Bulk Email & Marketing Email Best Practices:

Many companies use bulk email to promote services or goods, as well as use bulk email as a way to interact with consumers and create a stronger relationship. Bulk email can be an effective means of outreach when properly written and formatted.

By avoiding deceptive or misleading wording and by providing targeted content, a company can have a meaningful interaction with both existing and prospective consumers. A company seeking to send bulk emails as part of a direct email campaign should consider the following best practices and be aware of current government legislation on sending commercial emails.

Bulk Email and Marketing Email Best Practices

Bulk emails should be brief and entice a recipient to take an action. The emails should be sent in either HTML or text-based format based on the recipient’s preference and without excessive graphics.

In a DestinationCRM article, “Email: What’s inside?” author Jessica Tsai cites the average email reader spends 2.5 seconds determining which emails should be read, deleted, and saved. Additionally, many savvy email users now check emails via a cell phone or other handheld device which can impact the ability to view lengthy or poorly formatted emails.

Marketers should focus on creating clear and succinct emails by leveraging these best practices:


  • Create descriptive and informative subject lines
  • Design email for HTML and text-based email readers
  • Use images and graphical content wisely
  • Keep emails brief and to the point

An email recipient is likely to make a quick decision about which emails to read and it will be largely based on the email subject line, so the text should be to the point and enticing. Additionally, the body of the email should be optimized for both HTML and text-based readers.

The email content should contain a balanced number of graphics or images as they can distract a user and may affect email download times. Given the number of spam emails and computer viruses, a recipient may shy away from opening an email with an associated large file size due to included images.

In all cases, bulk emails should be targeted and to the point. The US government provides further guidelines on how commercial emails are created and distributed.

The CAN-SPAM Government Act with Requirements for Commercial Bulk Email

In 2004, the CAN-SPAM Act went into effect and provides strict guidelines on how companies should present information and interact with consumers via bulk email. The legislation provides the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the ability to enforce this law and gives the Department of Justice (DOJ) the ability to levy criminal sanctions.

The CAN-SPAM Act outlines the following key guidelines:

  • ‘From’ and ‘To’ information must be accurate and not misleading
  • ‘Subject’ field should provide detail on message contents and not be misleading
  • Must provide recipient with ability to opt-out of future mailings
  • Must be labeled as an advertisement and provide the company’s physical mailing address

Under the CAN-SPAM Act, a company can be fined up to $16,000 for each violation. Additionally, further penalties, fines or imprisonment can be levied based on additional malicious or deceptive activities.

Follow Bulk Email and Marketing Email Best Practices and Government Guidelines

Sending bulk emails is a common method for businesses seeking to reach out to both existing and potential consumers. By crafting a clear and accurate message, a business can have a meaningful interaction through a direct email campaign. Before sending a bulk email, a company should consider bulk email best practices and understand current government legislation on sending commercial emails.

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