So why not just use BCC when blast emailing?

To BCC or not to BCC, that is the question
To BCC or not to BCC, that is the question

A lot of companies get started with email marketing by sending out “blast” emails and newsletters via an email client such as Outlook.

While Outlook is a fine solution for one-to-one email, it was not specifically designed for sending high volume email. Now I’m not saying you can’t “get away” with it sometimes, but for the purpose of this post, I would like to look at the dangers of using Outlook as your mass email marketing tool.

Following are eight of the pitfalls with the “Art of BCC” :

  1. Your emails may just look terrible.  Outlook sends HTML email in such a way that it often only renders properly for other people using Outlook.  Sorry, not everyone uses Outlook.
  2. One simple mistake and you may accidentally put your email list in the TO: or CC: field.  Aside from everyone being angry with you for sharing their email addresses like a bad chain email,  if just one person hits “reply-to-all” then you’ve got a communication nightmare.
  3. There is a very good chance you will end up in your recipients spam folder.  If you send attachments with your email (and you should never send attachments with mass emails) you may even have bigger issues with being automatically marked as spam or junk mail.
  4. You may bog down your outgoing email server and be penalized by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) as you will effect anyone else using the same server.
  5. If you send too many emails from your own computer, your ISP may think you’re a spammer and will most likely eventually block (blacklist) you.
  6. YOU get all the bounce backs and auto replies, and you get to enjoy sorting them out from all the other email you are dealing with.  Things like “Hard Bounces” (bad/incorrect addresses) need to be removed from your list effectively or your email address is likely to be blacklisted by your ISP if you keep sending to those addresses.
  7. You won’t really know if anyone is reading your emails!  Outlook and other basic desktop email applications don’t come with any tracking tools to show you how many people opened and clicked on elements in your campaigns.  How can you gauge the effectiveness of your email marketing if you don’t know what people are doing when they get your emails?
  8. Finally, you might just be breaking the law. According to CAN-SPAM law, if someone requests to be removed from your list, you must do so within 10 business days.  Adding your own “Opt-Out” reply tag and trying to manage it yourself is prone to mistakes and could cost more in the long run than just doing it the right way in the first place.

There is no “official” number for what equals  “too many” emails via your desktop program, but I think it’s safe to say that if you are going to be expanding your email marketing goals and want to produce professional looking and quantifiable campaigns, selecting a professional email marketing service makes good sense.

2 thoughts on “So why not just use BCC when blast emailing?

  1. I have received emails like that before – where there is no “to” and it looks like spam, even if it is from someone I know. I don’t like them.

  2. What a fabulous, down & dirty quick list of do’s & don’ts! I’ve bookmarked it for easy reference – thank you!

Comments are closed.