The term broadcast email was probably derived from “broadcast fax.” In the world of electronic communications, it is logical to connect email as the next generation of popular electronic communication, after facsimile sending. In many ways, broadcast email can be defined in relation to how many people the message is intended to reach. It may be defined as an email to one or more people, or as a message for an entire group of people.
There are many ways emails are sent, as well as what messages they are intended to convey. Broadcast emails can be sent for personal use, internally within an organization, or externally to reach out to customers or other type of constituents.
With regard to personal use of broadcast email, one may send a message to friends and family announcing a new address and informing recipients of their new contact information. An individual can also use email to invite people to an after hours party or a seminar. These emails may be sent by either inputting everyone’s address in the “To” field or “cc”. To hide the list of email addresses and appear to the recipient that the email was personally sent to them, the sender my elect to use a “blind carbon copy” option in their contacts program.
A sender may also choose to purchase an email program specifically designed for personalizing broadcast emails, which would also give the impression that a single email was sent to the recipient.
There are also online programs available that assist senders with the management of broadcast emails. Evite provides free online invitations complete with templates and tracking capabilities. This service sends a personalized email to individuals invited to an event and provides a link to an electronic invitation.
Another use of broadcast email is for internal communication purposes. An organization may choose to send out important messages or newsletters to their employees by using email, as opposed to a memo in the paper form. This saves the organization in terms of time spent in the distribution of the message and in materials used to print the message.
Some entities may have listservs in place, which are lists that contain a number of email addresses. These lists may be divided into different groups, with all members on that list having a common characteristic. One list may contain everyone who works in the marketing department, while another will include individuals in the finance department. Broadcast emails can also be sent in this instance by using software which will segment individuals and send them the appropriate message, even with the added touch of personalization.
The most common use of email for external purposes is to communicate with existing and potential customers. This is usually referred to as email marketing. Broadcast emails can be sent to promote new items, an upcoming sale, or an announcement in the form of a press release or a newsletter.
Broadcast email for external communication also comes in different forms. Mass email, which is a single message sent to a large number of people, can be done in two ways. The first and most common method is to send unsolicited email to individual email addresses on email lists that were harvested from past online activity. This is known as spamming, and has harmed the validity of mass emailing as a form of communication to a large number of people. Email from entities that use their own list of clientele may be overlooked and deleted due to the overflow of spam in recipient inboxes. This defeats the purpose of using email to send meaningful messages to a considerable quantity of people.
The best way to prevent messages from being blocked or overlooked is to personalize the email, in both the subject line and the message body. Broadcast email has gone towards personalization by using the information in internal databases to customize the messages. Not only will this get the email past all the other unsolicited mass email but the message will get to the recipient as intended.
Different elements to consider when sending a broadcast email message are how many people will be included, the type of delivery capabilities that will be needed, and the results intended of sending the email to a sizable number of recipients. The proper use of this form of communication may result in high response rate from the individuals receiving the message.