Email Direct Marketing (EDM) is such a versatile and flexible means of marketing that it works for just about any business model. From eCommerce businesses to services and even non-for-profits, EDM marketing is a great way to build an audience and increase conversions. Keep reading to find out more about what an EDM campaign is, the benefits and how to run one…

What is an EDM Campaign?

First things first, EDM marketing is all about building a strategic list of potentially interested people which your business can communicate with. By targeting different sections of this database, you are able to directly engage with potential and existing customers to build brand loyalty and drive sales.

It is important to note that an EDM campaign goes further than just emailing your database.

In order to help build your database and convert potential customers, an EDM campaign utilises various forms of media such as print, text messaging, social media, pay per click advertising and more. By implementing these additional communication channels, you are able to reinforce your campaign message and reach a greater audience.

Now that we’ve outlined what an EDM campaign is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits…

Benefits of an EDM Campaign

Easy To Customise

What makes an EDM campaign so effective is that you can craft it to suit your audience and make it worthwhile for them to open and read. Not to mention, there are so many different types of emails you can send out as a part of your campaign. Not all of these need to be heavily sales-oriented, some can just focus on providing valuable content to the subscriber. At the end of the day, emails are aimed to keep your brand at the forefront of consumer’s minds, so that when they are ready to make a purchase decision you will be more memorable.

Here are some email ideas:

  • Product information
  • New products/arrivals
  • Event information
  • Newsletters
  • Industry updates
  • Case studies/testimonials
  • Tips and tricks
  • Sales and discount codes
  • ‘We’ve missed you’ messages

Keep in mind, there is also such a thing as over-doing email marketing. So, it’s best to focus on the important brand messaging and any special offers you may have that subscribers will show the most interest in.

Affordability To Track

Unlike other more traditional forms of marketing, a major advantage of an EDM campaign is that it is easy to gauge your success. Whichever email marketing software you are using, you should be able to measure and track the outcome of your campaign. You will not only be able to see the open rate but also the amount of people who read your email and perhaps even which decide they were on.

The reason this is so beneficial is because it allows you to gauge what works well and what doesn’t work so well. Therefore, enabling you to try new things and continue to grow.

Allows You To Build Relationships & Increase Conversions

Building trust is so important in today’s marketplace and an EDM campaign is a great way to achieve this. Essentially, you are able to provide value to consumers without asking for anything in return.

If your consumers have subscribed with their email address, they already have some form of interest and trust in your brand. This allows you to foster a consistent relationship with consumers, by providing them with timely and engaging emails. And, with this quality email content, you will find that your subscribers will look forward to hearing from you and you will be able to convert them into paying customers.

Enables Advanced Personalisation

Furthering on from building quality relationships, EDM marketing provides you with the opportunity to segment your audience in a way that allows for highly personalised email strategies. This can be achieved in accordance with demographics, purchasing behaviour or stage within the customer journey in order to focus on specific products and services. Again, through this personalisation, you are able to connect with your audience on an even deeper, more authentic level. None of this bulk email blasting – with adequate segmentation you can address different sections of your audience to get the most out of your campaigns.

Not to mention, the ability to include a customer’s name, log in and relevant local news or nearest store for instance. All of these details assist to improve customer experience and the overall success of conversion.

Saves Time and Money

EDM marketing is extremely cost-effective. Once your database is together you are able to create EDM campaigns at a relatively low cost. Most email builders have quality templates you can use or you can create your own with easy to use drag and drop options. Now that you have a few templates created, you will be able to save time and streamline your processes.

Additionally, once your emails are created, they can be automated to be sent out via your email service provider (ESP). What would normally take weeks to produce via traditional channels, now takes a few hours and one internal employee.

Now that you know all the benefits, you’re feeling pretty confident but how do you actually create an EDM campaign?

How to Create an EDM Campaign

1) Select an Email Platform

Gone are the days where we use Excel spreadsheets.

Especially once you have a more established database of subscribers you will want to consider an email marketing software. They offer many automated solutions which simply aren’t possible through manual means. Not to mention, the affordance of segmenting, autoresponse, analytics and more.

