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What is EDM Marketing?

Here’s a little (or big?) fun fact: over 3.13 million emails get sent around the world every second!

With so many digital channels available these days for marketing campaigns, email remains a focal point of any marketing strategy. Yes, social media has taken over as a primary source of contact and exposure in the world of marketing, but the fact remains that not everyone chooses to be present on social media.

Contrarily, almost “everyone” (nearly 4.26 billion) people in the world have an email account.

Emails are used for essential purposes like job applications, communicating with work colleagues, signing up for essential services like healthcare and so much more.

It therefore makes a lot of sense that to maximise exposure and brand awareness, companies utilise email.

Defining EDM

In the world of effective marketing, EDM is a marketing strategy that is highly useful, but what is EDM exactly and how can an EDM campaign be properly executed?

EDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail, and is defined as:

"A marketing strategy that sends out targeted and personalised messages to large groups of potential and existing customers in order to foster relationships, generate new leads and maintain customer loyalty."

The strategy includes sending out large email blasts consisting of promotional material and important information. It requires continuous database building and refinement, and consists of segmenting the customer base to better cater to their needs.

EDM is a nuanced and effective strategy to reach customers directly. But it doesn’t stop at emails. Good EDM campaigns cover other various media channels to increase outreach and maximise opportunities for interaction.

So how does EDM differ from good old email marketing? Let’s explore the differences.

How EDM differs from Email Marketing

Did you know that email spamming is practically illegal now? Under the CAN-SPAM Act and the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), it is against the law to collect email addresses from questionable sources and blindly send people adverts they never asked for.

Now, we shouldn’t view email marketing as a purely spamming strategy. Email marketing, like EDM, consists of e-blasting to large numbers of people.

The similarity, however, stops there. Email marketing largely reverts to a more old fashioned “see if it sticks” approach, and exclusively clings to that one media channel. EDM, however, covers more ground, and is more complex and targeted.

(Source: Yieldify)

EDM uses a muti-media approach when creating and executing marketing campaigns. Apart from email, EDM takes advantage of the following media channels:

Further, good EDM campaigns attempt to get to know their customer base’s needs and design personalised advertising content accordingly. Instead of throwing the fishing line into the lake and hoping that a fish takes the bait, EDM campaigns are more intentional and methodical in their approach.

So while email marketing stops at e-blasts, EDM uses an initial e-blast initiative as a launching point for an all-encompassing marketing campaign. The strategy follows up with retargeting ads to pull in customers that saw the initial email, and enlists other media platforms to increase touchpoints, diversify outreach, and ultimately convert leads.

EDM Best Practices

EDM is an effective marketing campaign, but in order to maximise its performance level, best practices are essential to follow. Here are a few to get you started:

Data segmentation is an important common practice in many marketing campaigns, and EDM is no different. Possessing a large list of customers is a good start, but if you don’t differentiate, they won’t appreciate. So, begin with segmenting your list based on demographics (age, location, profession, income, interest and hobbies).

Segmentation will help you get insight into your customers’ needs and personalise your content to yours, and their benefit.

Large marketing campaigns require more than just a simple excel spreadsheet these days. Choosing an email service provider is essential in staying organised, consistent and focused.

Most ESPs (email service providers) offer key services such as database segmentation, autoresponders and analytics. They allow you to set your own parameters when it comes to automated messaging and follow-ups.

Furthermore, many ESPs offer a free trial or freemium services, which is a great way to test which service fits you best.

Autoresponders can make a whole lot of difference. ESPs enable you to set up autoresponders easily and set your preferred parameters.

Triggers (such as birthdays, welcome emails or product recommendations) will send automated messages to your clientele and will ensure a continued presence in your customers’ minds.

Each marketing campaign should have marketing objectives. If you don’t monitor and analyse your campaign, you won’t know if your campaign is reaching your objectives.

Some important metrics you should measure include:

As mentioned, most ESPs will offer the tools you need to see and monitor these metrics. By being knowledgeable about your campaign’s performance, you will create progress and ultimately boost sales.

Final Thoughts

To this day, email remains one of the most impactful channels for marketing. Not only is it a direct form of communication, it is wide spanning and commonly used.

EDM is a more enhanced and intentional marketing method than simple email marketing. The strategy is about creating trust with your clients and building valuable relationships.

By utilising email in a more comprehensive way, you’ll be maximising your chances for lead conversions and increased sales. Further, you’ll be creating a positive reputation for your brand; one that is known for caring about their clients’ needs and communicating more personally to them.

The benefits of EDM are undeniable. If you haven’t yet incorporated this strategy into your marketing campaigns, stop hesitating and give it a try.

You won’t regret it.

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