Advertising Your Business with Blast E-Mails - dummies

Advertising Your Business with Blast E-Mails

You can advertise your business by using blast e-mail — also known as bulk e-mail — which resembles direct mail advertising, except that blast e-mail goes out electronically and is subject to anti-spam regulations.

If you have a good list of customers, associates, and business contacts who have given you permission to send them e-mails, an e-mail blast is a great way to advertise.

Manage your opt-in mailing list well by taking these precautions:

  • Never publish your e-mail list on your Web site.

  • Never enter recipient addresses in the “To” section of your blast e-mail.

    Protect addresses by entering your own address in the “To” area and then entering all recipient addresses as blind carbon copies, using the “BCC” address option in your e-mail program.

  • Include an Unsubscribe link in all e-mails so that people can opt out of your mailings.

When you’re ready to send a blast e-mail, follow this advice:

  • Write a five- to seven-word subject line that your recipients will find familiar. Include your company name if they know your business.

  • Include your company name in the “From” box. This step signals that the e-mail is from a familiar source, and it may also help you get past your recipients’ spam filters.

  • Keep your message brief (ten lines or so) and casual. To tell a more complete story, link the e-mail recipient to your Web page or invite a subscription to your e-newsletter.

  • Expect your e-mail message to be quickly scanned. Grab interest with an attention-getting opening line, and use a P.S. to inspire further action.

  • Use easy-to-open and easy-to-read plain text for news announcements or for quick, special e-mail offers.

  • Include an e-mail signature file at the end of every message. Use this area to present your brand name and slogan, physical address, contact information, e-mail confidentiality statement, and a promotional message.

Most well-managed e-mail programs include a double opt-in system that accompanies a first confirmation e-mailing with a response request so that the recipient either reconfirms interest or opts out of future mailings. This way, you avoid someone signing up other people who didn’t want to be on your list.

Before you start a blast e-mail program, do thorough research on anti-spam laws and regulations. Getting yourself labeled a “spammer” — even if it was unintentional — can have dire consequences; you might face fines, get your Web site blacklisted from search engines, or face numerous other penalties that will cost your business.