There are many great options out there, however, this all depends on your business and where you’re at with your email marketing. We highly recommend you do some research and trialling before committing to any specific platform. Whichever platform you decide on, you want to ensure you have the ability to segment your database and send automated EDM campaigns according to the specific parameters you would like.

Check out this article on some of the different software available out there and what they have to offer for your business.

2) Build Your Database

Without an audience your email marketing is worthless.

If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to come up with an email address building strategy. This could look like:

  • Offer valuable content for your readers e.g. trial period, special offer, discount code, eBook, free webinar etc.
  • Provide a range of ways for your website visitors to join e.g. pop-ups, buttons, form etc.
  • Add links to your newsletter landing page, email signature or social media pages.
  • Utilise your physical stores to get people signed up as well.

If your business has been running for some time, you’ll be able to consolidate your contacts from:

  • Email accounts
  • Ecommerce and CRM platforms
  • Existing email list

Either way, your EDM campaign success lies in the quality of your database, making it crucial to ensure that your data is retrieved from legitimate sources and your database is constantly being cleaned and updated.

3) Segment Your Database

In order to send your subscribers relevant material, you want to segment them accordingly. For instance, if you want to run a flash sale for your stores in Queensland or you are holding a conference in Brisbane, you won’t want to send this information to people in Sydney, New South Wales.

Some ideas for segmenting may include:

  • Location
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Online purchasing behaviour
  • Past orders
  • Email engagement level e.g. cold contacts

4) Create Your EDM Campaign

Now that we’ve got through all the preliminary sections, you’re ready to create your EDM campaign.

You’ll select ‘create campaign’ in your email marketing platform, add your recipients and design your content. Make sure to keep the following in mind when creating an email:

  • Speak your subscribers’ language. Knowing and addressing their pain points is key to getting them to perform the desired action.
  • Use visuals. Try to break up big blocks of text.
  • Be consistent. Make your design adhere to a set theme.
  • Include CTAs. Make sure to try different locations that aren’t simply at the bottom of your content.
  • Add contact info. This includes your company’s social media links as well.
  • Don’t hide the unsubscribe. To stay compliant with anti-spam laws, the footer should also contain an unsubscribe button or link.
  • Ditch the technical jargon – Speak directly to your audience in a language they can relate to.
  • Make your emails pop with visuals – Break up large blocks of texts with images.
  • Write a catchy subject line – Your subject line is the most important part of your email because it determines whether or not people see your email.
  • Stick to your brand – Be consistent in your email design, tone of voice, sending intervals, etc.
  • Don’t get sneaky with your unsubscribe button – Anti-spam laws are no joke, so be sure to have a visible unsubscribe button or link in the footer.

5) Set Up Your Autoresponders

Autoresponders are there to help you automate your email process. Essentially, they perform an action in response to a trigger. For instance, when someone signs up to your database, they receive an email welcoming them or a week after sign up subscribers receive a discount code to encourage first purchase.

Some other autoresponders include:

  • Product recommendations
  • Shopping cart abandonment reminders
  • Receipts or confirmation information

6) Enable Tracking

As mentioned above, the ability to track your EDM campaigns is a major advantage of this form of marketing. This is the first step towards improving engagement and increasing conversions. Here are some things you will want to keep an eye on:

  • Click through rate
  • Open rate
  • Read rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Database growth rate
  • Click to open rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

7) Run Additional Marketing Campaigns

As we discussed in the beginning, an EDM campaign goes further than just emailing your database.

You will want to ensure you are running additional marketing campaigns in other forms and across other channels; pay per click, social media, text messaging etc. Depending on the overall goal of your campaign, this will also depend on which other forms of marketing you use. For instance, if you’re promoting a new product via an email blast, you may also want to follow this up with organic and paid social media advertising, text message reminders leading up to launch and a print ad.

Interested in EDM marketing for your business? BUSINESSNAV’s digital marketing experts have got you covered. From small to large enterprises we provide high-quality email marketing services including prospect targeting, strategy and automation.

Find out more about what we have to offer here or feel free to contact us with any questions or queries here.