psychographics,
  • hobbies and entertainment habits,
  • religious or political beliefs,
  • geographical,
  • behavioral characteristics, and many more.

Skipping the “S” part of the strategy is like getting off on the wrong foot with your subscribers.

We cannot overstate the importance of segmenting your lists.

Find out more on our blog post “26 Actionable Email Marketing Tips and Best Practices”.

Let’s visualize this a little better:

Subject line: “ HOT RN: Our TREND collection is now on sale for 24 hours.”

Do you understand what “RN” stands for?

It stands for “right now” and it is used naturally in everyday speech and texting.

Depending on your target audience (gender, age group, interests, etc.), this may or may not resonate with them.

What audience would this subject line work best with? Take a guess:

Some hangman fun: ” _ _ _ _ _ “

You guessed that right!

This subject line resonates perfectly a very specific target group:

(To read this, turn your screen upside down or do a headstand , whichever is easier!)

SNƎƎ┴

Now, if your tried sending this subject line to an entire mailing list, then the most important thing you’ve managed is to waste credits.

Oh, you’ll have done a pretty good job at damaging your brand, too, of course!

Email campaigns are different:

Email campaigns are sent out to segmented lists.

Lists are segmented using different filters.

For instance, on Moosend’s platform, you can segment based on:

  • Data Added
  • Recipient Name
  • Recipient Email
  • Campaigns Opened
  • Links Clicked
  • Campaign Name
  • Link URL
  • Mobile vs Desktop
  • Operating System
  • Email Client
  • Web Browser
  • User Action
  • Subscribe Method
  • Campaign Sent
  • Verified for Double Opt-in
  • Field from another mailing list

Check out how this works below:

less engaged subscribers

By selecting “Date Added” from the drop down menu, you can segment your subscribers based on:

i) the exact date on which subscribers were added

ii) the date on which subscribers were not added

iii) the subscribers who subscribed before a specific date

iv) the subscribers who subscribed after a specific date

v) the time period within which they subscribed

vi)  the time period within which they didn’t subscribe

This works both ways.

So, you would be bringing in either people who subscribed at a very specific point in time.

And you can get even more creative with these conditions, which are attached to sets of filters, accordingly.

Here’s how to quickly segment your less engaged subscribers:

 

segment time period

Not only that, but on the Automations side of the Moosend platform, you can also create segments using filters.

These filters take over automatically, based on the action you set as a trigger.

It pretty much works like setting the alarm clock on your smartphone.

For example, when you set the alarm clock at “7 am, weekdays”, every day from Monday through Friday is a trigger.

When “weekday” is false, it is the weekend, therefore there is either no alarm clock, or it redirects to another alarm clock at, say, 9 am.

That’s how easy it is to set up an email automation (aka drip campaign) … on Moosend’s platform.

2) Email blasts are untargeted.

Email blasts do not get as far as segmentation, let alone targeting.

While segmentation and targeting appear similar, targeting picks up right where segmentation left off.

Targeting occurs within the particular way in which we evaluate how inviting a segment is.

This could be achieved through any of the characteristics below:

  • Size – Sizes of the segments must be large enough to be worth targeting one’s marketing actions.
  • Differentiation – The segment must be clearly differentiated by the rest so that there is no overlap between segments.
  • Financial viability and anticipated profit – The segment must be sustainable so that the marketer can expect to gain profit through targeting it.
  • Accessibility – Segment must be accessible for the marketer so that they can run all marketing actions properly.

via GIPHY

Email campaigns are all about targeting:

Select the exact percentage of users you want your segment to be matched to.

You can choose whether you want your segment to consist of people who satisfy all criteria at once or just any of the criteria, and so on.

3) Email blasts are unpredictable.

Email blasts are unpredictable, but not in a “I ran into Beyonce” kind of way.

Unpredictable like “Why is there water all over the bathroom floor again, I thought we had fixed this” kind of way.

