email marketing

Email Marketing, Broadcasts or Campaigns – What’s Best for Marketing?

When you’re talking to a live audience, it’s generally not a good idea to start with an introduction.

Start with a promise instead. A promise about what they’re going to get for taking the time and trouble to listen to you.

Follow the promise with proof. So they can see it’s real. This is the point where you can (and should) weave in your introduction using relevant personal stories.

And when you’re done with that, you end with an offer if you’re selling something, or a different call to action if you want to keep them engaged in the future.

Remember this sequence:

  1. Promise
  2. Proof
  3. Proposal

Email Marketing

But what if you’re going down the digital marketing route?

What about an unsolicited (cold) email? Does the same process work?

“Dear Fred, Generate 300% more traffic to your site. I’ve done it on my own site here. Call me now on 123456789.”

There’s a crucial difference between a live audience and the above emails:

The live audience were pre-sold using in-bound marketing (ie. non pushy passive advertising).

They made a choice to buy a ticket based on a promise in the advert (eg. “Learn How To Generate More Traffic – Call For More Details”). They’re already warmed up.

So we could rewrite our cold email like this:

“Dear Fred, I just came across your site and I believe I can make it generate 300% more traffic. I’ve done it on my own site here. Call me now on 123456789.”

It’s a little more intimate, but it suffers from a massive problem. It’s pushy outbound marketing: “Dear Stranger, I want your money. Other people have given me money. Call me.”

Long Journeys Cost More

As usual in marketing, it’s about the journey. Short journeys are cheap. Long journeys cost more.

The more costly your product, the longer the journey to sell it.

Indoctrination Email Sequences

We buy things on trust and recommendation. The more we can generate, the more likely the sale. Trust is built over time, but will always be increased through proof.

Showing what you sell in action beats third party testimonials. Practical demonstrations or real proof of what you do must be at the top of your marketing process. Then you can bring in the testimonials.

As we know it takes time to build trust, and so it makes sense to build an email sequence to do this.

The gurus have various names for email sequences like this: ‘Induction’, ‘Introduction’, ‘Indoctrination’ etc.. It makes sense – we all like to be introduced.

But here’s the thing. Before you can send out a sequence of emails you must first get your prospects to opt in.

And that is where your promise is made. Just like our event, it’s done before anything else. “We discovered how to get all the search engine traffic you could ever need – get the details here“.

Before the internet we also bought on trust and recommendation. It was the marketing department’s job to advertise relevant messages consistently and persistently until they stuck.

They did this with hooks and anchors (the hook was the bait, the anchor tied you down).

Hook and Anchor Marketing

They needed to deliver things our minds could easily cling on to (the hook) and believe in (the anchor) until they entered our subconscious and we started spreading the word automatically (by repeating the jingle, the catchphrase or other word of mouth).

Well, nothing’s changed. We research online before we commit to buying a product (the more expensive it is, the more research we do). And we use the wisdom of crowds to make our decision (number and quality of reviews, recommendations, likes and follows etc.).

The best marketers spend their time influencing the crowds. They understand that the most important thing in the 21st century is attention. They find out where people are paying the most attention and broadcast their messages there.

The best marketers make the strongest hooks and anchors. And they reel people in more quickly by doing so (thus cutting down the cost and giving them an edge on their competitors when it comes to advertising budget).

Message Spreading

It’s all about the message and the trick of getting it spread to where the most attention is found.

Every advert you put out is communication. Every time you speak is communication. Every blog post you make is communication. Every tweet, Facebook post, comment or ‘Instagram’ speaks volumes about you.

These pieces tell the world who you are, what you like, what you dislike, who you love, who you hate – and if your message is really strong, what you stand for and why you stand for it.

But put it in the wrong place and no one will pay attention.

Broadcasts and Campaign Sequences

Once we’ve got our traffic interested enough to opt in to our autoresponders, we need to ensure we keep them engaged, and that is done using email broadcasts and sequences (aka email campaigns).

The difference between an email marketing broadcast and an email marketing campaign is important. Get them wrong and your audience will hit the unsubscribe button.

Email Broadcasts

Broadcasts are for news. For everything we’re doing right now – or about to do in the future. They are the glue that keeps our audience engaged long term.

They can be a spur of the moment thing that takes our fancy (but remains relevant to our core message), or they can be sent on a regular basis (provided they are newsworthy).

