At first glance, both EDM and email marketing have similar objectives: raising brand awareness, identifying leads, and converting leads to paying customers. Where they differ, though, is in the execution.
While email marketing is somewhat passive, EDM is more proactive and delivers a higher conversion.
Email marketing focuses on delivering a relevant message to a segmented audience in the hope of converting some of them. However, EDM takes this one step further by deriving customer insight and intelligence from your leads and using them to reinforce the messaging. Hence, higher conversions.
How does EDM marketing work?
An EDM marketing campaign starts by collecting insights into your leads and customers and then messaging them across media channels with e-blasts, retargeting ads, social media campaigns, and printed ads in magazines.
EDM marketing reinforces the initial email message by repeating it across media platforms. Each customer contact serves as a brand touchpoint to convert the lead into a customer and a one-off customer to a repeat customer.
EDM marketing works on what marketers call the Rule of Seven, which states: “A lead needs to view or hear your message at least seven times before they decide to make a purchase.”
An EDM marketing campaign creates those seven unique touchpoints with a comprehensive marketing strategy beyond basic email communication.
Benefits of EDM marketing for bloggers and online businesses
EDM marketing enables bloggers and online businesses to target and convert large groups of leads and customers. The strategy uses messaging across multiple media channels to build and nurture relationships with leads and customers. This helps in increasing sales. Let’s quickly look at some of the direct benefits of EDM marketing.
EDM marketing is effective in conversions because it’s easy to customize the message and media channel according to the marketing objectives. EDM marketing uses a less is more approach focusing on quality and relevance of the message over sheer quantity. You want to send emails that your audience will open and read.
Sending fewer emails with specific promos and offers for your audience will yield higher conversions than spamming them with a continuous blast of messages. EDM marketing enables you to design specific campaigns for different occasions like:
- Product launches / New arrivals
- Sale announcement and reminders
- Sign-up to newsletter
- Special offers
- Tips and tricks
- Case studies
The rule of seven says you need to target your lead with seven messages. However, it does not say all seven have to be sales-driven. Typically, 1-2 messages of the seven need to drive sales while the rest need to engage the lead with relevant and valuable information. Information will help you build a relationship with the prospect and gain their trust.
The quickest way to build a relationship with anyone is to offer them something of value without asking for anything in return. The fact that you have your lead’s email address means there is a basic interest and trust already in place. EDM marketing lets you build on that interest. Combing EDM marketing with SEO initiatives including link building can give EDM campaigns greater visibility and returns.
Use the five non-sales messages to amplify this interest and trust, thereby fostering a relationship with your potential customers. Focus on creating email content that is relevant to your audience and content that is valuable to them. Doing this is the fastest way to boost your open rates as your audience now looks forward to receiving your emails. The relevance of loyal customers is highlighted by the infographic below:
Customer loyalty is built on trust, and it has a direct impact on metrics like retention and sales. EDM marketing enables you to use multiple media channels to spread your message. Hence, you can catch the customer where they are and when they’re there.
All marketing campaigns need to be tracked and measured to evaluate their effectiveness in meeting the campaign objectives. EDM marketing enables you to track and measure at a granular level, for instance, who opened your emails and the actions taken by them. You can even see the devices your leads used to open your message.
These granular insights give you the ability to tweak and make changes to your campaign in case you need to. It enables you to try new things and optimize the effectiveness of your campaign by conducting A/B tests across each stage till you get to what works best.
Let’s now look at creating and implementing an EDM marketing campaign for your online business or your blog.
Creating and operating your EDM marketing campaign
Most businesses (and yes, your blog is also a business) integrate their marketing campaigns with their CMS platforms.
These platforms provide the connection between customer data and communications. Since EDM marketing spreads communication across multiple media channels and devices, it helps if your CMS has a headless architecture.
A headless CMS provides a multichannel solution for publishing content across various platforms and devices. Headless CMS stores your content (text, images, HTML, and CSS) in a headless architecture that is raw and unformatted. Hence, it enables you to optimize and tailor your presentation to each media channel and device. The need for a front-end system no longer limits the CMS.
The infographic below highlights some key differences between a legacy and headless CMS:
In simple terms, a headless CMS, like Agility CMS, eliminates the effort of endless copy and pasting work by unifying all content in a centralized content hub. This makes editing and publishing your content across channels and devices much simpler. Make a change to the copy or image in one place, and it automatically updates that change everywhere the content is located.
This unification helps improve consistency in brand messaging and enables editors to update the content across different channels quickly, thereby making creating campaigns a breeze.
Five Steps to Creating and Operating your EDM Marketing Campaigns
1. Select an email platform
If you’re already engaged in email marketing, you already have an email service provider (ESP), in which case, you can skip to step 2. However, if this is your first step into email and EDM marketing, you need to start by choosing an email platform that meets your needs.
Running your email and EDM marketing campaigns on an email marketing platform gives you benefits like the ability to segment your mailing list, create autoresponders, workflows, and drip campaigns. The platforms also give you access to powerful analytic tools to measure the success of each campaign.
