It’s so tempting. Like the dessert bar at the Golden Corral, it just takes seconds to grab your entire address book and send out a bulk email to all your contacts. But just like that cheesecake that’s been sitting on the shelf since 9:30 AM, it’s not the right choice. Here’s why.

You Don’t Want To Be On The Blacklist

I’m not talking about the James Spader TV show that people keep trying to convince me to watch, I’m talking about the naughty list of internet emailers that get designated as spam. If enough recipients feel like you are spamming them and identify you as a spammer (I’m beginning to feel like a Monty Python skit), it can mess up your ability to send regular old email. “But I know them,” you might say. I would ask you this: are they really paying close attention to all of their emails? It doesn’t matter if you are inadvertently identified as spam, the consequences are the same: a massive headache as you try to get yourself out of internet “time out.”

You Might Be Breaking The Law

You may have noticed that privacy has once again become a hot topic on the web. Now that Facebook’s shadowy policies have led to European lawmakers overreacting and implementing overly strict online privacy laws (nice job, Mark), everybody is on high alert. You do not want to get busted sending promotional emails to people who have not explicitly opted in for them (that is, they haven’t checked a box that says, “I understand that I will receive your promotions via email”). Those kinds of shenanigans can also get you blacklisted – or worse.

Your Emails Will Look Bad (Really Bad)

It’s hard to send out an attractive, effective, modern-looking email blast from your personal account. It’s like using a screwdriver to open a paint can. It will work, but the results can get messy. Links tend to break, graphics rarely load and once in a while, the whole thing turns into a giant mass of code that looks like a programmer’s worst nightmare.

So How SHOULD I Send Out Bulk Email?

Use an email marketing service / platform like Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor. These services allow you to upload a list of email users that you want to send to (don’t forget to make sure that they have opted in), create a great-looking email blast using nifty graphics (we can help if you want it to be extra attention-getting) and then manage the proceedings and view results. Campaign Monitor, for example, includes a fun interactive map that shows who is opening your email across a map of the world (in real time). Best of all, people can easily opt out of your email blasts. Why is that a good thing? Because they will often choose to do that instead of tagging you as spam. That keeps you off of the Blacklist.

Want to learn more about sending out effective email blasts to your customers and prospects? Drop us a line here at Code Roadies.