eDM Marketing: Definition, Mistakes to Avoid and 3 Indicators You Need to Watch

First, we define eDM, then give useful advice regarding legal requirements. We give a step by step introduction to each important stage of an email’s journey: from clicking “send” to its final destination, a conversion. We will also discuss some important statistics of KPIs using Signup.to’s research.


Let’s begin! What are we going to talk about?


  • What is eDM?
  • What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?
  • How an eDM gets to the user?
  • Delivering the email
  • Opening the email
  • Clicking on a CTA button and/or link
  • Unsubscribing from the email
  • Conclusion


In today’s digital age, there’s nothing extraordinary in receiving daily promotional emails.

You must be familiar with this situation so you know exactly what it’s like to be on the receiver’s end.



What is eDM?


Electronic Direct Marketing: is basically sending marketing, advertising or business information materials to a group of people using email.

In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing.

In legal terms, generally the following applies:

An advertisement could be anything containing the company’s name, logo, or activity that incites people to buy their products or services, or aims to gain more popularity. Emails, e-brochures, presentation materials, images, information about promotions, sales, sweepstakes, games, gifts, discounts, coupons, new products or services all qualify as eDM.


eDM materials can only be sent if the receiver has voluntarily agreed in advance.


It is important to note that in case there’s no identifiable person behind the email address (e.g. info@aquariushand.com) it is allowed to send promotional messages without prior consent.


What to pay attention to when sending an eDM and how to avoid being blacklisted?


Now that we know what eDM means, we can talk about sending it correctly.

There are conditions you must take into account carefully.


tips First and foremost: always ask for permission before sending an eDM (e.g. from newsletter subscribers). If you skip this step, you can be fined or even be sentenced to jail.


Let’s take a look at a few situations where we (as senders) don’t play by the rules:

  • the checkbox for consent is automatically ticked in
  • no comprehensive terms and conditions provided for the user
  • unsubscribing is too difficult and circumstantial (e.g. requires personal attendance)
  • subscribing is a requirement for using an application or a game


How an eDM gets to the user?


Let’s think of an email as if it is a train. If, for any reason, it fails to get to the next station, reaching the remaining stages will be impossible. Let’s consider this in the case of emails:

  • if the problem occurs with the delivery, the user won’t be able to open it
  • if they can’t open it, they won’t see its content and won’t be able to click on the CTA button and/or link
  • in the absence of a click, the desired interaction won’t take place either so the user won’t see the content intended for them


The next section will look into these stages in detail.

We present the statistics of each station (with the help of KPIs) and based our statements on Signup.to’s findings, who sent more than a billion emails during their research. This is a big enough number to draw relevant conclusions from with regards to emails.


Delivering the email


Not every email reaches its destination.

According to the research, 98.26% get to the addressee’s mailbox, the rest miss it for some reason. There can be different reasons in the background:

  • not the correct email address
  • the user has unsubscribed
  • the recipient’s mailbox is full
  • the sender’s IP address shows up as spam

In these cases, we get an error message from our email sending software so that we can identify the reason the email was rejected. We call these phenomena bounces. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Recipient Bounce: the email address is wrong, misspelled, or doesn’t exist
  • Content Bounce: the receiving email client (Mailbox, Gmail) deems it undesirable
  • Reputation Bounce: the email system or the internet provider labels you as an untrustworthy source so you can’t send your message / it ends up in the spam folder
  • Temporary Bounce: for some reason you cannot send your email for a certain amount of time


Opening the email


According to the research, only 24.88% of the addressees open the email.

KPI in this case: open rate.


What to pay attention to?

  • the email should have the recipient’s name in it
  • the email should be personalized in nature


According to the research, personalized emails achieve better results.


Two things to underline this:

  • in the case of general, standard, non-personalized emails, open rate is only 15.03% and only 1.13% clicked on the link inside
  • in the case of personalized emails, with content relevant to the user, open rate is 56.43% and the rate for opening the link is 31.13%


You’ve noticed a significant difference, right?


In order to remain competitive, you have to forget non-personalized emails!

You should pay attention to sending emails with different content to people on different levels of the sales funnel (depending on the extent of their interest/commitment).


tips Example: A bulk email is enough for those who subscribed for blog post notifications (low level of commitment). However, for those who are about to make purchases, personalized messages are more effective.


Clicking on a CTA button and/or link


Each email sent during the survey contained a link. Clicking on it took users to landing pages. Let’s look at the data!


Of the more than a billion recipients, 3.42% clicked on the link.

The KPI in this case was the click through rate.

The dropout rate is huge here too. Of the users who opened the email, 10.88% clicked on the link. Here, the KPI is the unique click through rate.


At this stage, the user gets a step closer to making a conversion. How can we formulate these steps to make as many users proceed on the sales funnel as possible?


Unsubscribing from the email


Our KPI here is the unsubscribe rate.

During the survey, the unsubscribe rate was the following: of all the people receiving the email, 0.52% unsubscribed. Of the people opening the email, 2.72% ended up unsubscribing.

Change is constant.

So the preference system of subscribed users also changes.

It can happen that something really grabs the user’s attention but it can also become completely irrelevant soon. If you detect an unsubscription, try to find the reason behind it and it can help improving the content and the structure of the newsletter. It might be worth looking at when the users subscribed or when they last received an email from you.

To succeed, it is crucial to have a responsive landing page, optimized for different mobile devices ‒ e.g. tablet, smartphone. It should be noted that in 2011, 27% of people opened emails on a mobile device. Now that number is 54.59% and further increase is predicted, so it’s time to prepare.

You’ve already made the necessary steps, right?



We hope that we managed to reach our goals set in the beginning of the article: introduce electronic direct marketing to you, define it, and draw attention to potential sources of problems as well as KPIs in connection with it.



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  1. […] emails, the open rate is only 15.03% and only 1.13% clicked on the link inside, whilst personalized emails, with content relevant to the user, the open rate is 56.43% and the rate for opening the link is […]

  2. […] eDM Marketing: Definition, Mistakes to Avoid and 3 Indicators You Need to Watch – In today’s article we take a closer look at electronic direct marketing, consider what we have to pay special attention to if we want to build a community, and examine some outbound email statistics. First, we define eDM, then give useful … […]

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