In this era of content overload, how do you create an EDM that will not only be opened by your potential customers, but also generate leads for your business? Here’s an eight-step plan for creating the perfect EDM.

With more than 293.6 billion emails sent and received daily in 2019, it’s no surprise that electronic direct mails (EDMs) are a useful tool for businesses to communicate with their current and potential customers. 

A recent study by DMA in the UK found that for every £1 spent on email marketing, the return on investment was £42. As such, EDMs can be an efficient and cost-effective way to generate leads by providing a medium to update individuals in your database on different areas of your business such as news, product launches, and promotions. 

However, a successful lead generation EDM takes more than just acquiring the email addresses and sending out an email. Let’s look at a number of key factors to get it right. 

1. Be clear on your EDM strategy from the outset

Before you even start to write your EDM, you need to create a strategy. What’s the purpose for this EDM? For example, if it’s promoting a campaign, then you will likely have a timeline with several lead-up EDMs that will eventually reach a climax. 

If your email is purely a newsletter, then you will likely need to determine the frequency of its distribution. Do you want to be a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly newsletter? No matter which frequency you choose, be consistent. Do not send out EDMs randomly as it will be difficult to analyse the data and see the patterns in the effectiveness of what you’re doing. 

Then you need to think about formatting. Do you want to follow the same template each time? Or do you want to mix it up from EDM to EDM? 

2. Content is king

Adults have a very short attention span, estimated to be around eight seconds. That doesn’t give you much time to get your message across. And with the number of people forced to spend more time in their homes, the number of emails they are receiving on a daily basis, will likely have risen.

First up, crafting copy for the subject line. This is going to be the first thing people see when deciding whether or not to open your email. It’s important that it is something that will make people want to open the email. Don’t be afraid to get creative, as it needs to draw the reader in, but also be relevant to what is inside the email. Around 50 characters and below is a good length to keep the subject line. 

Headers and sub-headers should be bold and stand out from the rest of the copy. Just like captions on images in magazines, some users will simply skim the subheadings. Make them snappy and relevant. 

Aim to get your message across in the least amount of words as possible. This should be done in 125 words or less. Try to ensure that it’s more educational and adds value to the reader rather than it being a straight up promotion.

3. Think about your design and branding

When thinking about the design of your EDM, find a balance that works with your copy. For example, a typical structure will include a headline, body, and one or two call to action (CTA) links. 

Make the design appealing and on-brand. Ensure the correct fonts, colours and logos are used. Don’t be afraid to spice things up with images and GIFs occasionally, however, don’t overdo it as you don’t want to crash inboxes or get bounced. If your EDM is too large, images may take ages to load or look distorted; or worse still, returned to sender. 

 4. Content personalisation

According to a recent study by HubSpot, the number one strategy used to improve email performance is personalisation. You can do this simply by addressing the end reader by name. 

5. Think tactically: include a call to action

You don’t just want your EDM to be read. You want the reader to take action. Since the overall average open rate for all industries is 16.22% as of May 2020 according to Knowledge Base, it’s imperative to include one or two calls to action (CTA) within your EDMs, such as clicking through to your website or contacting you directly. 

It’s okay to have multiple CTAs within one EDM. For example, buttons can be placed in the opening banner or the body copy or at the end, linked to specific URLs on your webpage. Another bonus of including a tactical CTA: you can measure engagement. 

6. Think about what day and time to send your EDM

It’s important to test which times and days work best for your database. This may take some trial and error, but it is a necessity. Put yourself into the shoes of your user. When will be the best time to reach them? If you’re delivering a daily wrap-up, 5pm is a good time. But sending it at midnight might be too late. By the time your reader wakes up, your news might be stale. 

7. You need a clean database

Ensuring you have the right people in your database is half the battle. Sending EDMs to individuals who are not interested in what you’re selling or are completely the wrong group will see your hard work provide limited results. 

You should look to segment your audience. Segmented campaigns can see as much as a 760% increase in revenue over their non-segmented counterparts. You can do this by first attaining as much information about your individuals as possible when you acquire their email address. It’ll then make it a lot easier to segment this information and target certain individuals with relevant EDMs. 

8. Design your EDM for all devices — and stress test it before hitting send

Mobile-first is industry standard. In fact, mobile account for 46% of all emails opened — and that figure is growing. That said, you still need to ensure that the EDM will work on computers, tablets and other mobile devices. Send a test EDM and proofread everything before you press send all. There’s nothing like a typo, dodgy statistic or a broken link to ruin all your hard work.

The bottom line

EDMs should be an integral part of your overall digital marketing strategy. With the ever-expanding digital landscape, and the overload of information that is delivered to individual’s inboxes on a daily basis, getting the formula right can take some time and practice. However, EDMs are a cost-effective and efficient way to generate leads by reaching your target audience anywhere in the world.

For more information on how IMMedia Content can help you to create the perfect EDM for your business, please contact us today.