Almost five decades ago, Ray Tomlinson sent the very first email through a network of computers called the ARPANET. While the first email contained nothing but jumbled letters, this historic moment marked a milestone in the evolution of communication.
Fast forward to this day, email has become ubiquitous. In 2019, an average of 246.5 billion emails was sent and received each day around the globe. The figure is expected to grow further as the number of email users is forecast to hit around 4.48 billion by 2024.
Despite the prominence of instant messaging apps, email remains the preferred and trusted communication channel. It is not surprising why many businesses and marketers consider email as an effective tool to reach their market base.
Back in the ’90s, email accounts have been peppered with countless unsolicited messages from brands and marketers trying to sell their products and services. Since then mass emails have become a popular marketing strategy, but is this tactic still effective to this day?
Do mass emails work?
As the name suggests, mass emails or “email blasts” is a marketing strategy wherein a single email message is sent to a large number of recipients. It is non-selective email marketing wherein the goal is to send a similar email to every recipient in the marketer’s contacts list.
Basically, mass emails won’t be as effective as targeted and data-driven email marketing. This is because email blasts often fall on deaf ears. Consider this: Why would you bother to open an email that is not relevant to your location, interests, and buying preference?
In fact, instead of being helpful, email blasts can turn off consumers – and could get a brand tagged as a spammer. Spam does not only cause frustration, but it can also negatively impact your sender reputation, making it difficult – or even impossible – to send marketing emails.
For long, spam emails have been a persistent cause of annoyance and security threats to email users. As a result, privacy and communications regulations were adopted to prevent spamming. Through the years, marketing emails have been regulated to balance the interests of email users and marketers.
In this new age of email marketing, data-driven tactics, such as validation, segmentation, and personalization, are critical to improve deliverability, engage customers, and increase the conversion rate of email blasts. If you are stuck with the old mass email tactics, perhaps it’s time to revisit and make it data-driven.
Below are some helpful tips to run an effective email marketing campaign.
1. Validate contacts in your database
Regardless of how and where you gather the email addresses in your database, be sure that they are carefully verified. Email validation solution is an effective and quick way to do this. By validating each and every address, you are sure that you are sending it to an active recipient. You don’t waste time and resources on invalid email addresses.
Some email verification services even provide advanced features like segmentation of accounts. This helps you customize emails to a specific group of recipients, thereby increasing its conversion rate.
2. Send an email blast to opt-in subscribers only
Mass emails must be sent only to recipients who have voluntarily subscribed. Any unsolicited email message is considered spam. You don’t want to be tagged as a spam sender as it can hurt your email reputation, hence must be avoided.
While buying or renting mass email lists is a quick way to gather more recipients, it is never recommended. Implement organic email list building strategies to get more customers to opt into your marketing campaign. It should also be equally easy for subscribers to opt-out should they wish not to receive your email messages.
3. Know more about email marketing regulations
Before finally hitting the sending out your mass emails, make sure you are familiar with the latest email marketing regulations, particularly spam guidelines. If you don’t follow these guidelines, your mass emails will go straight to the recipient’s spam folder and become useless. Worse, your email might be banned.
4. Create an eye-catching subject line
The subject line is the very first thing subscribers see in an email message – and you want to catch their attention. Use the creative, straightforward, catchy subject lines, and avoid spam trigger words. Don’t use all capitals to get the reader’s attention.
5. Keep it brief and interesting
Keep your mass emails succinct and attractive. Readers avoid lengthy email messages, so stick to your main selling points. If you want to share additional information, it best to keep it in a separate post, such as a link to a blog post or a file attachment. This way, interested subscribers can find out more by accessing the separate file.
6. Minimize graphics
While graphics and images are very useful in email marketing, they should be used carefully. Stuffing your message with images can slow down the loading time. As a result, many recipients might be unable to read your message. Avoid this by keeping images to the minimum. If there is a need to add images, be sure to run a test email to see how it affects the load speed and overall look of the email across different platforms.
7. Use calls to action
For your email blasts to be effective, you need to have powerful calls to action or CTA. CTA is a statement that encourages subscribers to perform a certain act, such as purchasing or signing up for a product. Examples of CTA statements include an image button with “Buy Now” or a link with “Click to Sign Up.” CTAs are used multiple times throughout the email message to urge the reader to act.
8. Optimize for mobile viewing
The majority of consumers access their emails through their mobile devices. As such, it is important to keep your mass emails optimized for mobile viewing. This is another reason why you should run a test email – to see if the message is readable on different devices. If your message is only compatible with desktop, you might alienate many recipients using mobile devices.
Lastly, after sending mass emails, make to review and evaluate your data. This will guide you towards improving future email blasts.