Due to the lack of scheduling and planning, email blasts are neither consistent nor frequent.

As a result, despite all the hard work on behalf of the digital manager, the impact is zero.

“Why?”, you might ask.

a) Because your users don’t get to know you through one unexpected email once in a blue moon.
b) Your users do not connect with you on that level, either.

In fact, it might be easier to elicit negative feelings rather than positive ones, in your unsegmented list.

You don’t want to see your mailing lists perish, now, do you?

c) Consistency in sending shows reliability; your users do not wonder whether you are still in business, they know it.

Email campaigns are different:

There are no spikes, high high’s and low low’s in email campaign frequency.

Experienced digital/email marketers are weeks ahead in their content.

By the way, did you know you can easily schedule your content on Moosend’s platform?

Set up your email campaign, choose your mailing list and segment, and schedule the date and exact time you want your campaign to go out.

This is a Moosend platform characteristic that marketers are very fond of.

In one go, digital marketers can set up an entire email marketing masterplan.

Do you ever feel like a juggler of tasks?

Indeed, digital marketers need to make sure their content is simultaneously on every platform:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Quora
  • Email Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Influencers

One certainly needs to plan carefully, to ensure that their latest case study, article, ebook, you name it, is out there, served while it’s still hot.

Scheduling the bigger part of this is essential to digital marketers, as it helps streamline the process and more importantly, the performance.

In the same way that Buffer or HootSuite work for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, or Later for Instagram, Moosend’s platform helps digital marketers schedule their email campaigns all over the world, considering date, time and time zones!

Sending in bulk, won’t build a brand.

4) Email blasts are unclear.

Since they are hardly ever scheduled, email blasts have no clear content.

They include a little bit of everything as they are not targeted, either.

This means a multitude of messages and call to action buttons to go with these.

Can you imagine that email blast design layout?

Cluttered and noisy, with every piece of information competing against each other for the subscriber’s attention.

The real-life equivalent of this, would be like stepping out of your house and having random salesmen in your face trying to sell you over a glass door, an inflatable mini size pool for kids, a garden gnome, a Borat-inspired mankini, and so on.

Scary, right?

Email campaigns are different:

Every email campaign is built around a specific topic, offer, new entry, holiday, collection, piece of news.

And since every email campaign makes part of a series of campaigns with an overarching objective, each of them only touches upon one topic at a time.

The next email will take care of the rest.

Another lovely thing about email campaigns?

Email campaign awesomeness does not stop at scheduling and planning content.

It goes on to ensuring that their marketing is not taking subscribers by storm, deluging them with overlapping scheduling of emails.

5) Email blasts are uncalled for.

Well, there is this funny trivia thing of human existence:

Users hate spam.

Not an A-ha moment exactly, right?

Email blasts have content delivered to a list of people who have not requested to receive your news or offers to their email inbox.

So, as a user, what would you do with an email blast?

You know it!

via GIPHY

Instead of going on with wrong tactics, here’s what you can do to turn things around.

How To Send an Email Campaign (And Not Its Distant Cousin, Email Blast)

There is a secret recipe for emails that are prestigious email campaigns rather than fishy email blasts.

Well. Not so secret any more.

You need to step your email design game up

Alright! The design is basically what your users will see once they open up your email.

It’s imperative to use an email design that’s consistent to your existing website and brand.

Here are a few examples of email designs from global brands:

  • In-house designer: You can ask your in-house web / graphics designer to create your email blast template on their tool of choice.

Remember that they will have to export that in HTML as this is the format of email campaigns.

  • Find a ready email blast template: If you don’t have an in-house designer, you can use a template library to find your ideal email blast template. You can also purchase a ready made email template through websites like Themeforest.

The con: You will receive a preset email campaign template, not designed for your own needs. This might look distant from your own brand and personal taste.

The pro: Nevertheless, there are so many options available that you will most likely find something simple that is a good match to your branding.

