We’ve long dismissed the slogan “email is dead”, and we stand firm in our stance, as the numbers show email continues to be a dominant medium for communication. Statista reports 241 million emails were sent every minute around the world as of December 2023, and it’s predicted 392.5 billion emails will be sent every day worldwide by 2026. Everlytic’s latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report revealed our clients sent 5.5 billion bulk emails through our platform in 2022 – up from 4.6 billion sent in 2020. The crux is bulk email is an essential communication tool. This is why we’re giving you a bulk email crash course, which you’ll find handy whether you’re a newbie or old hand.

bulk email

What’s All the Fuss About Bulk Email?

It’s challenging not to be glued to our inboxes, and yet email hasn’t been around for all that long. Just more than 30 years ago, South Africa’s first email was sent from Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape to Portland, Oregon in the United States. Fast-forward to present day, email plays an integral role in our lives. We can send emails to individual recipients or create bulk emails to get many eyeballs on our messaging – a terrific feat for marketers.

Let’s explain what we mean by bulk emails. These are essentially emails created for and sent to multiple recipients. They are used to market businesses; share announcements; build awareness for brands, products, and services; and, ultimately, boost sales and morale.

In best practice, bulk emails are created, sent, and tracked using a platform that has capabilities to personalise and automate messages at scale, store first-party data compliantly, and integrate with other platforms and systems – like customer relationship management. Everlytic is an example of a bulk email provider.

Using bulk email for marketing has proven to be a cost-effective and painless way to optimise your return on investment, and Everlytic’s latest benchmarks report showcases this.

Do Bulk Emails Really Make an Impact?

Email marketing is a highly competitive space, and it can be challenging to know whether your bulk email campaigns are making an impact and how they compare with your competitors.

This is why every two years since 2014, Everlytic analyses the billions of emails sent through its digital communication platform. The report is a game-changer for marketers and business owners, as it provides valuable insights into how their bulk email engagement compares to the averages in their industry as well as across the South African market.

The latest report revealed engagement was up, which is a positive sign for email marketing and showcases the impact bulk emails make. This time period is also interesting as it showed an uptake in email marketing after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Engagement was particularly high in the following industries: technology, business and consulting, and education and training.

Get your hands on our latest Email Marketing Benchmarks Report to see how your bulk emails compare with industry standards.

So, How Do You Measure Email Engagement?

The performance of bulk emails is measured by the engagement they receive. This is the extent to which recipients interact with emails by opening them and clicking on calls to action. For this, you need to use a platform, like Everlytic, with functionality to track how many opens and clicks your emails receive.

You can then calculate engagement rates to help you compare how your bulk emails are tracking. These are measured as follows:

  • Open Rate: This is the percentage of contacts who opened a particular email out of the total number of contacts to whom you sent the email.
  • Click-Through Rate: This is the percentage of people who clicked at least one link in a particular email out of the total number of people to whom the email was delivered.
  • Click-to-Open Rate: This is the percentage of contacts who clicked on at least one link in the email divided by the number of contacts who opened the email. Email marketers often value this engagement metric higher than the click-through rate as a measure of the effectiveness of email content, as it excludes those who did not open your email.

What It Takes to Create Engaging Bulk Emails

Inboxes can get crowded, so it’s essential you hook your recipients from the moment they see your email and hold their attention until your final call to action. If you consider your own email consumption habits, you’ll know this is no easy feat. It takes a persuasive subject line to make you want to open an email, and the copy and design need to be coherent, catchy, and interesting to make you read to the end and click the links.

For the real newbies, let’s pause to list the elements you need to consider when building your bulk emails. Best practice is to use a subject line and preview text to indicate what your email is about. In the body of the email, include your logo, social sharing icons (either in the header or footer), an enticing header image that captures what the email is about, a greeting, easy-to-read body copy font, buttons for your calls to action, images, and a footer with a link to allow your recipients to unsubscribe at any time.

It’s useful to structure your content using the inverted pyramid framework, so the most important info is at the top of your email. Writing and designing your content in an F-pattern will guide readers’ eyes down the left-hand side of your email to encourage them to read to the end.

So, how do you craft your bulk emails to influence your recipients to open your emails and click on the links? One way is to tailor your communication by using predictable patterns that assist your recipients to make decisions. To do this effectively, you need to understand what goes into decision-making processes to make people act in the ways they do.

Adding behavioural linguistics to your email marketing toolkit is key. It’ll show you how language can help you build rapport for your brand, convince or persuade your recipients, and drive action by getting recipients to answer your calls to action.

Key areas to consider in a behavioural linguistics analysis of your bulk emails include:

  • Frequently used words and language themes. Our research has found pronouns like “you” and “your” help build connection with the reader, and adjectives like “now” create a sense of urgency and guide recipients to take action. You can further build language themes to convey a central idea, such as creating a sense of urgency or building loyalty. Other examples include the language of quality to give recipients aspiration and the language of free, which is often found to be motivating.
  • Sentence length, tense, and grammar. This is an especially important consideration for your subject line. You want to ensure it’s short and snappy, so it doesn’t cut off, but you also want it to catch attention. Our research into the best-performing emails has generally found driving a sense of urgency and commanding action work better than asking a question.
  • Poetic devices, such as copy that rhymes. We tend to find sentences that rhyme believable and credible, and we are persuaded by things that come in threes.
  • Visual imagery, fonts, and colours. Design elements are especially important since imagery has a powerful impact on our brains. Consider the type of imagery, how many visuals you are using, whether or not there are people in the images, the quality of the photographs, and the colours and fonts you choose to use. The best way to use these varies between industries. However, one of the most essential parts of any email is the calls to action, and, time and again, our research determines that standalone buttons are the best way to catch attention and drive action from readers.
  • Quick-fix ways to help readers make decisions. Examples include, how you position prices relative to the product, as we’ve been trained to believe that “down” means “less”, and offers with a strike through them are a compelling way to show a price has been cut. You can also help your audience by sending emails at times when your audience is most receptive. Tracking your email open and click rates will help you discover when this is.

You can also use a behavioural tool called the Feast Framework to structure your content. The word “Feast” is an acronym to guide you in making your content:

Fun: Create a lightness for recipients.
Easy: Make your copy easy to read and ensure any action you require from readers is a simple process.
Attractive: You’ll drive up the value of your content by making your emails eye-catching.
Social: Offer social proof to show others support your offerings to entice your recipients to do the same.
Timely: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – send your emails at times when your audience is responsive, as people respond differently based on when they receive communication.

We’ve conducted four behavioural linguistic analyses of the emails sent through Everlytic’s platform across four industries. The results have been insightful and are often useful for building emails on any topic. Check out our Education, Travel, Retail, and Financial Services reports.

Support at Every Step of Your Email Journey

We understand that building, sending, and tracking your bulk email campaigns can be intimidating – even if you’re experienced. This is why Everlytic has a team of Client Relationship Managers who can guide you to create and send effective campaigns that deliver top results – and they’ll help you track those results.

These team members are highly skilled at using the Everlytic platform and can help you make use of all the features. They also host regular client training sessions, ranging from basic to advanced.

Proven Tactics to Enhance Your Bulk Emails

Bulk emails are a way to build trust, encourage engagement, and, ultimately, boost sales. It’s possible – and important – to constantly track the performance of your emails to ensure your recipients are engaging with your messaging. It’s also necessary to thoughtfully craft every element of your emails – from your subject line to your final call to action – using persuasive language patterns that encourage your recipients to make decisions.

Harness the Power of Bulk Emails

Bulk emails can give your marketing a boost, but it makes all the difference when you have a reliable platform and support team to assist you.