With the acronym DEM, which stands for Direct Email Marketing, we mean the set of online promotion activities that are based on sending advertising e-mails to a pre-selected list of contacts. Unlike the Newsletter, the DEM has a more purely commercial purpose and has the specific purpose of acquiring new customers and objectives already acquired through cross-selling techniques. The sending of an advertising e-mail as part of a Direct Email Marketing strategy does not have a constant and close frequency like that of the newsletter. Furthermore, DEM campaigns aim to obtain commercial results in the short term.
In order to create a DEM Marketing campaign, it is necessary to have a mailing list, that is a database of people who have given their specific written consent to receive promotional emails. Profiling, audience segmentation and targeting are essential requirements for the success of the campaign, because it is essential that the message is addressed to an audience interested in the product / service promoted.
The success of a DEM Marketing campaign, however, also depends on many other factors:
- Construction of the right message on a creative level, both from a textual and graphic point of view;
Images and texts must be personalized as much as possible;
- It is important that the entire design is responsive, that is, optimized in order to allow e-mail reading on all devices, from the desktop to the smartphone;
- It must include a meaningful call to action, that is, capable of capturing the attention of those who open the message for simplicity, clarity and immediacy;
- Analyze the behavior of the user who receives the message, from the opening and reading of the commercial communication to the clicks made, up to the landing on the dedicated landing page and the final operation (the purchase).
- The KPIs to be monitored in the Direct Email Marketing area are, mainly:
- The CTR (Click-Through-Rate), i.e. the percentage of people who have clicked on one or more links contained in the email they received;
- CTOR (Click-Through-Open-Rate), i.e. the percentage of recipients who clicked on the message in relation to the total of them who opened the email at least once;
- The Conversion Rate, i.e. the percentage of recipients who click on a link contained in the email and complete a specific action;
- The Bounce Rate, i.e. the percentage of emails sent but not delivered successfully;
- The Unsubscribe rate, the percentage of users who decide to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
The advantages of Direct Email Marketing are many:
- It is less expensive than direct marketing done with printed materials.
- The return on investment (ROI) is more than four times higher than other marketing channels.
- It is instantaneous, especially when compared with paper mail: an e-mail arrives in seconds or minutes.
- It allows you to “push” the message to the public, as opposed to a website that “waits” for visitors to reach it.
- It is easy to trace. It can track users with web bugs, rejected messages, unsubscribes, acknowledgments, click-throughs, etc. These can be used to track email open rates, positive or negative feedback, marketing derived sales.
- It allows you to establish a “one to one” relationship, that is, to personalize the message according to the recipient who will receive that specific communication.
- It allows you to test to see which type of message produces the best results based on the audience it is targeting.
- The costs are very low compared to any other type of advertising.
If done right, email marketing has few disadvantages in itself, although there are still objective obstacles that anyone who wants to launch an email campaign has to deal with:
- Inboxes already saturated. Almost every company today communicates with its customers through the tool of email marketing. This means that anyone with an email address ends up receiving between 10 and 90 emails a day every day, more or less desired. For a company that wants to do email marketing, therefore, it is increasingly difficult to get noticed among the already saturated inboxes.
- Spam filters: in the context described above, the different e-mail providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) have built higher and higher anti-spam walls, in order to protect their users from unwanted mail. For those involved in email marketing this means having to play by the rules dictated by these filters, in order to avoid that their campaigns are blocked and never reach the final recipient.
- The revolution of the GDPR: entered into force in May 2018, it represented a real hurricane in the world of email marketing. Before the GDPR, in fact, the collection of email addresses to send one’s email marketing campaigns was not very regulated and left almost entirely to the creativity of companies. Users’ email addresses could be collected in a variety of ways or even purchased by agencies that were almost exclusively involved in collecting databases of addresses and selling them to companies. Today, however, a company that wants to do email marketing must guarantee total transparency and comply with the stakes of the GDPR.
In recent years, email marketing promotions are part of a broader integrated communication campaign (integrating multiple means of communication), to involve your target audience on multiple experiential fronts and have a measurement in terms of feedback.