Suppose you’re a blogger or a small to medium-sized online business. In that case, you may want to check out platforms like MailChimp and Sendinblue that offer “free forever” plans with limited features for businesses with smaller mailing lists. Whichever platform you choose, two critical and must-have features include the ability to segment your mailing list and send automated email campaigns.
2. Build and segment your mailing lists
The quality of your mailing list defines the success of your EDM marketing campaign. If you already have an email database, as a first step, ensure that the names and addresses on it are valid. A “dirty” list will not only mean that your message isn’t getting to your audience, but it will also run the risk of your emails and account being blocked on the platform you use.
Most email platforms offer a paid tool to clean up your list, and this is where you should start with your legacy list. However, if you’re just starting with your email campaign, and need to build your list from the ground up, here are some industry best practices:
- Use Content Management Platforms: These platforms maintain comprehensive and validated contact data (email addresses, contact numbers, etc.) of business people who form your relevant audience.
- Create a lead magnet: Once you have a basic list in place and start your mailing, include lead magnets in your mail to build your list organically. A lead magnet can range from a 30-day free trial, a 10% discount code, or an interactive quiz to get your audience to sign up.
- Offer multiple sign-up avenues: Use lead capture forms and embed forms in your emails to drive sign-up.
- Create a dedicated sign-up page: Create a compelling lead capture page on your website and link to it all your social platforms, paid ads, and other marketing collateral.
- Leverage your offline store: Use your physical stores and other physical touchpoints to get people’s emails into your database.
- Use an email verification service: Your email list might be littered with inactive or invalid email addresses. An email verification solution ensures that your list contains only valid, active email addresses and reduces your email bounce rate.
By including an opt-in form on your web pages is an organic way to build your mailing list. You can place these opt-in forms on different pages on your website including your home page, product pages, and checkout page.
By following these best practices, you will build an email list at a scale that will help drive your EDM marketing campaign. Building a list is one part of the story, an equally critical part is accurate segmentation of that list.
Segmenting your mailing list enables you to segment your audience into homogenous groups with similar needs and issues. There are four ways to segment your broader audience:
- Demographic segmentation is the “who” in audience segmentation. It looks at personal traits like age, gender, ethnicity, and income levels. Segmenting on income levels enables you to spend your marketing dollars on an audience who can afford your products.
- Psychographic segmentation is the “why” in audience segmentation. It factors in the lead’s personality, interests, and hobbies. You may use customer surveys and face-to-face interactions in focus groups to collect psychographic data.
- Geographic segmentation represents the “where” of audience segmentation. It is easy to group your customers based on their physical location, for instance, by country, city, and postal code.
- Behavioral segmentation is the “how” of audience segmentation. It identifies the customer’s behavior patterns and identifies relevant purchase triggers. You can find most of the data you need for this kind of segmentation by analyzing your website and looking for browsing and spending habits.
A well-defined and segmented list with focused and relevant messaging will always yield a conversion rate.
3. Develop your campaign
You’re now ready to create your campaign, and depending on which email platform you choose, the steps to create your campaign will differ slightly. All the platforms have “how to” and “help” videos to guide you through the steps. Let's, however, look at some best practices and marketing tips for creating the content of your emails.
- Avoid technical jargon – Speak in a conversational tone and language directly to your audience.
- Include visual elements – Make your message pop with eye-catching visuals and use them to break up large text blocks.
- Write a catchy subject line – Your subject line is the trigger for getting your audience to open the email.
- Create a consistent brand identity – Stay consistent with elements like design, colors, fonts, voice, and sending frequency.
- Don’t game the unsubscribe button – Algorithms on mailing platforms and anti-spam laws will catch up with you if you try to game or remove the Unsubscribe link.
You will message your audience for different events, from special offers and new arrivals to “we miss you'' and ”holiday specials,” as part of your EDM marketing campaign. Follow the five steps mentioned above to build each campaign.
4. Enable and set up the autoresponders
Autoresponders are emails that are scheduled and sent based on predefined triggers. These triggers include specific actions, like after someone opts into your list and time releases like offering a discount code for their first purchase a week after they sign up.
Integrating auto responders in your EDM marketing campaign enables you to build a relationship with your prospect and strengthen the one with your customers. Look for occasions like birthdays, new products, and abandoned carts to trigger these emails.
5. Enable tracking
Without measuring and tracking the performance of your campaigns, you won’t know if they are delivering the desired results. Tracking the performance also gives you insights into changes required to make the campaign more effective.
Some metrics you need to track include:
- Bounce rate: A high bounce rate means most of your emails are going undelivered, and the health of your mailing list is an issue.
- Open rate: What percentage of your audience is opening the mails? Aim for a figure above 30%.
- Click-through rates: The percentage of people who clicked on your link or CTA button. Aim for around 2%
Most email platforms will allow you to track these metrics in the analytics section. You can also link your account to Google Analytics to get a more granular and detailed performance on key metrics.
EDM marketing is an ongoing effort to build a relationship with your prospects and customers to initiate first and repeat purchases. It offers your audience a personalized brand experience and helps in building trust.
By following the steps in this article, you can create and launch or refine your EDM marketing campaigns. Good Luck!