Social media platforms are undoubtedly the most popular places to market your brand today. But not everyone on the internet uses social media. According to statistics, there were around 3.6 billion active social media users around the world in 2021. That’s a pretty big number, but the number of active email users in 2020 was bigger: 4 billion. 

Not just that. Email usage will continue to dominate social media in the coming years. The number of global email users will grow to 4.6 billion in 2025, while social media users are projected to increase to 4.41 billion only. This brings us to the mainstay of this blog: EDM marketing. 

EDM Definition

EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) marketing is a strategy to build and refine a database of subscribers so a business can reach potential customers via personalized communications. EDM business marketing targets relatively large groups of people from particular segments of the population with an intention to build customer relationships, get leads and increase sales

Although EDM marketing relies primarily on email, it encompasses many other communication platforms such as print, social media, PPC ads, SMS, and more. Marketing content is sent out to subscribers in e-blasts: Messages that are sent to a large number of people at once. 

EDM marketing is still a confusing term and is often mixed with email marketing. It could be said that the latter is only a subset of the former, but more on that in the next section. Electronic Direct Mail marketing is a vast phenomenon that engulfs both email marketing and social media marketing. 

Difference Between EDM Marketing and Email Marketing


While the two terms are often mixed up and used interchangeably by some people, you should be aware of the difference between them. Use each term according to its definition if you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Email marketing is a part of EDM business marketing. They’re not exactly the same thing because EDM marketing involves a lot more than just email marketing. It’s true that EDM essentially relies on email, and that’s what makes the two look so similar.

Email Marketing

Here you build an email list first and then send out e-blasts to reach customers. These bulk messages are only sent via an email platform only. You get insights for your email marketing campaign about its performance so you can adapt and improve. But that’s about it. Email marketing is limited to emails only.

Source: Canva

EDM Marketing

It’s much more complex and diverse. While an EDM database is primarily built by emails, communications are sent out via various other media. Electronic Direct Mail marketing not only reaches out to potential customers but also seeks to build a relationship with them through interaction, engagement, and user behavior-based retargeting.

Why Do You Need EDM Marketing?

Now that you have a solid idea of what EDM marketing is, let’s learn about the benefits it brings to your business. This section will also help you decide whether you need an EDM marketing campaign according to your business goals.

If you feel like email marketing or social media marketing alone isn’t going to get you the results you need, give EDM a go, especially if you think you need to focus on retargeting your audience. It is, apparently, the only brand promotion approach that’ll help you reach the widest audience with the most precise targeting.

Reach Large Segments of the Population

As mentioned above, the number of email users around the world is projected to grow to 4.6 billion by 2025. EDM marketing lets you tap literally every internet user! Not that you’ll be targeting them all, but you have access to the largest audience as compared to other forms of marketing. 

If you’ve been trying hard to optimize email and social media marketing for a long time and it seems as if you’ve exhausted all the leads you could possibly get, EDM will let you tap fresh leads. This is primarily because these marketing campaigns also encompass offline means of communication such as print, television, and billboards.

Lets You Build Customer Relationships

If you have a subscriber’s email on your email database, it means you already have a connection with them. It also means they don’t object to receiving emails or communications over other media from you, and may even like to receive them. EDM marketing is your chance to capitalize on this and build long-lasting customer loyalty. 

Building strong relationships with customers relies on your content. The more value it provides to an individual, the more likely they are to trust you and move forward with you. Moreover, when there’s customer engagement through various media, your audience feels more connected to your brand. 

A Chance to Personalize Customer Engagement

Personalization is the key to effective customer acquisition. Through the multiple communication channels you use to reach your audience, you can surround your targeted audience with deeply personalized content that increases your success rate significantly. 

But this requires effort. It’s easy to e-blast hundreds of emails with the same content, but that will seldom work. EDM marketing will help you personalize content for audience segments so you have a better chance at lead generation. 

The best thing is, when an individual is receiving your content via multiple channels, they automatically start feeling like the center of your world. This is exactly what you want.

Save Time and Money

If optimized right, an EDM marketing strategy lets you reach the widest audience at the cheapest cost. Building an email list is the only time-consuming and potentially costly part of EDM. Sending out emails and marketing content on different channels is low-cost if done by your own employees rather than hiring a marketing company. 

Enhance Brand Recognition

You target a large number of people in this marketing approach. When you’re sending out emails, social media posts, SMSs, online ads, print ads, television ads at such a scale, you’re going to reach a large number of eyes and ears. A lot more than what you intended to reach. 

You don’t necessarily have to use all of these media at the same time. It’s only that when people see your brand online and offline frequently, they tend to remember you and will be more interested in what you offer. 

How to Build an Effective EDM Marketing Strategy?


EDM marketing has innumerable potential. But it needs to be done right if you want to get something out of it. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you to develop an EDM marketing approach that works.

