What is an Email Blast?

Instructor: Ian Matthews

Ian teaches college writing and has a Master's in Writing and Publishing

The email blast is the shotgun of digital marketing, designed to hit a wide range of targets in an efficient manner. Let's take a look at email blasts in some more detail before getting into a few tips for writing your own.

What is an Email Blast?

To put it simply, an email blast is an email marketing message that you send out to many different people, all at once. Event invitations, new product announcements, newsletters, and more all fall under the umbrella of email blasts, because they're all a single message that blasts out to many subscribers.

A successful email blast is a bit of a different story. Without careful consideration and structuring, it's easy to find your email blasts hitting the junk mail folder. Email marketing isn't cheap, and it's a huge bummer when it all goes to waste. We'll deal with that in a little bit.

Why Blast?

Email blasts aren't just for big companies with millions of customers (though you probably have a few email blasts from those companies in your inbox as we speak). Small businesses can use email blasts just as effectively and efficiently.

The goal of an email blast is to get a succinct, general message out to a broad group of people. Think of a shotgun blast: with such a wide range, you're more likely to hit the target. It's highly unlikely that every pellet will be on target, but you'll generally hit what you want.

The email blast is the same way: you're sending out tens, hundreds, or thousands of individual email messages at a time. There's no way every single person on your email list will read your email (or even open it), and in fact the average open rate for email blasts across most industries is only about 20%. But the wide range of an email blast lets you hit that 20% of potential clients or customers in an efficient manner.

How to Blast

The basic order of events in sending an email blast goes like this: you build your subscriber list, design your email blast, write your email copy, and send the blast. It's a bit more complicated than it sounds, but luckily several tools exist to help the process along.

Many websites offer email lists for purchase. These are a bad idea, for reasons we'll get into in a little bit. What might be worth your money, though, is a pre-made email template. Email templates are pre-designed email blasts; all you have to do is insert your own text and images. Templates save you the time of designing and coding your own email, or the money of hiring a graphic designer to design one for you.

Several services exist that will streamline the entire process. They'll let you upload your email list, provide you with templates to choose from, and even give you some customization options for the pre-built templates. There is some cost involved, but it's often worth it for organizations that are serious about their email blasts.

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