The Definitive Guide to Electronic Direct Mail for your Business.
Electronic Direct Mail, or in short EDM, is part of online digital marketing that revolves around building up a list of potential leads and prospects.
This list is a database comprising of useful information of your subscribers such as names, email addresses, gender, and preferences. With this acquired information, companies and businesses can then connect with their audiences by sending out engaging and effective emails.
EDMs allow you to engage directly with your existing customers, build new customers’ relationships, retain brand loyalty and drive conversions to your business. EDMs are also very useful and great for:
- New product launches and services
- Announcement of latest company news and events
- Sales and exclusive 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 be going through the 5 tips on how to build up your email list and 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 free and paid online EDM tools that you can use.
How to Build Up a List of Potential Leads and Customers?
With a better understanding of what Electronic Direct Mail is, the next burning question on everyone’s mind would be on how to start collecting your customer’s information to be used for future communications.
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 of our top tips on how you can build and maintain an 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 email list. And one of the best ways to overcome this predicament is to provide them something of value that they can receive immediately after their sign-up.
For example, in an eCommerce industry, you can offer an online coupon in the follow-up email after they have signed-up to your list. With the coupon, they can then use it to offset their next purchase and this is immediate value for your subscribers.
If you are in the design and printing industry, you can also offer the download of a custom greeting card that they can use during 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 instead is to reach out to them through personalized emails and direct them to your website which they can sign-up to your list.
3. 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 sending out emails are 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.
If you are providing your services from your premises, 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 to your mailing list is a nice addition to have.
4. Double Opt-in Method
A double opt-in method is a great way to build and maintain a quality email list.
A double opt-in method is a 2-step process that a subscriber will have to go through during a sign-up. In contrast, a 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 from the users and they will receive an automated email confirming their subscription. In such a scenario, the subscriber in a single opt-in method will be added directly to the email list.
For a double opt-in method, there will be an additional step required by the user. Upon sign-up, they will first receive an email to verify their email address before receiving the second email to confirm their subscriptions.
This additional verification process improves the quality of your email lists and also ensures that the email address that is used during the sign-up is valid and active. With a single opt-in method, there’s no guaranteed way to know if the sign-up is from an actual person or a bot.
There are also situations when an email address is entered incorrectly during the sign-up. A double opt-in method would prove very useful in such situations as a subscriber would only be added to your email list after they have confirmed their email address.
In certain countries, it’s also a must for businesses and companies to use a double opt-in method to build up their email lists.
5. Email List Segmentation
Email list segmentation is the process of separating an email list into smaller segments to improve the success of your 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. So, how do you go about segmenting your email list?
You can create an additional field in your sign-up form in which your subscribers will have to enter their gender. By segmenting your email list, you can then send targeted emails to specific segments of your list.
Every customer has different problems and needs, and they are added to your email list at different stages.
For example, if you have collected your email addresses at a trade show, it will only be appropriate to send them information related to the event itself. Over time, you will build your trust and credibility with your customers as the next time they open an email from you, they will know that it is something of use and value to them.
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?
There are a few strategies you can use to ensure your new launches are a huge success. You can build a landing page on your website 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. Your emails should focus on how your new products and services can help solve their problems or bring value to their life.
Your customers mainly 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 online digital marketing which you can utilize for your business. They allow you to reach out to your customers with lower costs and email campaigns can be deployed according to the sender’s schedule.
Designing an effective email campaign can be achieved by utilizing your in-house designers to draft out layouts and designs. With traditional marketing campaigns, the cost of designing, printing and delivering is significantly higher.
More time is also saved as everything can be executed and deployed in-house. Unlike traditional direct mail campaigns, EDMs are proven to be cost-effective and time-saving.
3. Increase Conversions and Sales
One of the great benefits of Electronic Direct Marketing is the audience that you are connecting to has given you direct permission to do so. During any sign-ups, your leads have made their intention clear to receive any future email communications from you unless they have unsubscribed to be removed from your email list.
These are potential customers who are genuinely interested to know more about the products and services you are offering. And they are also the one that is most likely to engage with you and your businesses.
Build up your trust and relationships with your subscribers through timely and engaging emails and they will turn into a paying customer in no time.
Best Free and Paid Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Online Tools
First, in our list of EDMS online tools, Mailchimp is an all‑in‑one email marketing platform. For businesses that are just getting started, Mailchimp offers a 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 into their email marketing campaigns, they have paid plans to cater for different growing needs.
Get Response is easy to use and a 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.
Besides 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 allow you to send 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 is 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 to start from $19 monthly.
Want to Generate More Leads for Your Website?
We hope this article helped you learn 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.
Contact us online or call us at 9824-5850 to see how you can use EDM as part of your online digital marketing strategies to drive revenue for your business.