• Best Practices

Email Blasts: The Dos And Many Don’ts Of Mass Email Sending

Mailgun Team
5 min read

Email blasts are the undisputed powerhouses of email campaigns. Both transactional and marketing email messages can rely on sending massive amounts of email all at once, given the circumstances of the trigger/email marketing campaign itself. However, email blasts gone wrong will land in spam folders faster than a fake foreign prince can offer you his inheritance money. How exactly should you go about sending an email blast? We’ll show you the best (and worst) practices for mass email sending.

Protip: Before you send an email blast, ensure you’re compliant with any data protection laws that might apply in your markets and those markets where you have contacts, like GDPR, CCPA or CAN-SPAM Act.  We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention it, and you can face hefty fines and penalties.

What is an email blast?

Put simply, an email blast is an email that is sent to a large group of people. Your reasons for sending an email blast (also known as a mass email) may vary—you might have a limited-time offer, big announcement, or something else that you want people to know about. 

Email blasts are different from transactional emails. Most email-focused organizations typically send both. However, they differ in a key way. Transactional emails are triggered by a consumer action—like an online order or password reset request—and are only sent when that particular action is made. They are not sent to a mass group of people at one time.

Email blasts are not triggered by consumer action. Instead, they’re specifically created, scheduled, and sent directly by the organization’s marketing team—like newsletters and special promotions. They are sent to much larger groups of people than transactional emails—either full mailing lists or specifically targeted audience members. 

However, no matter which type you send, successful email campaigns depend on successful email delivery. It’s always important to follow email best practices.

Email blasting best practices

No matter the occasion, you should always be aware of what you should and should not do when sending mass emails.

The don’ts of email blasts

Let’s start with the bad. We know, a little harsh out the gate, but these bad practices are something to consider with sending. Generally speaking, if it would hinder your day to day sending and land you in the spam folder with a single recipient, that’s multiplied many times over when sending an email blast. . So, let’s get into it:

Sending mass emails from new domains and new IPs

Brand new domains and IPs don’t have any reputations yet, so Inbox Service Providers (ISPs) don’t know what to expect from them. An email blast right out the gate for any new domain or IP is a one-way ticket to the spam folder, so be mindful of where you are sending from in the first place. Consider using an older domain or warm up your IP before sending that much email at once, and you’re bound to have better results.


Learn about our Deliverability Services

Looking to send a high volume of emails? Our email experts can supercharge your email performance. See how we've helped companies like Lyft, Shopify, Github increase their email delivery rates to an average of 97%.

Learn More

Sending mass emails to old email lists

This should be a given, but don’t send to a list that you dug up from 10 years ago and expect to land in the inbox. Even if you think your email campaign will interest them, it’s better to ditch that old email list. Especially with GDPR taking effect last year, old lists are a fast way to end up in the spam folder (or worse, rack up some hefty fines). Make sure your lists are clean, and are composed of users who have completed your opt-in.

Misleading your recipients

This is covered in the many data protection laws around the world, but it’s worth a reminder. You need to always be  very clear about what your emails are about. You cannot mask an email marketing campaign under the guise of a transactional email receipt — it’s shady.

It’s also a good idea to avoid click-bait subject lines or anything that might confuse your recipient. Click-bait tends to hit spam filters easily, so it’s best to avoid it. Plus, everyone hates click-bait.

The dos of email blasts

Enough of the dreary and ominous warnings. Now that you know what not to do, let’s move on to the good things you can do to help land your mass emails land in the inbox. Some of these might be obvious, but, hey, you might want to take another look at them if you don't want to end up being bait. Let’s jump in..

Following email best practices

Outside of the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s always a good idea to follow best practices. Make sure that your emails are designed nicely and follow your style guide. This avoids the problem of you looking like a spammer or phisher. Remember to keep your transactional and marketing emails separate if possible with subdomains, and always send to email lists that are updated and clean.

Making sure your ESP can handle your email volume

Email Service Providers (ESPs) always have different tiers of service, and even then not all of them have a great solution for burst sending or email blasts. Here at Mailgun, our RapidFire Throughput SLA can send 250,000 emails in a single minute. If you aren’t using a solution that can handle that volume that quickly, your email messages can bottleneck. Bottlenecking leads to inaccurate sending times, which might impact your complaint rate. Make sure your ESP can handle your volume 

Giving a little heads up to your ESP

While it isn’t necessary, it’s polite to let your ESP know when you plan on sending out a large mass email message. It helps support teams keep an eye out for anything that might go wrong with your sending, especially if you have a dedicated contact with your ESP like our Deliverability Services. Better troubleshooting is peace of mind.

Want to know more about mass email best practices? Check out our Email Growth Playbook, a database of 60+ tactics to help you increase the performance of your email campaigns.

What is the best way to send an email blast?

Following email best practices is a must, but another just-as-important component of mass email sending is making sure you’re sending your email blasts the right way. Using a reputable, trusted email blast service is the best way to ensure that your emails are landing in the inbox and getting the attention they need.

Mailgun offers email blast services that are complemented by advanced automation tools which boost delivery rates and promote prime inbox placement to give your mass emails the greatest possible success. After sending your campaigns, you can use Mailgun’s analytics tools to measure your performance and see where your email blasts can be improved—and where you’re hitting the bullseye.

TL;DR: Key takeaways about mass email sending 

Now that you’re equipped with tips, you should be in a good position to start or continue email blasts from your organization. Remember to follow best practices and stay in contact with your ESP. Make sure you aren’t misleading in your emails, or sending from brand-new IPs or to old mailing lists.

Remember that email blasts require carefully organized email campaigns in order to work successfully. Check with your team to be sure that every device on your end can handle the amount you plan to send out, and be sure your email messages have correct spelling, design, and aren’t misleading. Whether you’re an app developer or an email marketer, nobody wants issues with their sending — especially when you’re sending in bulk.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to successful email blasting—and the biggest email problem you’ll have is worrying about that shady Nigerian prince.


Learn about our Deliverability Services

Looking to send a high volume of emails? Our email experts can supercharge your email performance. See how we've helped companies like Lyft, Shopify, Github increase their email delivery rates to an average of 97%.

Learn More

Last updated on April 19, 2021

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