It should go without saying that you need some sort of well researched email marketing strategy to succeed these days. There’s too much competition to just wing it.
A barely believable 306 billion emails are sent every single day. That, to put it mildly, is a lot of emails. To give you an idea of just how many emails that is: if each of those emails was a second, it would add up to 9,703 years.
9,703 years ago humans had recently invented pottery but were yet to discover the potato. There were only around 20 million of us, so any old marketing campaign could succeed, in theory. Pretty easy to get cut-through, back then. Limited email technology though. Probably just throw a rock with a thumbprint on it?
Although if email had existed, I don’t know what they’d have marketed to each other. Pottery, mainly. I guess there was a lot of pottery retailers. Although you don’t really need bowls until you’ve invented chips, in my opinion.
One decamillennium later, and, as we discovered, there are a lot of emails flying around. You’d think that would mean the market is saturated, but instead, email is consistently shown in surveys to be the highest driver of ROI.
So the returns are good, but only if done well. Otherwise, you get lost in the noise. EDM marketing is one email marketing strategy that can improve results and make you stand out from competitors.
What is EDM marketing?
Electronic direct mail marketing, (commonly known as EDM Marketing) is a form of digital marketing that uses email to promote a business to a list of potential customers. The email blast is then supported by a multi-channel approach, with prospects repeatedly exposed to the campaign across different channels.
This element of retargeting is the key part of the campaign. In the age of the customer, consumers – both B2B and B2C – have a world of choice and information. In 2000, the average consumer hit two touchpoints when buying an item. 15 years later, that average had grown to almost six touchpoints. EDM campaigns aim to bring email marketing in line with this modern customer journey.
If you read any other articles about EDM, (I’m not jealous, honest. It’s fine.) you’ll notice they often talk about EDM blasts. Traditionally, an email blast refers to sending a single message to a large distribution list in one go – without any segmentation or personalisation.
To put it simply: don’t do this. Ever. At Sopro, our prospecting emails are personalised on a one-to-one level, and as far as we’re concerned it’s the only way to send effective emails.
The difference between EDM marketing and email marketing
The difficulty in defining the difference is that email marketing is a catch-all term.
Included under this umbrella term are various types of emails from brands promoting their product or service.
These can include sales prospecting emails, nurturing emails such as newsletters, promotional emails, receipts, shopping cart reminders, welcome emails, and more.
EDM marketing aims to send emails that are tailored to defined segments of your audience. But the key difference is it delivers this marketing message via email before following up with messages delivered over other channels, increasing the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
In reality, this differentiation shows that the term is a little outdated: any best practice marketing strategy will follow the theory of integrated marketing communications. So really, all email marketing should include this multi-channel customer experience.
Further EDM disambiguation
Electronic Direct Mail – The subject of this article.
Event Driven Marketing – a marketing tactic that bases its activities around the life events of consumers (job change, marriage, new baby).
Electronic Dance Music – a wide range of percussive music genres, good for dancing.
Elmo Delivers Messages – an entirely fictional form of marketing, where the well known Sesame Street character hand delivers personalised messages.
How to create an EDM marketing campaign
An EDM marketing campaign aims to be a cost effective way of building relationships and driving sales. By repeating the message, your campaign is more likely to resonate, and your brand more likely to be front-of-mind when a purchase decision is made.
Start with your data
The first thing you need for any email campaign? Data.
Building an email list can take time, so you might be tempted to buy data. Be very careful about buying data. In the B2B world, the average person changes their job every three years.
If you buy data that isn’t well maintained, this job-hopping means half of the data is obsolete in a year and a half. Even with updates, most databases only refresh tranches – leaving outdated information behind.
We’ve written about Soro’s approach to data, if you want to know more about how we approach this step.. (TLDR: no static databases. Only live bespoke lists built for each client’s campaign)
Segment the list
The first step to increasing the success of your campaigns is to segment the data so you can tailor the messaging. From opening your emails through to clicking on your sales CTA, sending bespoke messaging can increase results throughout the journey.
It’s a boring subject for most, but sorting email deliverability means first and foremost that your EDM marketing campaign will see better results, and secondly that your domain won’t get punished for delivering emails to inactive email addresses.
Fix your tracking
Become a digital Bear Grylls and ensure you implement tracking before sending a single email. Without UTM codes and tracking pixels, you can’t monitor the success of your EDM marketing and improve performance over time.
We’ve talked about tailoring your EDM email message via segmentation, but you should be able to take that a step further.
If you have access to the right EDM marketing software, you can create bespoke landing pages, personalised to the web visitor. Using something like HubSpot landing pages, and sending your emails with HubSpot, means each email has a unique identifier. The landing page recognizes this code, and loads the person’s details when they land on your site.
If you don’t have such a clever system, you could pass the person’s name to the site in a UTM variable embedded in the email link. The landing page would then pick up the variable and display their name on site, like some sort of digital magic trick.
Create your campaign
You need some email marketing software to send the messages, but first, you need to write the email.
Whether you go plain text or nicely designed HTML email is up to you (and what your split testing reveals). Whichever you opt for, you need to nail the copy.
Well, here comes the omni-channel aspect of your EDM marketing campaign.
Use your PPC accounts to run remarketing campaigns. Ensure your pay-per-click adverts match the messaging found in your email campaign, and direct people to the most relevant landing page – either the one they’ve previously visited or a bespoke landing page for returners.
Bonus: Google allows B2B companies to create lookalike audiences from their email marketing lists. Customer Match on Google Ads uses clever tech which allows you to target similar people – growing your reach even further.
Repeat the campaign design and messaging on social media. Facebook Lookalike Audiences can also be used to target new prospects who display similar online interests.
Display ads (also known as HTML5 ads) don’t tend to have the best click or conversion rate, but even if they don’t drive people to your site they will act as digital billboards, keeping the campaign front of mind.
Of course, you can always support all this with offline efforts like out of home and print ads.