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EDM marketing vs email marketing: what’s the difference?

Learn the differences between EDM and email marketing. Find out how to merge their strengths for a comprehensive marketing approach that appeals to your audience, driving action and boosting revenue.
Marketer learning the difference between EDM Marketing and Email Marketing.

When it comes to marketing your brand and connecting with your target audience, you may have heard about two popular strategies: EDM marketing and email marketing. Although both strategies use electronic channels to communicate, they serve different purposes and benefit your marketing uniquely. 

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between EDM marketing and email marketing to help you understand which strategy suits your needs best and when to use them to get the maximum impact.

What is EDM marketing?

Electronic direct mail (EDM) is a digital marketing strategy that marketers use to promote products or services to existing and potential customers who have opted-in to receive emails. It focuses on building and nurturing long-lasting relationships with current customers and potential leads. The primary aim of EDM marketing is to keep recipients engaged and informed, eventually driving them towards a specific action or goal, such as making a purchase, subscribing to a service, or attending an event.

What is traditional email marketing?

Email marketing is a form of digital marketing that utilizes email as a channel to distribute information and promote communication. This strategy targets a larger audience and includes newsletters, press releases, announcements, and promotional offers. The primary objective of email marketing is to acquire new customers, retain existing clients, maintain open communication with the audience, build brand awareness, and boost sales.

Understanding the key differences between EDM and traditional email marketing

While both EDM marketing and email marketing involve sending electronic messages, they cater to different objectives. Here are the most significant differences between the two strategies:

Personalization and targeting

EDM (electronic direct mail) uses data to target specific segments by delivering personalized and relevant content. This involves dividing the audience based on their interests, past behaviors, or demographic information, and tailoring the message to suit these segments.

On the other hand, traditional email marketing also uses email personalization and segmentation techniques, but the messages created are often more general to reach a larger audience. The goal is to appeal to as many recipients as possible without compromising the message’s effectiveness. 

Content strategy

EDM marketing uses customized content that forms a strong connection with the recipient. This could involve stories, insights, or exclusive offers that evoke an emotional response or provide value. 

In contrast, traditional email marketing uses content such as promotional offers, news, or updates about the brand, catering to a broader audience while still generating interest.

Metrics and measurements

The success of EDM marketing is determined by measuring engagement rate, customer retention, and the lifetime value of customers. It assesses how well the campaign builds a long-lasting relationship with the audience. 

On the other hand, traditional email marketing metrics typically focus on open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and bounce rates. This helps marketers drive immediate sales and enhance brand impact on a larger audience.

Combining EDM and email marketing for a holistic approach

Combining EDM marketing with email marketing can create an effective and all-encompassing marketing strategy. By integrating different tactics, channels, and approaches, you can create campaigns that resonate with your target audience, foster loyalty, and drive action and conversion. 

Here are some steps to help you successfully merge both strategies:

Define your objectives

It’s important to clearly outline the goals you want to achieve with your marketing campaigns. This could be increasing sales, engaging with existing customers, or expanding your audience reach. Having this clarity will enable you to make informed decisions about whether to focus on EDM marketing, email marketing, or both, depending on your current objectives.

For example, if your goal is to increase product sales while also engaging with your existing customer base, you might create an EDM marketing campaign with exclusive discounts for loyal customers. You can complement this with an email marketing campaign that promotes a site-wide sale for a broader audience.

Align your messaging

To create a consistent and memorable customer experience, it’s important to align your messaging, tone, and content across both EDM marketing and email marketing campaigns. This harmonization establishes a cohesive brand identity, making your communications easily recognizable to your audience. By aligning your messaging in both EDM marketing and email marketing, your customers can gain a clear understanding of your brand, offerings, and unique selling propositions, which sets you apart from competitors.

To achieve alignment in your messaging, it’s crucial to ensure that your brand tone of voice and style remain consistent across all communication channels employed in both EDM marketing and email marketing efforts. This consistency fosters trust and credibility with your audience, strengthens relationships, and increases the likelihood of achieving your marketing objectives, such as conversions, customer retention, or brand awareness growth.

Strategically integrate campaigns

Integrating your EDM marketing and email marketing campaigns can be extremely beneficial. By incorporating targeted content into your email newsletters, you can increase engagement. You can also use email marketing campaigns to create interest and drive engagement for exclusive offers or events.

For instance, if you are organizing an exclusive event for a small group and want to generate more interest and engagement, you can send an invitation to the rest of your contacts to join a waitlist to gain access to the event. 

This tactic not only grabs their attention but encourages them to opt-in for future communications and builds your email marketing list. You can categorize this audience based on their interests and keep engaging and targeting them in the future with relevant content.

Keep the cadence in check

To maintain a consistent and impactful presence in your audience’s inbox, it’s essential to strike the right balance between EDM marketing and traditional email marketing campaigns in your marketing calendar. 

To ensure that your audience is engaged and not overwhelmed, we suggest using a combination of EDM marketing and traditional email marketing campaigns. For example, you could send a monthly newsletter featuring personalized content and customized offers for the recipient.

Alongside this, you could send weekly email marketing updates that showcase general promotions, industry news, or company announcements. This way, you can maintain a comfortable pace for your audience and keep them up-to-date with your latest offerings.

The bottom line

In conclusion, while both EDM marketing and email marketing have their unique advantages, a successful digital marketing strategy requires a balanced and adaptive approach. By understanding the differences between these two approaches and knowing when to use each, you can optimize your marketing efforts and achieve your desired results. 

So, it’s important to assess your marketing objectives, target audience, and budget before deciding which approach to choose. By doing so, you can tailor your marketing efforts to effectively reach and engage your audience, and ultimately drive conversions and revenue.

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