  1. Choosing the Right Email Service Provider

If you’re already into email marketing and are well-versed with an email service, you can skip this step. But if you want to switch your email service or are new to this altogether, you need to choose a service that’ll work best for you. 

We recommend you use email marketing software for greater automation. Using conventional tools like spreadsheets isn’t really a great idea when dealing with bulk communications. To choose one that works for your business, you’ll have to do your fair share of research. 

Keep in mind that you should be able to sectionalize your mail list and start automated email campaigns with the email service you choose. 

  1. List Building and Organization

Your mail list is the most critical part of your marketing strategy. The better and more refined your database, the better your results. Again if you already have an email marketing campaign up and running, you would have a list. Still, when it comes to EDM, your email list should be much more refined and segmented. 

Here are a few useful tips to build your mail database from scratch:

  • Offer access to valuable educational content such as your blog, ebook, webinars, and demos. Users will be more than happy to give you their email in return for valuable information.
  • Encourage visitors to sign up on your site for exclusive discounts, and offers. 

Having the right emails is your only way to reach the right audience. Once you’ve done that, the next step is to segment your list so you can send the right communications too. 

Please know that you already have an email. That means the individual is interested in your brand or the services or products you provide. Similarly, there’s a lot more you can tell about them such as their interests, profession, or more from their interest in your business. This information can hide in clear sight, so it’s important to identify and recognize it. 

  1. Segmenting Mail List

You can categorize the subscribers in your list according to the following criteria:

  • Demography: Segment subscribers according to age, gender, ethnicity, economic class. Categorizing this information makes it easy for you to make the most basic marketing decisions.
  • Geography: Categorize emails according to the region users live in. This helps you avoid sending wasteful emails and communications to people who’re located outside your operational regions. 
  • Psychography: Subscribers are segmented according to their interests. Although getting meaningful psychographic data about your subscribers is not easy, it can prove to be extremely valuable if you manage to get your hands on it.  
  • Behavior: Analyzing your mail list according to how they interact with you, your website, emails, and other forms of communication. You can use their purchase patterns, preferences, and more to gain some pretty impressive results for your business. 
  1. Setting Up a Campaign

This is when you create your email and prepare it to be sent out to chosen segments. Creating a campaign may vary among different email service providers, but the general process is the same. Remember the following important tips to create a stellar email:

  • Keep it relevant to the subscriber: Knowing and addressing your receiver’s problems will get them to read with interest.
  • Make it easy to digest: Don’t go with large swathes of text. Use interactive buttons and attractive formatting.
  • Be consistent with your brand voice: Make your design and text adhere to your brand’s theme and voice.
  • Emphasize CTAs: Use multiple CTA buttons at different locations in the email. Use different content for each button. You never know what’s going to click with one reader. 
  • Add contact info: Mention the customer support page, email, and social media handles. 
  • Let the unsubscribe show: Hiding the unsubscribe button is unprofessional and may also get you in trouble with anti-spam laws.
  1. Utilize Autoresponders

Almost all email service providers have autoresponders to make sure you use them to optimize email communications and provide a highly personalized experience for subscribers. Examples of autoresponder emails are:

  • Welcome emails
  • Birthday emails
  • Holiday messages
  • Abandoned products in shopping carts
  • Personalized reminders
  • Product recommendations 
  1. Track Results

Measuring results and insights from your EDM marketing campaign is as important as customer feedback is for a business. Without measuring the efficacy of your marketing efforts, you can never know where you’re headed. These are the 7 KPIs you need to keep an eye on for your marketing campaign. 

  • Clickthrough rate: The percentage of mail subscribers that clicked on a link or CTA button in your email. The higher the percentage, the better your email content. Low percentages mean you’re not targeting interested people or your content is of low quality. 
  • Unique open rate: The percentage of total unique email opens. 
  • Bounce rate: The percentage of emails that did not reach the receiver because the recipient mail server blocked it.
  • List growth rate: The net rate at which your mails database is growing. 
  • Email sharing rate: Percentage of clicks on the ‘Share’ button in your emails. 
  • Click-to-open rate: Total unique clicks compared to total unique opens.
  • Unsubscribe rate: When you send out emails, uninterested people will choose to click on the unsubscribe button. There will always be unsubscribers so don’t be alarmed. If this rate is unusually high, then you might have a problem. 
  1. Initiate Retargeting Campaigns

It’s time to run your campaign on secondary communication channels such as social media, SMSs, or print. Retargeting will help you reiterate your message and will spark greater interest in the audience. 


Electronic Direct Mail marketing is not a one-off marketing stunt. It’s a continuous process of building, refining, and capitalizing on your email database. The trust-building it involves requires you to follow the marketing approach in the long term so the audience can feel your strong presence in the market and in their individual lives.

The key to success is making your EDM marketing strategy as precise, personalized, and consistent as possible.