The Simple Email Blast
While email newsletters are dead, at least as an effective promotional tool, email itself is alive and kicking. The better alternative to the traditional email newsletter is the email blast. The blast is simple. It is a single main message or story with at most one additional secondary message. Typically, formatting is kept to a single column (like most email messages).
A word of warning about our use of the term ‘blast’. We do not mean this as blindly carpet-bombing your audience with messages. All of your messages should be reader centric, be targeted and make relationship building a priority. A ‘blast’ is just our way of distinguishing between traditional tools like newsletters and transactional emails like receipts and confirmations.
Simpler and Shorter
A single message is almost automatically going to be shorter than a multi-story newsletter. You still want to pay attention to length though. If you do have a longer message, you will want to break it up with images, section breaks and smart use of typography.
At GeekCoaches, we use MailChimp to design and distribute our email blasts. We are able to create simple templates into which we simply drop new content each time. Whereas creating a full newsletter felt quite painful, creating a new email blast feels not much more complicated than sharing an article on social media.
Stay in Touch More Regularly
This shorter, simpler format means that you can send email blasts more frequently than you send newsletters. A quarterly newsletter could become a monthly email and a monthly newsletter could become a weekly blast. If you are sending your audience content they will value, you do not have to worry about this frequency. If you are not sending valuable content, you need to rethink your content strategy rather than your distribution strategy.
Identify the Purpose of Your Message and Your Desired Outcome
As part of creating focus for your email blast, you want to start by identifying why the message is providing value to your audience. This value should be clearly and prominently communicated in the email. By providing value, you can also seek to have your audience act on your behalf.
With a single story, you can tie a clear call-to-action to the email. Each communication with your audience provides you with an opportunity to drive them to a specific action. You want to be specific and clear as to what that action is and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to act. You should use highlighted links such as buttons with language that directly implores the reader to act. Among possible desired outcomes, your call-to-action can be to buy something, to contact you, or to share the email. Ideally, your call-to-action is directly tied to the topic of your story.