Why You Should Boycott the “Email Blast” - Carney
Boycott the "Email Blast"

Why You Should Boycott the “Email Blast”

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away “email blasts” were all the rage. But times have changed.

This outdated term both reflects and promotes a distorted view of email marketing. It portrays email as a monolithic force that – like the Death Star – can forcibly control the behavior of the masses.

And like the Death Star, the “email blast” approach has a fatal flaw. Here’s why you should boycott email blasts:

  1. Email is a permission-based channel
  2. Email is a targetable channel

Permission-Based Means the Email Subscriber Has the Power

The term “blast” implies the power to send email is in the hands of the marketer. In reality, emailing a subscriber is a privilege, not a right. People have invited you into their inbox. And your invitation can be revoked.

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People are checking their email before getting out of bed in the morning or even while sitting on the toilet. They’ve invited you into a very personal space. They are the host, you are the guest. They have the power and the right to ask you to leave.

Be a gracious guest. Don’t presume they are obligated to keep opening emails just because you blast send them.

Email is a Targetable Channel

“Blast” also suggests that all subscribers should get the same emails all of the time. In reality, email has many of the same targeting abilities as other digital channels.

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Even decision makers steeped in traditional media understand the power of being able to display digital ads to a very specific audience (for example, highly targeted Facebook ads). But if we continue to view email like snail-mail – just as a way to “blast” everybody on a list – we’ve missed the point of the segmentation capabilities of email.

Segmenting by demographics and user engagement allows you to craft relevant messages for the right people at the right time.

Beware the Blast Mentality

If you detect the “blast” mentality on a team you work with, beware. Words have power. The wrong words can promote poor decision-making and perpetuate a strategy that will ultimately self-destruct.

Educate decision makers on the real power of email marketing. Here’s how you can start that conversation.

Help them understand that email marketing is not a game of dodgeball with the goal of hitting your subscribers as hard as you can. It’s a game of catch with the goal of maintaining your streak of catches as long as possible.

More importantly, it’s a game of catch the subscriber initiated with you. At any time they can tell you, “I’m taking my ball and going home.”

Spam reports and unopened emails can ultimately land your next email in other people’s spam folders, undermining your email channel altogether.

The lesson: Toss gently. Send the emails your subscribers want to catch, not just the ones you want to throw.

How You Can Boycott Blasts

It’s time for a rebellion against the “blast.”

  • Understand that email is permission based
  • Add segmentation by demographics and user engagement to your strategy
  • Educate yourself and your team about why “email blast” is a problem

Let’s get out of here, Chewie.


Carney is a full-service digital agency. Are you looking for a partner to help move your email strategy out of the blast zone? Let’s talk.


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