I’m always promoting my opinion that it should be a priority to make sure all your marketing activities are in sync with each other if you want to deliver a successful marketing campaign. Nothing is truer than when it comes to email marketing. You don’t even have to be a design or tech whizz to ensure your marketing emails work for you, but you should ensure you are using the right systems to send the email from in the first place!
Don’t Send bulk emails via Outlook
I’d strongly advise/plead/beg that you don’t send bulk emails from outlook, Gmail, etc. Use a bulk email or email marketing service provider. We recommend using Mailchimp for most businesses as it tends to be the most cost-efficient, but there are other options out there that are worth looking at. Check out Constant Contact and also Active Campaign. They all have similar features, so check out the free trials and send some test/dummy campaigns to yourself in order to see which you get on with the best. They all have similar features, so check out the free trials and send some test/dummy campaigns to yourself in order to see which you get on with the best.
Why Use An Email Marketing Service?
Most email marketing services give you the ability to create fantastic looking HTML emails, either by using a template provided by them, or one that you have created yourself. They will help you manage your email marketing list, including the considerations we now have under the GDPR, meaning you don’t need to worry about managing your unsubscribes, etc. as the system should do this for you.
More importantly, using something like Mailchimp to send your marketing emails means you have the ability to see a range of stats that relate to the performance of that email and make additional messages more relevant to the people you are emailing.
My final, and probably most important reason for using an email marketing service is also the answer to the following question:
Why shouldn’t I use Outlook to send bulk marketing emails?
Sometimes you might send a normal email to someone, and it doesn’t arrive. When you look into it, it says something like ‘the Firewall blocked it’ or it was ‘rejected by the server’. Basically, what happened in that scenario is that one single email coming in was rejected because it looked a bit dodgy!
Imagine now that you’re sending bulk messages constantly via Outlook. Instead of one email being rejected – it’s 100s or 1000s at a time. This puts you at risk of your email address becoming blacklisted by the email providers of your contacts. This then means all your emails, bulk or otherwise, will not arrive in the recipient’s inbox. With me so far?
The same risk applies when using something like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc. but the risk is much lower. Let me try to explain…
How can Mailchimp protect me from being blacklisted?
Imagine if you ended up on a blacklist after sending an email via Mailchimp, it meant that Mailchimp themselves also ended up on that same blacklist. (It isn’t quite as black and white as that – but it all starts to make more sense when you think of it that way!)
As a bulk email service provider, they (Mailchimp, Constant Contact or any of the others) are watching out for inappropriate use of their systems and will stop their users sending bulk emails that look like they might be at risk of ending up on a blacklist. For this reason, when your bulk email is being received by the email providers of your contacts, and the email can be seen as coming via Mailchimp the risk of being blacklisted reduces. That’s because the email providers of your contacts are aware that Mailchimp is limiting poor email behaviours!
This article is covering one of those things that “you don’t know – unless you know”! We’re often advising people who talk to us that sending thousands of emails from outlook (even if you are using merge tags to personalise them) is bad practice. When you explain the reason why, there’s often a story about how there has been an issue with a blacklist in the past that has been resolved, but that they didn’t realise could potentially have been caused by bulk emailing.
Bottom line is, don’t use Outlook to send thousands of identical (or almost identical) marketing emails! Invest in a specific email marketing service, such as Mailchimp, and tap into the benefits while also protecting yourself from those blacklists!