Press & Play! Alleviating Eblast “Send Anxiety” in Association Management

Written by Libby Lane

Senior Marketing Manager, Bostrom


For me, it always evokes the mental image of that opening moment in War Games (yes, I’m dating myself) where the two United States Air Force Missile Wing controllers find themselves in the position to launch a missile strike and they both must turn their keys in tandem to successfully complete the launch. Long story short – SPOILER ALERTone of the two controllers cracks under pressure and cannot bring himself to turn his key; a fateful move that he knows would inevitably begin World War III.

I’ll pause here to share 2 thoughts:

  • If you haven’t seen War Games, you must immediately add it to your “Ultimate 80’s” movie bucket list. Starring a young Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, it is nostalgic 1980’s gold.
  • The above scenario describes how I feel *every *single *time I prepare to press the Send button on an Eblast.

Ok, ok. So the stakes aren’t as high as potentially launching the start of World War III. In my defense, I recently looped my Bostrom Marketing colleagues in on this discussion and they all confirmed that this anxiety is real. It exists. And it has the crippling power to take you down.

So what is it about pressing the send button on an Eblast that triggers such angst? That causes one’s forehead to break out in a cold sweat upon the final (and usually the 112th) review of a simple and effective “2 More Weeks Until Early Bird Savings Fly Away!” annual conference communication? I mean, it’s only going to thousands of potential attendees, right? Gulp. First of all, know that you are not alone in this. You might have crafted your association’s most amazing, most gorgeous, most epic Member Engagement Campaign email in history. Yet, when it is finally time to “turn your key, sir!” a wash of pure anxious adrenaline washes over your body and your hearing becomes tunneled as your shaking hand slowly reaches out to press send.

And then, faster than you can say “Book Your Discounted Hotel Rate Today!” it’s done. It’s out there. You can’t take it back. Launch complete. See, it wasn’t so bad, after all. Or, was it?

Bostrom’s dazzling marketing dept. (I’m a little biased) has come up with a Top 5 list to help douse those fiery flames of intense Eblast anxiety. Huge credit and my sincerest thanks go to Bostrom marketing superstars Cat Wilson and Maggie Schultz for helping shape these tips and tricks:

  1. Scheduling – Having an approved calendar for upcoming messaging is a must (quarterly should be the minimum). You are more likely to make a mistake if you’re doing things last minute. Also, don’t schedule an email to go out when you’re not going to be at work or near a computer. You’ll be in panic mode if you can’t see that the email went out successfully.
  2. Protocol – There are always going to be unplanned messages. Setting expectations for turnaround time, understanding who should be in the test group and who needs to give that final approval will cut down on stress.
  3. Strengthen Your Toolkit – If you’re not using Grammarly, is it even 2019?!
  4. Review – When asking others to review Eblasts, make sure you’re clear on what you’re asking them to review (copy, links, etc.). Some people may just review the copy but not click on the links and vice-versa. In some cases, we’re just copying and pasting content we’ve been given and might not be familiar with the information. It’s important to ask the Account Executive/Committee Members/Executive Director, etc. to thoroughly review the Eblast prior to launch.
  5. Murphy’s Law – If something can go wrong, it will go wrong. Try to give yourself a minimum 30-45-minute buffer zone when scheduling an email. There’s always something that might change at the very last second.

Finally, we’re all HUMAN! Typos, broken links, etc. will happen. Even the biggest companies make Eblast mistakes. Just last week I received a humble email from Emma, an email marketing platform I utilize for one of my clients, on “The art of writing an apology email”. They had just sent out an Eblast apologizing for asking their customers to verify their subscription…again.

Honest. Transparent. Vulnerable. Human. Forgiven.

So write that gorgeous email. Ask for moral support. Say a little prayer. Trust yourself. And “turn your key, sir!”

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