You could use your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo accounts, but if you need something professional and fool-proof and want to avoid being labeled a spammer, it’s a far better idea to use an email blast program provided by a professional email marketing company such as Benchmark Email. Benchmark’s partnerships with elite consortiums like The Email Sender & Provider Coalition (EPSC) and leading delivery experts like Return Path give you the best chance of reaching a prospect’s inbox, which is a major challenge in email blast marketing. Benchmark Email even has built-in data merging features, which allow you to import contact information from different databases so you don’t need to re-enter long email lists. Besides this, you can also customize your mails in easy-to-use HTML editors before sending them to your customers and prospects.
“Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Internet service providers (GMail, Yahoo, etc.) and anti-spam organizations create the spam traps to prevent spam from reaching people’s inboxes. The important thing for everyone to remember is if you use a purchased list, you are technically spamming the people on that list. Spam is unsolicited email and those people did not request your information.
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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.
Watch the growth of your list. Is your email list growing or shrinking? If more people are unsubscribing than are registering to your list, it's a good sign that you need an entire strategic overhaul on your email policies. If there are a lot of people unsubscribing it could be because your content is not relevant to the people that you're sending it to. In this case, try to segment your list differently or change the type of content that's being delivered through your email blasts.
Write a compelling subject line. The subject of your email will be the first thing that people will see when viewing it. Because of the immense amount of spam that exists, it's important that you draw the recipient in enough so that they open the message. The subject line should invite the reader to some benefit or include a sense of urgency which requires action. Avoid cliche marketing terminology like "act now" or "free limited offer" as these subject lines can make recipients feel suspicious and turned off. Your subject line should be 50 characters or less.
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.
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
Pam Neely has been marketing online for 15 years. She's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a New York Press Award. Her book "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List" is available on Amazon.com. Pam holds a Master's Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University. Follow her on Twitter @pamellaneely.
The big difference is that people will be giving you their contact information voluntarily. Also, you know these people value what you offer—especially if you pick a prize that is particularly desirable to your buyer persona. For example, if you own an HVAC installation business, give away a prize related to home improvement that will attract homeowners.
If you’ve been following along from the beginning, you have now learned how to grow your email list to epic proportions, you’ve segmented your list so that your emails are highly relevant to each individual subscriber, and you’ve learned how to send amazingly effective emails that have a high open-rate. Now you are ready to automate the process and turn your campaigns into money-making machines!
Expert marketer Ramit Sethi of GrowthLab agrees with Julie about saying goodbye to the email blast, going as far as to publish a blog post entitled “Stop sending email blasts! Do this instead”. The post takes the recommendation to segment even further by suggesting “hotlists” — sub-segments of your email list that subscribers can opt into based on their interest in a specific project of yours.