The Definitive Guide to Electronic Direct Mail for your Business
Electronic Direct Mail, or in short EDM, is a form of online digital marketing that aims to build customers’ relationships, retain brand loyalty and drive conversions.
A typical EDMs campaign entails building up a list of database of potential leads and turning them into paying customers.
Communications are sent normally via email and are great for:
- New Products and Services
- Promotional Events and Offers
- Daily or Weekly Newsletter
- Collecting of Feedbacks and Opinions
In this article, we will share everything you need to know behind a creative and successful Electronic Direct Mail campaign.
We’ll also share the process and benefits of using EDMs for small businesses and corporate companies.
Lastly, we also highlight and go through some of the best and free online EDM tools that you can use.
How to Build Up a List of Potential Leads and Customers?
In many countries including Singapore, it’s against the law to send unsolicited commercial communications by electronic mail, text and multi-media messaging.
As a sender, you are required to get consent and permission from your list of contacts before you can send them marketing emails.
So, how do we as a business go about building our list without breaking the law?
You provide an online sign-up form in which your audience can opt-in to subscribe and receive emails from you.
A sign-up form varies with the industries you are in and may include the following:
- Email Address
Here are some tips on how you can build and mantain a effective and quality list of subscribers.
1. Provide An Incentive to Opt-In.
One of the biggest hurdles to any Electronic Direct Mail campaign is to get your prospects to opt-in to your list.
And one of the great ways to overcome this predicament is to provide them an immediate value that they can receive immediately after sign-up.
For example, if you are in the eCommerce industry, you can offer a coupon that they can use to offset their first purchase.
In the design field, you can offer the download of a custom greeting card that is suitable for festive occasions and holiday seasons.
Providing an incentive for free and of value upfront is a great way to break the ice and get your visitors to sign-up to your list.
2. Outreach to Existing Contacts and Network.
There is no better and easier way to build up your subscriber list by reaching out to your existing contacts and networks.
Chances are that if you have been in the business for some time and you would have along the way collected some form of information from your customers such as names and email addresses.
The question is “Can you add them directly to your email list?”
As mentioned previously, you would need explicit consent to send them marketing communication emails.
What you can do is reach out to them through personalized emails which you can direct them to your website which they can sign-up to your list.
3. Double Opt-in Method.
Double Opt-In method is a 2 step process that a subscriber will have to go through from start to finish.
In contrast, the Single Opt-In method is a 1 step process in which the users will only have to enter the fields required for a sign-up.
No further actions will be required and a successful subscriber will typically receive an email confirming their subscription.
In such a scenario, the subscriber in Single Opt-In will be added directly to the email list.
For a Double-Opt-In method, there will be an additional action required from the user.
Instead of an email confirming their subscription, they will receive an email to verify their email address.
This additional verification process improves the quality of your email lists and ensures that the email address that is used during the sign-up is valid and active.
With Single Opt-in Method, there’s no guaranteed way to know if the sign-up is from an actual person or just a bot.
There are also situations when an email address is entered incorrectly such as a typo error during the sign-up.
Businesses and companies can also use the Double Opt-in method which is required in certain countries in which they have a presence.
4. Making the Most Out of Your Business Marketing Funnel and Channels.
No one understands your business and company more than you.
Analyze and think through the various touching points with your customers and make sure to utilize such opportunities to get them to sign-up to your email list.
For example, if email is your primary communication mode to connect with your customers, integrating a link in your email signature can help turn them into a subscriber in your Electronic Direct Email campaign list.
For those running physical goods and services stores, you can also place a container in your checkout area where your customers can leave their name cards to allow you to connect them with follow-up marketing emails.
For businesses with membership and loyalty programs, providing them an option to sign-up for your mailing list is a nice addition to have.
5. Email List Segmentation.
Email list segmentation is the process of separating an email list into smaller segments to improve the success of all email marketing campaigns.
This is extremely useful as it allows you to create tailored content for each segment to improve your open rates, increase engagement level and improve conversions.
The importance of email list segmentation cannot be understated.
For example, you are an online fashion retailer selling both male and female clothing and accessories.
So, how do you go about segmenting your email list?
You can create an additional field in the sign-up form which you can get your leads to select their gender.
By dividing your email list such as gender, it allows you to send targeted emails to specific segments of your list.
For instance, you are providing tips on how to do a proper make-up and it would make sense to only send to your female subscribers instead of your entire email list.
Benefits of Electronic Direct Mails for Small Businesses and Corporate Companies
1. New Products and Services Launch
What would you normally do when you have a new product or service coming up in the next few months?
Do you sit and wait until the launch date?
Or would you rather deploy strategies to drum up interest and start your marketing promotions?
Using EDMs as one of the marketing promotions, there are a few strategies you can use to ensure your new launches are a huge success.
Build a landing page where you can showcase your products and services, and integrate a sign-up form where they can subscribe to receive more information.
Leading to the official launch day, you can get your consumers excited by sending them relevant and targeted information with regards to your offerings.
Focus on how the new products and services can help solve their problems or bring value to their life.
Your customers buy from you because you offer a solution to their problems, they don’t just buy because of the features that you have.
2. Cost-Effective and Time Saving
EDMs or email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing which you can utilize for your business.
They allow you to reach out to your customers with little or no cost and email campaigns can normally be deployed immediately.
Designing an effective email campaign can be achieved by utilizing your in-house designers to draft out layouts and edits can be done on the fly.
With traditional marketing campaigns, the cost of designing, printing and delivering flyers and brochures is significantly higher.
More time is also required to connect with your advertisers or printing companies to ensure the smooth delivery of traditional campaigns.
If you are still not convinced, you can think of the trees and fuel you save and in the process, reducing your carbon footprint.
Best and Free Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Online Tools
First in our EDMS list, Mailchimp is an all‑in‑one email marketing platform.
For businessess that are just getting started, Mailchimp offers free plan to add up to 2000 subscribers and monthly emails send of up to 10,000.
For companies that require more features and insights to their email marketing campaigns, they have paid plans to cater for different growing needs.
Get Response is an easy to use and cost-effective way to create email marketing campaigns.
They are also fully integrated with popular apps such as WordPress, Magento, Facebook, PayPal and many more.
Bessides offering a suite of paid plans, Get Response also provides a 30 days trial plan which you can try for free.
sendinblue is another Electronic Direct Mail online tool that empowers companies and businesses to build unique connections with their customers through email marketing.
Their free plans offer sending up to 300 emails per day and unlimited contacts.
It also comes with real-time reporting to allows you to track the results of your campaigns in real-time.
Aweber is another leading email marketing solutions provider for small businesses.
With up to 100 features to boost, creating email campaigns are both simple and efficient.
One notable feature would be the Smart Designer which allows you to enter your website URL and it will be able to generate email template designs within seconds.
They offer 30-days free trial and paid plans start from $19 monthly.
We hope this article helped you learn on how EDMs can help your business to boost engagement with your audience.
Email marketing is a very powerful tool when used right as it allows you to gain a direct line to your customers.
Best of it, they are the very people giving you direct permission to reach out to them.