Email direct marketing (EDM) or EDM marketing as it is also known has always been a bit of a controversial method. EDMs originated as the virtual equivalent of junk mail, choking up inboxes all around the world with ungainly, irrelevant material that would often be overlooked by the consumer.

In the early 2000s, legislation and technology caught up with the EDM marketing trend. Heavy restrictions were put in place on what could and could not be sent. By the late 2000s, EDMs were effectively on life support, with nearly 30% of commercial emails failing to reach the inbox and subscribers opting out en masse due to the overwhelming volume of irrelevant marketing material clogging up their inbox.

Some of you may be asking, “What is EDM marketing?”

Electronic Direct Mail marketing (EDM marketing) is an abbreviation for electronic direct mail marketing. It’s a type of marketing that businesses may utilize to improve client loyalty and, as a result, sales. EDM marketing works by allowing firms to reach out to big groups of customers and prospects. The goal of the approach is to develop and maintain customer connections, create new leads, and improve sales.

Fast forward to now, EDM marketing has made somewhat of a comeback. Alive and well, EDM marketing has become universally recognized as one of the most effective tools in a marketer’s arsenal. EDMs are responsible for nearly 7% of customer acquisitions, a number that puts social media platforms to shame.

So how did EDM marketing manage to claw its way back from the grave? In short, marketers got better at connecting with consumers.


We live in the age of the individual. It should speak to reason that people don’t want to be treated as another blip in a faceless consumer mass. In the modern age, people like to be recognized as discerning, autonomous, and unique. This is precisely why emailing general promotional material in masse became so ineffective. In modern EDMs, segmentation is the answer to this quandary. By utilizing more sophisticated consumer data tracking, marketers are now able to tailor email content to suit individual preferences and tastes.


Some EDMs take it right down to the personal level by responding directly to a customer’s activity on their site. Something like ‘abandoned cart’ emails, loyalty reward emails, and the ‘thank you for shopping with us recently’ promotions are all excellent examples of companies following up on customer interest and activity. EDMs are reviving and digitizing the kind of personalised customer service people like to claim died with the birth of the internet.


In its younger days, EDM marketing content was essentially lifted from its print mail predecessors and rife with trite marketing jargon. Modern EDMs have broken away from this stale formulaic approach and developed their own style of sharp, snappy brand of content that speaks to the individual more than it speaks to the consumer.


A potential customer getting an email via EDM marketing.

Did you know that 51% of emails are opened on mobile devices?

If you want to attract your audiences to open your emails, use concise and straightforward email titles to arouse readers’ interests. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Use numbers or emojis
  2. Personalise the titles
  3. Be creative


We all know that constantly sending EDMs can irritate the audience, leading to a negative association towards your brand. Data show that 46% of subscribers usually mark some promotional emails as spam or even unsubscribe. On the other hand, however, if the emails sent are not enough, your brand will gradually become forgettable by your target audience. As a result, you should keep an eye on how often the emails are sent to find that happy medium. 


Emails with long and abundant pieces of content can reduce the audience’s willingness to read them. You may also think that short emails cannot thoroughly convey your messages, so it is wise to again find that happy medium in terms of content length. If you would like to know the performance of different email lengths in your specific case, you could do A/B testing to get your own data.


Regularly conducting A/B testing is one of the ways to improve your EDM’s effectiveness. The more testing you do, the sooner you will realize that there is a specific pattern to improve EDM strategies significantly. However, you should not input too many subjective factors in the testing. Most of the successful results of EDMs are not easily guessed, so you should implement A/B testing based on hard data instead of just your own instinct.

EDMs are a perfect example of digital Darwinism; a format that has evolved significantly to thrive in the fast and temperamental online universe. If you would like to understand more about EDMs, do not hesitate to learn more about our email marketing and EDM marketing services.