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How to Do Effective Mass Email Marketing

Thoughts by Gracija Atanasovska • Content Team Bento

Mass email marketing is the most common email marketing strategy for engaging with a large number of subscribers.

And even though some doubt its effectiveness and consider it a thing of the past, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mass email marketing is very much alive and kicking, especially with the help of today’s automation and personalization tools we have at our disposal. If done right, it can do wonders for your email campaign, and that’s what our article is all about.

What is Mass Email Marketing?

Mass email marketing, also known as bulk email marketing, is an email promotion campaign where marketers send a single message to a large list of subscribers or recipients.

What Is Mass Email Marketing Used For?

Mass email marketing is often used as a means to promote a new brand or company, promote an established brand to a new audience and territory, or as a conversion method for acquiring more customers.

What Are the Common Types of Emails in Mass Email Marketing?

Some of the most common types of emails you can use and encounter in mass email marketing campaigns are:

  • Promotional emails are used to promote sales, draw in new customers, help build brand awareness, and offer suggestions to new or existing customers;

  • Newsletters are used to inform subscribers/customers about the company’s new products, new services, new branches, or anything else newsworthy, and also to offer guides, how-tos, and other content that will provide value and keep the audience engaged;

  • Acquisition emails are specifically aimed to generate more sales. They are sent to convince new and prospective customers to buy a particular product or make a purchase, use a service, continue their subscription, and so on;

  • Retention emails are used to build brand loyalty and are usually aimed toward existing and long-term subscribers/customers in order to keep them engaged.

In the past, mass email marketing was pretty simple. Companies used to draft one single email and send it to all recipients on their subscriber list. Nowadays, doing this is a bad idea. Why so? For one, spam filters have become better at doing their job, so you risk having your email end in the spam folder. Another reason is engagement. If your mass email sounds too generic, it will fail to engage your subscribers. That’s why list segmentation is so important even in mass email marketing.

How do you start an effective mass email marketing campaign?

The answer lies in these three words: personalization, tracking, and automation. If you implement these three practices in mass email marketing, you will make sure that the message arrives at the intended destination and that it will really be of interest to the people that receive it.

With that said, let’s get to some actionable steps that will help you create an effective mass email marketing campaign.

Tips on How to Do Effective Mass Email Marketing

Every email marketing campaign should be tailored to the audience you want to attract and to the specifics of your business. There are certain practices that can help you fully realize the potential of your email campaign, so let’s see what they are.

1. Personalize the Emails You Send

Nowadays, personalization is everything in email marketing, especially mass email marketing. Personalization refers to the practice of tailoring the emails you send according to the needs and expectations of each recipient.

Did you know that just including the personal name of the recipient in the email subject increases the open rates by about 26%? When an email sounds more personal it also sounds more human and more thoughtful than a generic-sounding email.

You can personalize your emails by:

  • Including the name of your recipient in the subject line or the salutation in the email body;

  • Sending anniversary emails to subscribers for their birthdays, various special occasions, the time they’ve been with the company, the progress they’ve made, etc.;

  • Nailing the best time to send the email based on which time zone they’re in;

  • Sending emails based on what they’ve recently done. For example, if they’ve purchased a product or a service, you can send them a how-to guide for an easier start.

  • Breaking down larger sends into batches (only possible with Bento) to keep your email reputation high.

Since mass email marketing is sending the same email to a large group of subscribers, the only way to personalize the message is through automation. Automation tools can help you track your customers’ behavior, likes, dislikes, geographical location, and time zone, and then segment your audience into different lists to which you can send different kinds of emails that will still correspond to your overall mass email marketing campaign.

2. Make Sure the Message Looks Good on All Devices

Optimizing your email message for all mobile and tablet devices, in addition to desktop computers and laptops, is a must. Did you know that over “70% of people read their email in a mobile app”? And yet “nearly 1 in 5 email campaigns is not optimized for mobile devices” which means that still, even in the 2020s, not enough attention is being paid to mobile optimization.

To do this, you need to pay attention to the length of the pre-header text and the subject line (shorter text looks better on mobile), as well as the layout of the email itself, any images you might include inside, their size, how they render to smaller screens, and so on. You also need to check whether the links you include in the email work and can be opened on mobile devices.

That’s why it’s best to test your messages before sending them out (you can do this with A/B testing).

3. Make Catchy Subject Lines

Email subjects are the gateway into the email - according to one statistic, “35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.”

When writing subject lines, be precise, specific, and informative towards your recipient. Tell them immediately what’s expecting them to increase the chances of the emails being opened. For example, if the purpose of the email campaign is to offer your subscribers a discount, the subject line can read “Claim this coupon and earn 15% off on your next purchase”.

Avoid clickbait subject lines like: “Unbelievable! Click to see what we did with…” Not only do clickbaits sound like cheap tricks, but they also might land your email in the spam folder.

Shorter work better, especially on mobile devices, so do tend to keep your subject lines around 10-20 characters.

Check my article on the topic of creating great subject lines and boosting your open rates to find out more.

