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Email Marketing – It’s NOT a “Blast”!

June 21, 2011

Like many email marketers and bloggers, I really dislike the word "blast"!  So much so, that when I heard it again recently, I felt compelled to put pen to paper, following in the footsteps of many others before me.  Fellow email marketer Scott Cohen writes in his post "The Naughtiest Word in Email Marketing" about "its general evilness and lack of thought about the recipients" and goes even further by saying that the word should be banished as it “de-humanises your message and it devalues your customer”."Let's face it," he says. "There's nothing in my mind that's positive about saying you're going to send an email blast. There's nothing personal about it, either. So why does the word still have relevance?"

Fair comment I think; but I’m wondering if it really matters to your recipient, that you refer to your email offer as a “blast” instead of using a preferred term like campaign? After all, it's not as if they know which word you use?  However, on reflection, I immediately think that it really does matter because the term you use, reflects the respect you have for your subscribers and how you treat them.

Alarm bells always ring at Extravision when a potential new customer calls us and says the dreaded words “I want to send an email blast" and it’s not often we’re proven wrong! There’s just nothing positive or personal  about saying you’re going to send an email blast. The reason that "blast" is dangerous; is not only because it makes you sound like a spammer, it is also because their repeated use can influence how you view your subscribers and campaigns. Words like "email blast" to describe campaigns suggest the sender doesn't see subscribers as people, but rather as targets to shoot offers at until they score a hit.

Here are what some of the other “Email Snobs” in the world think of the word “Blast”: DJ Waldow, in his “Petition to Ban the Phrase ‘Email Blast,’” wrote: "It pains me every time I hear, read, or even think about the word “blast”". Loren McDonald, in his “Attack of the Killer Bs,” had this to say: Blast: I frequently hear otherwise intelligent marketers refer to “sending out an email blast” — as if email marketing required no strategy or thinking. Just “get the blast out. A blast has a lot of power behind it, and the message goes far and wide, but the target is vague and undefined.”
Mathew Patterson, in “Email as conversation, not invasion,” wrote: Have you heard your clients talk about “email blasts” and “mail shots”? Sounds less like we are emailing our subscribers, and more like we are declaring war on them! The more we see our audience as passive receivers of a mass message, the less likely we are to think about what works best for them instead of us. Email is such a personal medium, at least on the receiving end, and it’s a dreadful waste of that intimacy to just throw out the same message to everyone."

What are your opinions on the matter? Nothing gets changed unless we all acknowledge that “Blast” is an awful addition to the email marketing dictionary.  Should all email marketers pull together and start a petition to ban it once and for all?
 

Posted by Rebecca McCormick
Topical email


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