As a marketing strategy the email blast is divisive, to put it mildly. In fact, it’s somewhat akin to using cilantro in your cooking: either you love it or you hate it (and if you hate it, you really hate it). Some marketers have written off the email blast completely as an outdated strategy, some swear by it, and others find it cringe-worthy but still use it because it gets results.
Promotional emails are one of the most economical ways for any business to connect with customers. Research shows a message is five times more likely to be seen through email than on social media like Facebook or Twitter. That’s why musicians use email marketing software to share their performance schedule with their fans, non-profits use it to get donations and photographers use it to promote their portrait services. It just works.
Here are a few tips to help businesses avoid sending email campaigns that qualify as “blasts.” In doing so, you’ll also realize other benefits, including fewer people who unsubscribe from your email lists, fewer emails caught in spam filters, delivery rates that improve, and better overall email performance results that dramatically drive up sales.
Thanks for the post, Neil! I have been trying to find good resources for brainstorming what kind of offers our content marketing should have. For some reason, my creativity is completely dried up in this arena. The question “What does your target audience want?” for some reason doesn’t get at the root of the problem for me. Do you have any resources you would recommend for brainstorming that “Tantalizing” content?

Within the past decade there has been a podcasting revolution going on, with the number of Americans who listen to podcasts doubling in seven years. Maybe it’s because they’re just so convenient and so much easier to consume, or maybe it’s because the format is just somehow perfect for storytelling. Whatever it is, podcasting is here to stay and is one of the most engaging forms of media out there.
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“Most direct mail pieces deserve the moniker of “junk mail.” To make sure yours stands out from the crowd, you must deliver some kind of real value that transcends your brand message. There are so many creative things you can do that are cheap: Deliver curated content, use creative techniques (such as punch-outs or folds) to make something that consumers can use or write witty copy. Be boldly creative!” ~ Brittany Hodak, ZinePak

List fatigue is also a concern. If you're buying a list from a trade show, keep in mind that the other vendors at the trade show, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they've been receiving. 

The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[38] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era. 

I am loving this article. I specifically like points 1 and 7. As for number 1, I think a quality list is better than a gigantic list of just anyone like you say. I think this is also true for “followers” and “likes”. Are the people following you genuinely caring about your content or just subscribing just to apease you? As for #7, we have to KNOW if our efforts are working and not just go off of a gut feeling. Great points here Erik.
If you want your audience to remain engaged with your content, you need to make sure you’re offering something of value. For some readers, that means offering a special discount or an exclusive promotion to your email list. For others that could mean offering a how-to article from your blog or a piece of content that’s more than just the typical sales pitch.
The DMA’s 2017 Response Rate Report finds that the response rate for mail sent to people on house lists (subscribers who opted in to mail) was 5.1% for the year, and the response rate for prospect lists (potential clients) was 2.9%. These numbers are up from 2003, when house lists drew a response of 4.4% and prospect lists a response of 2.1%. And even though online shopping has surpassed purchases from direct mail pieces, the DMA reports that 100.7 million U.S. adults​ made a purchase from a catalog in 2016, compared with 209.6 million people who made purchases online the same year, per Statista. 
We make a plastic postcard that has a gift card detach from it. Although they are much more expensive than paper they have a tremendous return rate. If these are used as promotion they don’t need to comply with the PCI stored value gift card rules and regulations. It really comes down to the data files and target segment. Nothing beats good market intelligence and rewarding a good, repeat customer.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
“Blasting” suggests that you’re sending the same email out to all your subscribers. That there’s no personalization, even in the subject line. No dynamic content, and no way for subscribers to let you know which topics they’re interested in. In the example of my real estate marketer friend, her blasts go out all as one version to buyers and sellers alike.
By using Internet platforms, businesses can create competitive advantage through various means. To reach the maximum potential of digital marketing, firms use social media as its main tool to create a channel of information. Through this a business can create a system in which they are able to pinpoint behavioral patterns of clients and feedback on their needs.[30] This means of content has shown to have a larger impingement on those who have a long-standing relationship with the firm and with consumers who are relatively active social media users. Relative to this, creating a social media page will further increase relation quality between new consumers and existing consumers as well as consistent brand reinforcement therefore improving brand awareness resulting in a possible rise for consumers up the Brand Awareness Pyramid.[31] Although there may be inconstancy with product images;[32] maintaining a successful social media presence requires a business to be consistent in interactions through creating a two way feed of information; firms consider their content based on the feedback received through this channel, this is a result of the environment being dynamic due to the global nature of the internet.[29] Effective use of digital marketing can result in relatively lowered costs in relation to traditional means of marketing; Lowered external service costs, advertising costs, promotion costs, processing costs, interface design costs and control costs.[32]
Most popular email marketing services offer functionality that strikes a recipient from a list once a certain number of emails to a specific recipient ‘bounced’ back as undeliverable. Don’t be overeager to remove a subscriber, though; there are valid reasons why an email cannot be delivered. Consider only removing such a subscriber after four or five “bounces”.
Ensure that your email meets spam guidelines. The CAN-SPAM Act are laws that govern how you can craft emails. To stay compliant with the act, there are several things you must include and things you must avoid doing to ensure that your emails aren't considered spam.[9] For one, there must be an unsubscribe button somewhere in the email so that people can opt out of receiving them. Another rule is that recipients must know who they are receiving the email from, so include an accurate header or reply address where they can point their concerns or comments.[10]
Just an Idea as a facebook/social friends request is slightly different than a push to read my spam email and less intrusive. the prospect has the choice and through this decision you can pretty much ascertain they are looking for what you are offering or interested in the targeted keywords your profile centres around- when you are friends start a conversation and follow up.

One of Raquel’s suggestions is to make sure the email contains a clear call to action. The recipient should be able to tell right away what you’re asking them to do, and when they click through, they should be taken to the exact page they need, not just your homepage. If you ask them to click on a video thumbnail to watch a video, you need to link them directly to the video. If you’re asking them to read your latest blog post, link them right to it.
I’d rather not shift into being an email marketing therapist, but I’m not the first email marketer to have issues about being called a spammer. I, too, have been asked what I do in a social situation and had someone respond, “Oh, so you’re a spammer.” Of course, usually people are kidding when they call you a spammer, but but being labeled a spammer is one of an email marketers' biggest fears.
USPS® Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) is an affordable targeted advertising technique that lets you map your marketing mail audience by age, income, or household size2. You can use the EDDM mapping tool to choose the ZIP Code™ and carrier route that will target your best possible customers—current and future. The EDDM mapping tool is easy to use and discounts are available even for small businesses.
Companies considering the use of an email marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM),[9] the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy.

Just like an ebook, a cheat sheet or guide is a very simple way to capture emails and generate more leads. In fact, if you’re familiar with DigitalMarketer you’ll know that they often promote this lead magnet over others. It’s actually performed so well for them it managed to generate 28,000 new leads for the business in its first month and a half.

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