Marketing dollars are limited, but the choices for marketing are infinite. How do you choose what to invest in? One standby–the eblast– uses traditional advertising mentality through the vehicle of modern email. In an eblast, a company pays another group which owns a large list of email subscribers. In essence, the company is paying to get into the inboxes of the people on that list.
Do eblasts work? Do they cause readers to click over to a site and buy? In some cases, yes. But in many cases, no. I have heard many stories from clients who have invested $600, $800, even $1200 in an eblast and had virtually no response whatsoever.
What went wrong?
When you are considering an eblast, you need to ask some tough questions. The person with the massive email list is going to sell you on a large number of subscribers. But you need to pry deeper and ask these two key questions:
- What is open rate for last 10 campaigns?
- What was the click through rate (CTR) for the last ten campaigns?
If a list of 50,000 subscribers has an average open rate of only 4%, you have reached only 2,000 people. Is that worth spending $800?
Compare what you would spend on an eblast with a blog review campaign where the bloggers have email subscriber lists with open rates of 35-50% or daily page views four times the 2,000 people you are reaching through the eblast.
When you send an eblast, you have to create the copy, images, and that all-important subject line. With a blog review campaign, the bloggers do that work for you and a much higher percentage of their audience is going to read that post compared to the people who open an eblast.
With a team of bloggers, you are getting 5, 10, 15, or 20 different headlines shared in email RSS and on social media. With an eblast, you get a single shot. If that email subject line fails, your money has been wasted.
Sharing & Searching
An eblast is quickly forgotten; its shelf-life is 48 hours maximum with most of the activity coming in the first two hours after the email is sent.
No one shares an email. But blog reviews get pinned on Pinterest, talked about on Facebook, and tweeted on Twitter. And, the kicker — blog posts get found in search. When was the last time you found an eblast in a Google search?
Another issue you should ask about before buying an eblast is the demographic of the list. Most of these mega-eblasts lists are a hodgepodge of all kinds of people within a very broad niche. Our bloggers’ sites and email lists are targeted to match the product/service they are reviewing.
For example, if you have a product for middle schoolers, your blog reviewers have children in that age range. It wouldn’t make sense to market preschool products on that same blog. But an eblast to a huge list does exactly that. It markets to a broad base of people in hopes that a small fraction will find the advertisement interesting enough to act.
Why not focus on a more targeted audience? Blog reviews allow you to narrow down to your perfect audience because the bloggers who match the product already have that kind of audience.
Our Kind of Marketing
At iHomeschool Network, we do not send eblasts or offer them to our clients. We don’t want to blast anyone. We would rather invite interested people to come read our quality content. It is in that context that we promote brands. Our marketing is based on modern, ethical, and FTC-compliant methods that work in this world driven by the Internet and social media. We shun traditional advertising like blasting people with unwelcome information. Instead we hold to the principles of
Is buying an eblast any different from buying a list or paying someone to spam for you?
Spam?! You don’t want to spam; you want to market, right? Before you choose to buy an eblast, ask the tough questions to make sure you are getting what you pay for. And consider a blog review campaign. It is less work for you, targets a narrower audience, provides searchable and shareable content that exists online for years (not two hours), and reaches proportionally more people.