By 2023, 4.3 billion people are projected to be using email worldwide. Email has become such an indispensable part of our lives that most people can’t imagine their day without checking the inbox at least once or twice.
And ever since having an email address became more prevalent, companies have been trying to get into the inboxes of their target audiences, with an ROI that’s hard to match.
But while email marketing itself remained an incredibly successful approach for decades, the specific strategies and campaigns used have been evolving.
For a long time, blast emails were a common practice, allowing companies to reach their entire list and broadcast a message that could generate an influx of sales. Today, email blasts are sometimes frowned upon, with more personalized campaigns taking center stage in most marketing strategies.
But is an email blast a thing of the past? Or can you still use it effectively?
Let’s explore below.
What is an Email Blast?
An email blast is a strategy based on reaching as many subscribers as possible with a single email. Usually, that means sending out an email to your entire list, without using any segmentation or personalization, and hoping that the sheer scale of the email will produce good enough results.
The strategy was the go-to option for many businesses for a long time, mostly because of the technological limitations of how emails could be segmented and personalized.
Before the advent of modern email marketing solutions, businesses were much more limited in terms of how they could send out emails. In other words, if you had a list of emails, your best bet was to simply send a single email to them all and live with the results.
Today, that’s no longer the only option you can use.
Email segmentation has become a best practice across all industries, allowing companies to provide more relevant messages to each subscriber and increase conversions.
But does that mean that email blasts are no longer viable?
Well, even though many marketers believe that, it’s not necessarily the case. Sure, in most situations, segmenting and tagging your list makes more sense, but there might still be situations where it could be useful.
With that in mind, let’s explore the pros and cons of using an email blast campaign so that you can make an informed decision in your situation.
Email Blast Pros
Even though an email blast is becoming a bit outdated, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. In fact, in some situations, you might still find email blasts useful and effective, given you know why you’re using them instead of more segmented emails.
Let’s explore some of the pros that these types of emails can offer below.
One of the biggest advantages an email blast can offer is quick results. If you need to get information to your list quickly or have a hot new offer that you want to get a lot of traffic to, an email blast can work relatively well, depending on what percentage of your list is in the right audience to care about that product.
Sometimes, you simply might not have the relevant data necessary to segment your list in a meaningful way. Then, you won’t really have a choice but to send the same email to everyone, which is still much better than not sending an email at all.
In another scenario, you may have an important announcement you need to get to your customers as soon as possible. When you have an urgent matter you need to talk about, there’s no time for segmentation or personalization; you need to quickly craft the message and reach as many inboxes as possible.
The announcement might even be something as simple as a new product launch or news about company performance. Segmenting only makes sense if there’s a reason to do it, and in some cases, a simple email blast might get the job done not only quicker but more effectively as well.
Showcase Your Brand
Today, email marketing is mostly about creating personal messages that feel more like a conversation than a sales pitch. People tend to respond better when they feel like the message is designed for them and their unique circumstances.
But once again, you don’t have to make every single email you send out personalized.
In some cases, you might just want to get people to take action. Or to think about your brand. Or to decide they want your products.
There’s a reason why companies still spend millions of dollars on commercials and ads. When they are executed well, the instant influx of sales is hard to match with any other marketing approach.
So, while email marketing isn’t typically designed for these types of messages, it doesn’t mean you can’t use them once in a while when you have specific goals you want to accomplish.
By constructing an appealing pitch, showcasing your brand benefits, and introducing some of your hottest products, you may find that a significant percentage of your list needed just that to make a decision to buy from you.
Email Blast Cons
Now that we’ve explored the main advantages of using blast emails and where they might be appropriate, it’s time to look at where they come short.
Frankly, even though it’s still possible to find uses for blast emails, most situations require a more refined and personalized approach. Let’s explore the main reasons why below.
Segmentation might not be possible in every situation, but it’s hard to argue that it can make almost any email marketing campaign more successful.
If you can collect information about your subscribers and use it to craft more personalized messages, they will always outperform email blast campaigns, all other variables being equal.
And the logic behind this is not hard to understand.
No matter how much time you spend crafting an email blast, you are still reaching out to thousands or even tens of thousands of people. And while those people are on the same list, they can be different in countless ways, which means they might also require various approaches for getting through to them.
With an email blast, you’re very limited in terms of what you can say, how bold you can be, and how you can connect with the reader.
You must appeal to everyone, which usually results in you not being able to connect to anyone.
Sure, if you’re making a company announcement, sending a blast email can work. But if you’re trying to sell or trying to move people forward in their customer journey, blast emails will make achieving good results much harder.
No Way to Improve Results
Another reason why a blast email might not be a great idea is that you’re very limited in terms of how you could improve them.
One of the biggest advantages of using email marketing today is the amount of data you can collect and analyze. Segmenting and A/B testing allow you to try out variations of every little detail in your emails, which can have a cumulative effect over time and help you consistently improve results.
And in an age when you can find anyone’s email address relatively easily, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the targeting and segmenting opportunities to ensure that you’re sending the most relevant email every time.
Meanwhile, when you’re reaching out to everyone, the audience is simply too broad and unfocused for any test to be meaningful.
Sure, you might be able to improve performance by using more persuasive words or highlighting your benefits better, but that won’t be as impactful as testing variables in segmented emails, where you can work with specific insights about the part of your list that you’re sending to.
An average office worker receives around 121 emails every single day. The sheer number of email messages means that it’s not humanly possible to read them all, and most of them end up being ignored or deleted.
Because of that, companies that want to run successful email marketing campaigns must find a way to stand out and get the email noticed, opened, and read.
The best way to do that is to appeal to the unique interests and preferences of each person on the list. But when you’re sending a blast email, that’s simply not an option.
So, with an email blast campaign, you are instantly lowering the likelihood of your emails being opened, let alone read.
Your headline and body copy will have to be generic since you are trying to communicate to a big audience. If you want to touch on points that are relevant to different groups, you’ll have to include a lot of information, which can make the emails seem bloated and too long to bother with.
In most cases, a short but targeted email would deliver much better results if it was designed to be relevant to a specific group of people. Sure, it would take more time, but the benefits of having better open and click-through rates make the effort very much worth it.
Finally, the hard truth about sending an email blast is that it won’t be a welcome sight for most of your subscribers.
One of the most critical aspects of successful email marketing is setting clear expectations at the beginning of your relationship with new subscribers and then matching those expectations every step of the way.
When you establish that you’ll be sending a weekly newsletter, that’s what you should stick with. If you suddenly start sending daily emails or unexpected announcements, people will feel annoyed and stop opening your emails or unsubscribe altogether.
That’s why blast emails rarely work. You’re not only sending an unexpected email, but the email itself is also usually not very relevant.
Every time you get a subscriber to take notice of your email, the relevance of that email will determine how likely they are to open your future emails.
Deliver good value, and they will start looking forward to your emails in the future. But fail to meet their expectations, and even your best emails will have a much harder time standing out in an inbox.
There are certain situations when a blast email might be necessary, such as when you have to make a quick announcement to everyone on your list. But other than that, segmenting your list into smaller sub-lists is usually the safer and much more effective approach.
Email blasts are one of the oldest email marketing strategies, which paved the way for the diverse range of list engagement opportunities companies have today.
But even though it was once very relevant, using email blasts today is no longer a viable long-term strategy. Sure, you could send out an announcement using an email blast, but if you want to keep your subscribers happy, it’s better to stick to more relevant messaging in all of your campaigns.