Using simple drag and drop components and uploading your logos and images, you can customiae any aspect of your email design and make it consistent to your brand and taste.

If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can also use one of our free templates as a starting point for a gorgeous email campaign.

Find out YOUR best time to send an email blast

As emails and advertorials pile up in your subscribers’ inbox you really need to make sure you optimize your sending time. A few months back we created a super-detailed list of email marketing best practices. As a part of that we run a huge data analysis on when is the best day to send an email blast.  As it turns out Thursday morning is the optimal time for the average sender. But hey – you need to make sure what works for you and your audience.

For example, if you have a restaurant with takeaway, then sending an email campaign early morning will probably not have the desired result.

Be content with content

Like we said, your email campaigns should feature consistent copy and a universal writing style, and a clear message. A few months back we analyzed the main factors that affect email performance. As expected, the content of your email campaigns is key!

a) Consistent copy and writing style

Choose your writing style based on the brand personality.

If you are struggling with branding matters, and since branding… matters (pun intended), do a quick research online.

When figuring out branding matters with clients, I always ask this question, which I think sums up brand personality:

“If [brand name] was a person, what would they be like?”

b) A clear message

Be clear about your offering.

Get your message across as concisely as possible.

Help your subscribers understand what action you want them to take.

This answers the question:

“Why am I receiving this email?”

Define your audience & mailing list

Break down your mailing list to the segments that matter most to you.

Match every segment to their specific needs and send out relevant email campaigns.

Customize content based on the characteristics of the group.

For instance, if you own an optical store, the competition is fierce in your field.

To stand out from your competition, you must get to your customers before your competitors do.

Your competitive advantage is

a) the relationship you have built with them

b) your subscribers’ emails

Make the most of these emails by segmenting your subscribers based on their needs.

Subscribers’ needs can, in certain cases be estimated by the age group they belong to, and optical stores are one such case.

An optical expert can estimate that subscribers over a certain age may manifest long-sightedness.

Therefore, they can create a segment to create relevant content, with special lenses, special offers, and so on.

Similarly, at the beginning of every school year, they could contact subscribers who have viewed or shopped kids’ eyewear.

In this case, emails about the latest optical products and eye checks would bring in more traffic.

Keep an eye on your metrics and performance

Email campaigns give marketers access to valuable information.

Through email marketing statistics like open rates and click through rates, marketers can assess and evaluate data to adapt their future campaigns.

Through bounces they can decide whether they need to adjust their opt-in methods, or check their sender reputation. By the way, here is a guide on deliverability tips.

Sign up for a free Moosend account and test it for yourself!

Maintain a standard frequency – that is frequent enough

Your newsletters becoming a habit is the best thing you can achieve as an email marketer.

However, your newsletters becoming a bore that repeats itself habitually, is not.

Know the difference.

Keep frequency consistent and avoid spikes at all costs.

By establishing regular communication with your subscribers, you become part of their daily lives.

Find out more why consistency is key to deliverability on our popular article on our blog and how doing so skyrockets your growth.

Conclusion

All things considered, email campaigns are so 2018 (…while email blasts are 2000 and late. I hear you, Fergie.)

Sign up for a reputable email marketing and automations platform (wink, wink) to:

i) deliver

ii) perform, and

iii) track meaningful actions.

These insights will contribute to the customization of your communication strategy and overall performance.

TL;DR

1. Segment your mailing lists.

2. Target the right people from within the segment, every time.

3. Send out campaigns regularly so as to remain a top-of-mind choice for your customers.

4. Keep your message clear and unique. Just like your call to action.

5. Don’t spam! 🙂

RELATED BLOG POSTS:

1. The Ultimate Guide To Email Deliverability

2. 26 Actionable Email Marketing Tips & Best Practices To SKYROCKET Your Growth In 2018

3. Single Opt-In, Double Opt-In, Or The Best Of Both Worlds?