This blog post is an older post. We have an updated post where we unpack the differences between bulk email and spam.
Check it out here: Unpacking the Differences Between Bulk Email and SPAM

When you think of bulk email, the first thing that comes to mind is probably a bald guy sitting in a basement sending adverts for pills to millions of unsuspecting inboxes. The truth is, there are many more legit uses of bulk email, and spam has (almost) nothing to do with it. In this article, we’ll have a look at what bulk email is, what you can do with it, and some of the benefits and risks of using this kind of communicate with your audience.

What is bulk email?

Bulk email, in its simplest form, is the same email sent to a large list of recipients. It is used when you want to get the same message out to a large audience and most often used in marketing and newsletter communications.
One very important aspect of bulk email is that it’s only sent to people who want to receive it, and sign up to a mailing list in order to do so. This isn’t only good manners, it’s being passed into law in the (POPI Act).

Because bulk mail is communication your customers want to receive, the possibilities are nearly endless. With a little bit of ingenuity and the right system, you can use bulk email to send, among others,:
• Newsletters
• Marketing creative
• Announcements
• Invitations
• Surveys

Benefits of bulk email

Seth Godin, a respected internet expert, refers to email marketing as “permission marketing.” If your contacts and prospective customers give you permission to send them mail, you have a wonderful opportunity to build a relationship of trust with them.

When you take care to execute email marketing properly, you will show your customers that you care about them and that you respect their privacy. By guarding their personal information and protecting their privacy, you protect the relationship that you have with them.

Bulk email has some more pragmatic benefits too, like

• Cost saving (gone are the days of stuffing leaflets into post boxes and gates),
• Saving time by only communicating with people who are already interested in what you have to offer,
• Helps you refine your campaigns by sending different emails to segments of your contacts with different interests.

What are the pitfalls of bulk email?

Well, we’ve mentioned it before, and you’ve most certainly encountered it. The biggest pitfall of bulk email is SPAM. Nobody wants to get spam, and you certainly don’t want to be sending spam.

The trouble is that spam isn’t only adverts for pills. Any email that a consumer doesn’t want to receive is considered spam. That means that you, as a email sender, you have to take careful steps to make sure that you are not sending unwanted email. For more info on SPAM, read our SPAM guide.

Another pitfall of is that your recipients might seem to be unresponsive. You’ll spend hours laying out a gorgeous email carefully composing the content, and you might see a low opening rate. Unfortunately, that’s just the nature of email. Most subscribers sign up to lists, follow them for a little while, and then drop off. However, it’s still worth doing for the people who are interested and engaged, and the more you focus on relevant content, the more engaged your audience will become…The bottom line, email marketing can be a very satisfying and effective way to communicate with your customers. It is well worth the time and effort to learn how to do it properly. We look forward to taking this journey with you.