Bulk Email Marketing

by Brian on March 22, 2010

There are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to bulk email marketing…

The first school of thought is “don’t ever do bulk emails, they’re illegal.”

The second school of thought is “absolutely it makes sense to do bulk mails, if you do it right.”

Isn’t bulk emailing illegal?

No, bulk emailing is not illegal. Spamming is. There’s a huge difference.

A lot of people confuse bulk emailing and spamming with one an another.

I don’t like spammers, I think spamming is a stupid form of marketing… In my opinion, it’s right up there with Network Marketing.

We’ve all received spam at one point or another. Spamming is when someone sends an offer via email that is completely unsolicited. It provides no removal options, no company name or address and it’s often accompanied by a deceptive offer.

What is bulk email marketing?

Bulk email marketing is a type of email marketing where you send an email with a call to action in it to more than one person. It could be to 2 people or it could be to 2 million people.

The people you send the email to are from an opt-in list, meaning they requested information from you or on a particular subject.

The desired outcome from bulk email marketing is typically one of three results:

  1. Branding – You just want to get your company name out there and people familiar with your brand.
  2. Lead Capture – You want to create a more focused list from the opt-in list you are sending the email to.
  3. Direct Sale – Your email directs the person to a sales page with the goal for that person to purchase a product or service.

To comply with the FTC CAN-SPAM Act, which regulates across the U.S. what spam is and isn’t, you must include these five things in every email you send out.

  1. Your valid email address.
  2. Your valid postal address.
  3. Your business name and contact information.
  4. A non-deceptive offer.
  5. An offer and means of removal from the mailing list.

Not all email lists are created equal.

The quality of email lists can vary significantly.

The only email lists you should ever deal with are opt-in email lists.

(There is an exception for advertised email, but we’ll get into that in another blog post.)

Self generated opt-in email lists are hands down the best email lists you can get.

They take time to build, but once they are established you have customers for life.

A good example of a self generated opt-in list is here on this page. We have a monthly newsletter, we send it out once a month and from time to time we’ll send out an email to our list.

Everyone who signs up for our list has been to our site… they know who we are and what we’re about. They also do what’s called a double opt-in.

We use AWeber for all of our blogs. With AWeber, when someone enters their name and email address into a sign up form, the subscriber gets an email confirming they subscribed to the newsletter, with a link they must click on to confirm.

When someone doesn’t confirm, it won’t automatically send them an email when you send one to your entire list (you still have the email address).

With self generated opt-in email lists, your conversions for selling product directly to them will be much higher than with any other type of list.

Purchased opt-in email lists from a single-offer landing page is your next best choice.

These are like when you see a pop-up or advertisement for information on “self improvement tips” and you sign up requesting more information.

The offers you receive are typically from more than one company and include a link that sends you to a landing page, which requests your name and email address. It may or may not send you to a sales page.

Purchased opt-in lists are best suited for lead capture. There is no relationship built with these people so asking everyone to buy something from you isn’t the best way to start a relationship.

Purchased opt-in email lists from a multi-offer landing page.

This is where you sign up for a website and they ask you to check 10 things you’re interested in and their partners send you offers. For sure there will be some cool offers that come across your email, but for the most part they’re not.

This type of opt-in list is best for trying to brand your business.  Sure you can send them to a lead capture page, but most people won’t “click through.”

A bulk email I received right around Christmas was from Wal-Mart… It had link to click through to go to their site, but it was an advertisement that “Their every day low prices got even lower for the holidays.” I doubt if that bulk email marketing campaign generated a ton of cash from online sales, but it put the message fresh in people’s minds to go to Wal-Mart for their cheap holiday shopping needs.

Incentivised Lists

I have mixed feelings on these… This is when someone signs up for a lists to get a “Free iPod” or some other type of incentive.

More often than not these lists are best suited for branding…

Bulk emailing marketing is a good form of marketing.

The catch is, you have to do it right. If you send out the wrong offer to a list, you are libel to get the exact opposite of your desired response.

What has been your experience with bulk email marketing?

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