The Worst Word Ever: Killing the Email “Blast” (Part 1)

We all have that one word that makes us cringe when we hear it — our own worst word ever. Mine’s “blast,” a word I (quite unfortunately) hear or read every single day in the email compliance and deliverability field.

So what’s so bad about “blasting” your content out? Well, to answer that question, I have some homework for you. Spend a day referring to every email as a blast:

“Hey, can you blast me with that client’s contact information?”

“Just send me a blast summarizing the meeting.”

“Hey mom, thanks for blasting me with that great recipe for smoked mac and cheese.?

I’d be thoroughly surprised if you and your coworkers aren’t extraordinarily annoyed with the word by the end of the day.

Now, for your next assignment, since you’re tired of the word blast, let’s look at how the word is defined, along with some synonyms for the word:

  • a violent gust of wind; synonyms: gust, rush, gale, squall, wind
  • the sound produced by an impulsion of air through a wind instrument or whistle; synonyms: blare, roar, shriek, screech
  • a vehement outburst; Synonyms: explosion, detonation, burst
  • an explosion or violent detonation; Synonym: bomb, shoot, blow up

Think of using synonyms in place of the term “email blast.” Email explosion, email bomb, email vehement outburst — none of them sound like something you’d want to do with your prospects. When marketing is all about the customer relationship, do you really want that relationship to be based on something as offensive and randomly dangerous as a blast? Probably not.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the implied “explosion” of an email blast. Explosions indiscriminately destroy everything within their blast radius, without any regard for specific targeting. You can’t make an explosion only hit certain objects and leave others unscathed — that’s not how an explosion works.

As an analogy, say you’re (and here’s that awful word again) blast fishing. Blast fishing involves using dynamite to stun or kill schools of fish. What if you only want one type of fish, say?tuna? If you throw your dynamite into the water and let it explode, you may catch some tuna, but you also wind up with a bunch of other fish you never wanted. This is the equivalent of blasting this section of ocean with irrelevant content and getting back a bunch of “dead fish” you were never interested in to begin with. Why not use your fishing rod to target the tuna and leave more fish alive to catch for later? Similarly, why not write more customized content to personalize your sends (then send them to targeted, segmented lists), instead of jeopardizing your relationship with a huge number of people just to get a few measly responses?

Words are a fascinating thing, aren’t they? The way we use those words to communicate is critically important to your brand, your reputation, and your customer relationships. Let’s retire the offensive blast once and for all. It’s outdated, offensive, and damaging to your entire brand’s messaging.

Tweet to me @holobachgirl with what word you’re using instead of blast! Let’s #burytheblast once and for all.

Stay tuned for part two of our worst word series: burying the blast and building new relationships.

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3 thoughts on “The Worst Word Ever: Killing the Email “Blast” (Part 1)

  • “Blast” doesn’t exist in the lexicon of an informed marketing professional — hasn’t for years.

    Yet I still hear marketing (and especially sales) clients use the term everyday . . . the underlying problem is that most people still value quantity over quality . . . and that won’t change until they adopt a more ‘customer-centric’ view of their operation.

    Here’s a thought for you — the second worst term used by marketers is “Content”.

    To me, like the term “Blast”, “Content” favors quantity over quality.

    Where is the timeliness & relevance in “Content”?

    “Content” is roughly analogous to “Fodder”, “Fill”, “the Stuff Inside” — it’s devoid of timeliness and/or relevance.

    Let’s all get back to talking about timely & relevant customer communications.


    • Hey Brian!

      Great commentary here, I definitely agree with your point about quality over quantity. We definitely encourage marketers to move away from that way of thinking. It’s always super important to stay relevant and be respectful of how you treat your prospects. One of my favorite quotes about marketing is “Treat an inbox like an invitation into someone’s home”, and it’s so true!

      Thanks so much for commenting, I appreciate your thoughts here!

    • You said it @BFey! I can’t agree more with Skyler’s post as well as your response.

      The term “Blast” should be as outdated as spelling email with a hyphen.

      #burytheblast indeed!

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