What is EDM Marketing and How It Beats Regular Email Marketing

EDM marketing is still a relatively vague term in the digital marketing world. If you’ve already encountered it in a conversation or someplace online, chances are high that you just smiled and nodded in agreement and then rushed to Google to find out what’s it all really about. And that’s probably how you ended up here.

In order to supply you with all the necessary knowledge on EDM marketing, we did more than just a simple Google search. So, let’s start.

What is EDM Marketing?

EDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail. This form of marketing is mainly used by companies and brands to build loyalty and increase sales. EDM is defined as a marketing form used by companies and brands to target large groups of (potential) clients, focused on building relationships, generating leads, and increasing sales.

EDM Marketing

Of course, before you even start thinking about any form of email marketing, the first thing you need to have is an email list. If you’re looking for new ways to build or expand your own email list, we have prepared 7 effective ways of doing so, without losing your mind, money, or time.

EDM Marketing vs. Email Marketing

EDM marketing, in its simplest form, entails and is largely based on email marketing, which is why a lot of people use the two terms interchangeably. 

A typical EDM campaign is focused on email blasts. What does that mean? It involves building an email database of (potential) customers and directly communicating your offer to them via email. This sentence basically describes the essence of email marketing. So, how’s EDM marketing different from traditional email marketing?

It’s different in terms that it usually involves more than just simple email communication. The best performing EDM campaigns utilize cross-media channels and incorporate printed materials, social media promotion, and SMS messaging to communicate and reinforce the overall message of the campaign.

In addition to the simple email communication, EDM uses other forms of communication to reinforce the campaign message, such as:

  • Remarketing
  • PPC
  • Social Media
  • Offline Advertising

If we put those minor differences aside, there are much more similarities between EDMs and email marketing campaigns – the outcome of both being to convert more sales and/or build brand loyalty.

Disambiguation: Event Driven Marketing

As with most acronyms, EDM can mean many things. We’re obviously not going to deal with electronic dance music here, but there’s another marketing related term abbreviated the same way as Electronic Direct Mail – Event Driven Marketing.

Event Driven Marketing

Event Driven Marketing (EDM) is a marketing discipline, which bases its communication and commercial activities on relevant changes in a customer’s individual needs. The ‘Event’ part refers to any significant and identifiable change in a customer’s life. It’s usually some major happening that can affect the customer’s behavior, state of mind, personal life, or their interaction with others. 

This marketing discipline enables you to communicate a relevant proposal to the customer at the right time. At the same time, such an approach helps you get to better know your customers in order to make more informed business decisions. Event Driven Marketing is sometimes also referred to as Event Based Marketing.

Top Reasons to Use EDM Marketing in Your Marketing Strategy

As the core of EDM is email marketing, all the benefits that apply to email marketing are also valid when it comes to EDM. Plus, there may be a few extra ones. 

It’s cost-effective

If you’ve been in the business for a while, you must have been experimenting with Instagram or Facebook ads at some point. Even though this form of advertising is in many cases cheaper than the traditional forms, the costs still mount up and there’s no guarantee you’ll hit the mark and generate new sales. 

But once you’ve built a considerable email database, you’ve got yourself a new market of highly-targeted leads, which are much more likely to convert. The best way to do it? EDM marketing.

According to a recent DMA research, email ROI is on the rise, so that for every $1 spent on email marketing (including EDM) in 2018, you can expect a $43 return. In fact, email marketing has been known to outperform PPC, SEO, and content marketing.

Email ROI


 Classic email marketing strategy should be considered as an essential part of any marketing strategy, as it’s the most cost-effective way to communicate with your customers, promote your products, and increase your sales. And with EDM, you complement the traditional email marketing with additional cross-media channels.

It enables you to earn people’s trust

For starters, if you’re able to send someone an email (and unless you’ve indulged in some illicit activities), it means that that person already has some amount of interest and trust in you, your company, and your brand. 

That being said, a great thing about EDM is that it enables you to build relationships with your (potential) customers and reinforce their trust. Great email marketing is all about providing extra value to your customers – forget about the sleazy salesman approach. If you get the people on your mailing list used to quality content, soon they’ll be looking forward to and expecting messages from your company.

With EDM, you can experiment using other channels (including printed materials, other digital channels, or SMS messages) to communicate your message to your base of potential customers.

Easy to track and measure

Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

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Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

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One of the golden rules of digital marketing is to track and measure everything. At the same time, this is one of the main advantages in comparison to the traditional marketing forms. With EDM and email marketing, it’s really easy to track how many people opened your email, which action they took after opening, when, where, and on which device they viewed it on, and so on.

One of the main benefits of the ability to track and measure the results is the possibility to experiment. Don’t be afraid to do so!

There are a plethora of email automation tools to choose from that will make this process a breeze. If you’re not sure which one to use for your own marketing needs, we’ve held an email marketing standoff to help you decide on the best tool for your own needs. 

Significant reach

Who doesn’t have an email address these days? From time to time, you’ll find people who don’t use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, but almost everybody’s got an email address. In fact, in 2017, there were 3.7 billion email users, while this number is projected to grow up to 4.3 billion in 2022. And those who use other social media kind of have to have an email address, as you can’t create a Facebook account without an email.

What does this mean in terms of marketing? It simply means that email’s reach is enormous and shouldn’t be neglected, no matter which marketing strategy you’re using. According to Forrester Research, 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, while only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.

It’s easy to personalize

Furthermore, according to a Litmus study, only 21% of consumers have reported receiving a memorable promo email from some of their favorite brands within a 2-month timeframe. This is why you should adopt the ‘quality over quantity’ approach. In other words, sending a bunch of emails to your contact list isn’t necessarily going to bring you an increase in sales. 

Litmus Study Stats


A much better solution is to personalize the emails you send. If you’re looking for some inspiration, these 13 email examples are a lighthouse that will navigate you towards more conversions.

The Most Effective Types of Emails for EDM Campaigns

This largely depends on what you want your (potential) customers to do. Do you want to sell them something or just reinforce your relationship? Here are the most common (and most effective) types of emails for both e-commerce and non-ecommerce business situations, in which EDM can be particularly effective:


  • New arrivals/product launches
  • Special offers
  • Sale reminders
  • Re-orders
  • “We miss you” emails


  • Company newsletters
  • Industry news
  • Event information
  • Case studies/testimonials
  • Tips & tricks

In theory, those are the types of emails most commonly used in EDM and email marketing campaigns. In practice, here are some examples of great marketing campaigns by some of the most influential brands in their respective industries, such as BuzzFeed, Uber, Dropbox, Stitcher, and so on.

BuzzFeed EDM Campaign

As already mentioned, in order to even consider using EDM in your marketing strategy, you need to build an email list. In case you’re wondering how to do it in the first place, we present you with…

3 Well-Proven Methods for Building Email Lists

  • Ebooks. Even though some say the use of ebooks for lead generation is a thing of the past, with high-quality content and adequate promotion, you can still capture some serious leads using ebooks.
  • Free video training, courses or software. Offer your customers the chance to learn something new for free in return for some leads. Basically, add the prefix ‘free’ next to anything and it instantly adds lead generation potential to it.
  • Online quizzes. A hidden gem of lead generation. Online quizzes are the next big thing when it comes to capturing leads, due to their ever-increasing popularity on social media. If you’re looking to take your lead generation game to the next level, you should create a quiz right now.

Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

Get Started

Build Your Email List By 100K This Year Using Quizzes

Get Started