Using the right terminology enables a team to work together more efficiently and rapidly, and digital marketing has it’s fair share of phrases. That’s just one of the reasons why email marketing “slang” is such a pet-peeve of mine and many other digital marketing professionals, too.
What are the wrong phrases for sending out marketing emails?
I’ve heard email marketing communications being described in a number of ways, including;
- Email ‘blasts’ or ‘eBlasts’
- Email ‘shots’ or ‘eShots’
- Email ‘broadcast’ or ‘eBroadcast’
Calling the email a ‘blast’ or ‘shot’ implies that it’s being sent without any thought of mailing list segmentation – It’s simply being ‘blast’ out to the entire list (‘Shotgun marketing’). It connotes a lack of sensitivity to the audience and suggests testing and improvement are things left unconsidered.
Adopting the ‘broadcasting’ approach is a little better, but as with the other two examples it denotes a one-way and ‘one-size-fits-all’ method of communication.
So what’s the right phrase for sending out marketing emails?
Put simply, any marketing email communication should be seen as a campaign in its own right, even if that email is part of a larger marketing programme. For example, I might have a ‘50% off’ offer (the programme) and a “Tell a friend” email campaign promoting that offer.
- Email campaign or Email marketing campaign (but not an eCampaign!)
With that in mind, the only truly acceptable terminology for marketing email communication I beleive should be as above. Describing the email as a campaign also signifies a well thought-out and planned approach and suggests the email itself is part of a bigger picture – Which they usually are.
Industry accepted terminology
Using the phrase ’email blast’ or ‘eShot’ rather than ’email campaign’ won’t bring conversations to an abrupt halt, but it’s good practice to use ‘campaign’ if only to convey the thought and planning ‘behind the scenes’ work that goes into every marketing email communication.
I’ll add ‘blast’ and ‘shot’ to the list of words I don’t like, which already includes the phrases ‘cloud’ and ‘cloud computing’ – hopefully obvious by reading my earlier article on Salesforce’s acquisition of ExactTarget from June 2013.