4. Use CTAs (Calls to Action)

Calls to action (abbreviated as CTAs) are phrases that are supposed to incentivize or persuade subscribers or customers to do a particular thing. The goal can be to get your subscribers to subscribe to a service, purchase a product, book an event, go to your website, claim a discount, or take a different action that will ultimately result in more conversions.

In mass marketing emails, CTAs are usually buttons that can say something like “See more” or “Find out more”, “Connect”, “Open”, “View …”, “Watch now”, “Click to buy”, “Shop now”, etc. There are plenty of CTA phrases you can use in your email campaign, depending on the type of message and the business you’re in.

Consider these couple of things when including a CTA in the email:

  • Consider where you place the CTA - the call to action button should be logically placed after the main text and images. Of course, it doesn’t mean that it should be at the very bottom of the email - subscribers should be able to easily see it - but it should be a part of a logical email narrative;

  • The CTA should lead to a specific incentive - the CTA in your email should directly correspond with the email copy and lead your customers to a specific place you talk about in the copy. If it’s a 20% sale of a particular category of books, lead them to that particular category. If it’s a 20% sale of all products, lead them to the main page of your e-store. The important thing is to have a simple, straightforward idea of what you want your subscribers to do once they open the message;

  • Consider the CTA design - generally speaking, CTAs can be image or text-based. What kind of CTA you use depends on your overall email layouts, your brand style, and your content. CTAs should be clear, easy to read and understand, and should be able to stand out in the email message.

5. Segment Your Audience

Segmentation allows you to group customers and subscribers according to common criteria. You can divide them into different categories according to age, gender, location (more specific or less specific), buying history, income, interests, behavior, lifestyle, hobbies, and other factors.

When it comes to mass email marketing, it’s crucial that you have the right segmentation strategy for it to be effective. You don’t want to send a bulk of emails to clients that will find nothing relevant or interesting in the content. They’ll just toss it right into the spam folder, which will only hurt your campaign.

6. Time Your Emails Strategically

Nobody wants their emails to go to waste. Imagine a scenario where you’ve crafted the perfect email but you send it at a time when most of your customers are least likely to see it and unable to browse through their email pile.

To avoid this, you have to time your emails properly and with a real strategy in mind.

It turns out that Tuesday seems to be the best day to send marketing emails because, according to studies, it has the most open rates, site traffic, and good CTR. After this comes Thursday as the second-best day to send emails.

The worst days to send emails are the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, in particular. These are days when people want to unwind from work and their phones, so, consequently, email usage is reduced.

Regarding the time of day when it’s best to send emails, from 9 to 11 am would be perfect (alternatives are 8-12). Why so? Well, people usually go to work around 8-9 am or have an office break around 11am-12pm, which means these are the times they’re more likely to check their emails for any work assignments.

Whatever you do, however, make sure not to overload the inboxes of your subscribers. Do an A/B test to see which day and time work best for your campaign.

7. Focus on the Design

The email design concerns the purely visual side of your mass email campaign and definitely shouldn’t be ignored.

Your email design should be consistent with your overall brand design and should follow certain design rules. For example, you should consider using the same (or a similar) color scheme as your site design for better brand recognition. But don’t be afraid to use bold colors, especially when it comes to the CTA button.

Make sure the email is reader-friendly; a good design is not worth much if the reader fumbles through the email and can’t seem to find their way around it.

8. Keep the Emails Short

People receive tons of emails daily so, naturally, they won’t have much time to read yours. That’s why you should keep your email content brief and to the point. But yes, sometimes, you’ll need your email to be longer, I get that. One way to make this work is by sending several shorter emails - making email sequels that are connected in content, or include links that will redirect them to your site, where you give more information on that particular subject. Another way to make it work is to put part of the content in a video format and link to it in the email.

9. Get Rid of Spam Triggers

Spam triggers are words that can be considered spam by email servers, so avoiding them is the best strategy. Words and phrases such as “Extra money/cash” “Cashback”, or “Invest for free!”, as well as “(Earn) millions”, “Fast bucks”, “Urgent”, “Zero/No risk”, etc. can all lead your email into the spam folder. Sometimes, it does happen that you’ll have to use certain spam words in your subject line, but in this case, whether they end up in the spam folder or not depends on context. You’ll probably be okay if you send them to personalized lists and if your sender reputation is good.

10. Offer Exclusive Deals

Exclusive deals are perfect for getting mass attention to your business. You can go about different ways here - promotional emails, flash sales, discounts, back-in-stock items, limited-time offers, and so on. Whatever you see fit, you can send to your customers, but make sure they’re still relevant to their interests. You’ll still need to do a bit of personalization even when it comes to offering exclusive deals.

11. Track and Analyze Your Engagement Statistics

Tracking engagement statistics will help you craft your future engagement strategy. Data is crucial when it comes to email marketing, at any point in your marketing journey. If you want to send emails to a large pool of clients and subscribers, you have to know how and how many of them engage with your emails. This will help you make some changes in your future campaigns to make them even more effective.

Conclusion

These are just some of the ways you can improve your mass email marketing campaign. Mass email marketing is still a very valid and useful way to get to a large base of subscribers and continue to promote your brand through email. My only advice, in the end, is: don’t be afraid to take new approaches to old strategies because it might pay off big time in the end.