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To Bulk Send or Not to Bulk Send

That is a good question

March 15, 2020
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Should you email your entire subscribers’ list when you need to start conversations or interactions?

Sometimes you need to ask fast and ask your subscribers to update their profile or information, for example in order to comply with new laws or accessibility rules, or even to make sure their account is secure following a breach: the terms have been changed, the new privacy policy has been implemented or anything else. While preventing further damage is important, it is not the only way to deal with this situation.

A word about legitimacy

Before I get into this, please know that this is delivery advice and can help you get the most out of digital messaging from your brands. You should always check the legality of your rules and terms with your legal team.

Keep your email KPIs in mind

Before you make the decision to email your entire database, take a step back and consider the implications. When building an email program, the goal is to hit the KPI you measure. Whether it’s revenue, getting event attendees, helping a cause, and attracting users to your app - emailing can have far-reaching results. Your KPI sends to a much larger group than support groups can endanger the entire program.

Blanket email accidents

Mailbox providers need to monitor the pros and cons of their messaging to customers - brands that send you emails that allow people like you and me to reach the inbox, with email addresses. Emails. When sent to your entire file, regardless of the recipient’s status, you run the following risks:

  1. More Complaints - from people who identify your message as spam, complain to your ESP or complain to the mailbox provider
  2. Increased anonymous users (non-current email addresses)
  3. Sends spam traps (bad list email addresses that can be used to identify bad or unaproved recipients

These negative interactions can send a knock-on effect to all email addresses in your database. Emails that go to customers who put you in business are compromised and go to the spam folder, or miss the recipient altogether.

How can you achieve your goals without hurting the foundation of your email program? Here are three steps to help you in this situation:

  1. Email active recipients — Active participants in your email conversation actively engage with your emails (by opening and clicking). Email them to spell out any changes you need them to perform. Give them the ability to dig in themselves and take it one step further. It shows that you respect them to make sure they really understand the changes that have been made.
  2. Segment recipients who don’t regularly receive emails from other digital messaging methods — Here, you reduce your delivery risk. One of the benefits of using the engagement cloud is that you have other options. There are various channels through which recipients can connect with you and reach out more productively.
  3. Respect those who actively say they don’t want to hear from you — If a recipient deletes a subscription from your message - don’t send them messages. Explore other ways to communicate with those recipients.

Some examples:

  • If your recipients have an online number available, use a popover to communicate with customers about the changes that have occurred - and click through.
  • If you have an app, ask the user to accept the new terms before opening the app.


Communicate with your recipients / subscribers / customers. Email should be a bilateral operation, where both parties have a conversation. Why create conversations by emailing your entire database when you don’t need it? Instead, save yourself some pain and use the opportunity to communicate the way your recipients want to hear from you.

The Mailman

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