A broadcast can be used to inform your audience of something coming up. Or it can be used to sell something new or advertise a special offer.

If you repeatedly try to sell the same thing over and over using broadcasts without changing anything, your unsubscribe rates will go up rapidly. People get bored (attention is where the money is).

Broadcasts are also used to get someone to optin to a sequence. This is the ideal way to market new and upcoming products – send out a broadcast with an optin link and a strong promise.

A single link in a broadcast email can take a reader to a new page about a product. And when that link is clicked, it will also (automatically) add them to a segment in your autoresponder. That then triggers an automated email sequence about the product.

Your broadcast email pre-sells the product with a promise: eg. “….click here if you want to find out more about XYZ”. If they later decide they no longer want to be informed about that particular product, they can happily unsubscribe from the sequence and segment without them being unsubscribed from your main broadcast list.

Broadcasts are one-off messages. This is what sets them apart from campaigns. They may start a campaign, or include campaign updates, but broadcasts in themselves are not campaigns.

(Note: you can use broadcast emails to sequence messages, but they were not designed for that, which is why autoresponders were invented)

Email Campaigns

Sequences are used for campaigns. Typically to sell products. If the product is not in a constant state of change, then a sequenced set of messages is perfect to sell that product via automation.

When a product remains largely unchanged for a period of time, an email sequence to sell it is good no matter whether your visitor subscribes to your campaign today or next year. The message stays the same (and that means a very different writing style compared to broadcasts).

Where a broadcast is newsworthy, a sequence is informational. It leads people on a journey. It’s important the reader understands that it’s not a single message. That if they continue to open your emails in this sequence, they will get what they want.

in short, a broadcast informs about a one-off event or piece of news. A sequence takes them on a journey to discover everything they need to know about a specific product, topic or subject.

Broadcast Email and Sequence Summary

If you want to keep your audience engaged long term and have them buy your products and services on a regular basis, you need broadcasts to announce news and updates, and sequences to sell what you do.

The point is, there’s a distinct difference between these two methods of communication, but they’re both necessary in today’s market.

Shops and Sites

In the past all we had were shops. We relied on passing trade (aka footfall). Those with insight, paid to attract more visitors using print, radio or TV advertising. This allowed them to spread their messages wider and further. And when they got it right, they thrived.

Nowadays most of our shops are websites, and the ‘footfall’ is organic traffic from search engines. The savvy site owner uses Pay Per Click and other forms of online advertising to boost traffic. The attention is moving from passive to interactive. Mobile use is increasing at a frantic pace.

But nothing has really changed except the medium through which marketing is delivered.


When you have these 5 things in place:

  1. An advertising campaign to get attention, positioned in the places where that attention is currently focused.
  2. A landing page to convert that attention into optins.
  3. An email campaign sequence to convert the optins to customers.
  4. Each stage optimised to make a profit from your advertising and other direct costs.
  5. And a broadcast system to engage existing customers to return again and again.

Then you are in business the digital marketing way.

The Perfect Autoresponder

It also means you need to think carefully about which autoresponder to use.

I’ve tried most of them over the years. These include Mailchimp, Aweber, Active Campaign, Autopilot HQ, Infusionsoft and Ontraport. The costs range from free (for Mailchimp’s broadcast only system) to Infusionsoft’s $300+ per month.

And then in early 2016 I came across Mautic. This is an open source platform. If you understand servers, you can host this yourself at no cost. They also offer a commercially hosted version – and you can use it entirely free up to 5,000 contacts.

I’ve now switched all my digital marketing to Mautic. And I must say it’s the best decision I’ve made so far.

If you’d like me to keep you posted, please sign up to my Mautic list below. I will never spam you and you will only ever hear about things relevant to Mautic, autoresponders and getting traffic to build your business – and that’s a promise!

Create The Perfect Business Quentin Pain signature image

Quentin Pain

Quentin Pain started his first business, a courier company aged 23. He sold it 4 years later and used the profits to start a recording studio. A couple of albums later, he started two software companies, the last one being Accountz, which he grew from zero to 36,000 customers and retired from in January 2013. His current company is ProofMEDIA, a specialist digital consulting business. He's also a published author (including a Dummies title), and has won many awards including the IAB Small Business Mentor of the Year. Copywriting is his speciality and he runs 3 groups on Facebook under the Science of Copywriting brand, which combined has nearly 80,000 members. Quentin is also Chief Executive of the International Copywriters Association.

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