Does Mass Messaging Work in Blogger Outreach?

by David Spinks on Apr 26, 2011

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PigeonsI have won the UK lottery so many times now, you would think I could buy the country of Nigeria and get them to stop informing me of my winnings. The email spam industry is of course built on mass messaging, sending an automated message or email out to many people at once.

In blogger outreach mass messaging is sometimes used to reach hundreds of bloggers at once, in the hopes that a certain percentage will reply.

So, is mass messaging the same as spam?

In many cases the answer is yes, but are there exceptions?

Could there be a situation where using mass messaging in your blogger outreach campaign would not be perceived as spam? Could there be a situation where it’s more efficient than a personalized approach where you build relationships and compose highly personalized messages for individual bloggers?

First we have to ask…

What makes something spam?

Did you opt in to receiving this mass message (AKA solicited or permission based)? Think Groupon or HARO.  They’re mass messaging, but they’re okay because you opted into it.

There’s also a matter of value. If it is highly relevant to us and brings value, then we do not call it spam… right?

That’s the thing… if you’re using mass messaging to pump out a message (or pitch), then the chance that the people receiving those messages will be interested decreases. There’s a higher chance that it will be perceived as spam. Much higher.

Mass messaging is a tough subject for me.  I’m building a tool for blogger relations where we take a strong stance against spam. Our platform isn’t built for mass messaging, not because mass messaging is inherently bad, but because it is so often used for spam.

What if you could get a message out to a large number of bloggers without it being perceived as spam?

Keep it simple

The mistake that companies often make with mass messaging (and pitch emails in general) is in the way they write their message or pitch.  They write the message as if they were sending it to just one person.

You cannot personalize a mass message.

If you keep it extremely short and to the point, however, it can be very effective. Fact is, most bloggers (especially really influential ones) appreciate a really brief and to the point message anyway.

I recently spoke with an agency whose approach to blogger outreach is built on this kind of mass messaging. And while it is still a grey area, their methods got me thinking.

They send out messages to as many as 1000 bloggers at a time.  They do some research beforehand, to build a list of bloggers that’s targeted to the extent that the blogger is in the right “category”.

They keep the message extremely short and to the point.

  1. This is what we do.
  2. This is what we’re looking for.

They claim to get a couple hundred responses or more on average.  Once they receive a response, it’s all personalized, human interaction from then on.

The Quick Pitch, Good and Bad

They use the mass message system to send out a lot of “feelers”.  The bloggers who respond are the ones who would be most interested and so they can now focus their energy on those people.

Their methods have merit. And they see results. But, what they do not see if what I am unsure about.

I reminded them of the unseen damage to their clients.  What about the 800 bloggers that didn’t reply?  Could they have perceived the message as spam and now have negative feelings toward that brand?

What are your thoughts?  Can a mass message blogger outreach campaign ever be the right approach?

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David Spinks is the CEO of and