Considering buying an eblast? The seller is going to emphasize how many subscribers are on the list. But you want to know more—much more. That subscriber number means very little, in fact. It's like knowing how many fans a Facebook page has. It's a nearly meaningless vanity metric.
What to Ask the Seller of a Homeschool Eblast
Feel free to copy and paste these into an email. These are the same questions I ask on behalf of my clients.
- What is the open rate for the last 5 eblast campaigns? (I'd like screenshot verification, please.)
- What is the click through rate for the last 5 eblast campaigns? (Again, please provide screenshots to verify.)
- How did you get the emails on your list? Freebie sign ups? Massive promotions where dozens of bloggers got the same email lists? Slowly and organically over time or very recently?
- Can we AB test the subject line first and then send the winning subject line to the remainder of the list?
- Will you resend to no-opens after 3-7 days?
- What reporting is available after the eblast?
- Will you guarantee a certain number of opens? In other words, will you resend the email until a certain percentage is met?
- Are any additional perks included in the eblast?
If the eblast seller can't prove past performance, ask for a lower price. After all, this is a huge gamble.
Compare to Other Advertising Options
When you have the answers to #1 & 2, do the math. What is each open costing you? What is each click costing you? Then compare those prices to your average Facebook ad campaign costs for reach and CTR (click through rate). The email blast is likely considerably higher.
When I've done this kind of comparison, I found that the eblast was typically 2-3 times more expensive. And the worst part is that with an email you get a single shot to get it right. With Facebook ads, you can test them, monitor them, turn off stinkers, put more money behind winners, etc. You are in full control.
Invest in Your Business First
If you are considering dropping $1200 on an eblast, please consider this alternative course of action:
- Hire a contractor to make a high quality opt-in offer that is closely related to your product or service. ($300)
- Hire someone else to create a simple landing page and set up delivery to subscribers via your email service provider. ($450)
- Then create Facebook ads to promote landing page views to your free offer. Target warm contacts by directing Facebook ads at a custom audience based on your Facebook pixel. Or target interests or lookalike audiences. ($450)
You've spent the same amount of money but now you have an opt-in freebie and a way to entice new signups. You are in full control of your list, and you know these people are interested in what you have to offer. That eblast you were going to pay someone to send on your behalf? Now you can send it to your own subscribers!
I have heard success stories with eblasts. But I've heard far more sad stories of wasted money. An eblast seems like an easy answer to reach a lot of people. But it can also be an easy way to throw away a big chunk of your marketing dollars.
Do your research. Ask the questions above. Negotiate. Play hardball and outright tell the eblast seller what kinds of rates you can get on Facebook ads compared to their open and CTRs. Let them know if their rates are not comparable and petition for more reasonable costs and/or extra perks.