Stop Calling Your Campaign an Email Blast

Oh, what's in a name?

Language is a beautiful thing. It's perhaps mankind's greatest and most significant invention. With language we are able to convey so much with so little. It has enabled us to keep a record of our thoughts and to build on the accomplishments of those who have come before us.

Email marketing is an advanced form of communication. From cave paintings to the printing press, the human race has moved forward to this point. We can now send communication nearly anywhere in the world with a simple click of a button. Email is an astounding and revolutionary piece of technology. Communicating with it should be elegant and effective. So why has email become, in many cases, so cold, crass and downright rude?

I personally lay a large portion of the blame one word, one word that represents much more than people give it credit for, one word that has become a common representative for bad email marketing.


That dirty little word that drives me so crazy.

What's wrong with the word blast? Pretty much everything. Let's break it down. For the moment we will set aside the connotation of the word, which is probably the worst part, and focus on the denotation or the literal meaning of the word. Sometimes we use a word for so long that we don't even stop to think about its meaning.

  • Here are a couple of my favorite definitions pulled from the dictionary:
  • Any pernicious or destructive influence, esp. on animals or plants; a blight.
  • The sudden death of buds, flowers, or young fruit.
  • A loud, sudden sound or noise.
  • A forceful or explosive throw, hit, etc.
  • A vigorous outburst of criticism; attack.
  • Are any of these ways you would want your email campaign described?

A blast is offensive, random, destructive, and possibly dangerous. These are the last ways we want our clients or our employees to think about our email marketing campaign.

All of these definitions add to the connotation, or the way the word makes us feel. The word blast evokes feelings of instability, inaccuracy, danger, and a whole host of other negative things. If you call your campaign a blast, it's very likely that those around you will treat it as a blast and therefore it will end up becoming a blast, which is exactly what you want to avoid.

The way we communicate about the things in our lives is important. The words we use to label the things around us assign to them a great deal of meaning, much of which we don't even consciously realize. Your business is important to you, your marketing is important to you. Don't attach negativity to your campaigns from the get go by calling them email blasts.

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