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What is Direct Email Marketing?

by Josien - 19 May, 2020

What is Direct Email Marketing?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

What type of marketing is e-mail marketing, for who is e-mail marketing interesting, and what are the advantages of direct e-mail marketing? And what challenges do you encounter when you use this form of marketing?

The definition of direct email marketing

E-mail marketing is a form of Direct Marketing in which a message is sent directly to the recipient. Think of a brochure that you send to a relationship by post or a relationship that you approach by telephone. In e-mail marketing, you only use the e-mail channel to get your message across.

Email marketing is a versatile communication channel

In email marketing, organizations and companies send emails to interested parties or customers. In the emails you will find, for example, news, offers, purchase confirmations, or a customer satisfaction survey.

The best known example of e-mail marketing is a newsletter in which an organization sends its latest news or offers.

The difference between direct email marketing and email marketing automation

A term that you often see is e-mail marketing automation. But what is the difference between email marketing and automation?

Email marketing automation is a more advanced way of email marketing. In e-mail marketing automation, automated messages are sent with the right message to the right person at the right time. This can be a message to congratulate you on your birthday, a message that your contract with a service provider must be renewed or that there is still a product in your shopping cart at a webshop.

These types of emails you receive are based on data and situations that only apply to you. This is in contrast to a newsletter sent to 80,000 recipients. With email marketing automation, emails often become much more relevant to the recipient.

Direct Email Marketing Benefits

For whom is e-mail marketing interesting?

E-mail marketing is interesting for every organization. No matter how big or small your organization is and whether you work for a B2C, B2B company, a non-profit organization, or government agency. If you want to communicate directly with your target audience, e-mail marketing should be your starting point.

You can easily perform email marketing yourself

You do not need a specialized marketing agency to use email marketing. There are many marketers and communication professionals who do it themselves. You have software for this, such as Spotler’s e-mail marketing automation software.

You can of course also have it done by an agency, but you are much cheaper if you do it yourself.

What are the benefits of email marketing?

Email marketing has many advantages. Below we list nine major advantages.

The costs of email marketing are low

It doesn’t cost a lot of money to send an email to large target groups. Compare it with direct mail, here you are dealing with printed matter, envelopes, and stamps. With e-mail marketing, you have much more control over the costs.

Email marketing has a high ROI

Not only are the costs low, but email marketing also has a very good Return on Investment (ROI).

The latest figures for Litmus give the ratio 1:42. This means that for every euro you spend on email marketing, you will get 42 in earnings (source: Litmus).

Email is fast and widely used

You can send an email whenever you want and it will reach the target group within seconds. Many recipients also open emails shortly after they are sent.

Furthermore, almost everyone has an email address. Email still scores better than social media. Not everyone is on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social channel, but there are few people without an email address.

E-mail is an open channel and you are in charge of your data

Unlike social media platforms, the email channel is not owned by one company or managed by only one company. There are many providers with which you can register an e-mail address and with which you can receive and send e-mails. This is a major advantage over Facebook, for example.

Facebook has been reducing the visibility of branded content for years so that only a small part of your followers see your messages. This is not possible with e-mail.

Another big advantage of direct email marketing is that you are the boss of your contact list. For example, if Facebook changes its channel and no longer allows companies or even disappear completely, this channel with all your followers will also disappear. This is not the case with email marketing. You have control over the management and size of your mailing list. You are not dependent on other channels here.

Email is and remains popular

A number of major online channels have already disappeared, such as MSN and MySpace. Other channels also fluctuate greatly in the number of active users. What is very popular now may be over in a few years. This is not such a danger to e-mail. Email marketing has been around since the first commercial email in 1978 and has grown tremendously ever since. Today it remains a hugely popular channel.

Direct E-mail Marketing is easily measurable

The channel is very measurable. If you use direct email marketing software to send your emails, you will gain insight into many different metrics.

For example, the software registers the number of open emails, the number of times a link was clicked, who unsubscribed, who registered for your event, etc.

Do you also use Google Analytics? Then you can also track the behavior of the recipient on the website after they have clicked through. This makes it clear whether clicks have also been converted. For webshops, it is also possible to see whether recipients have placed products in a shopping cart or have ordered something in response to an e-mail.

With all this data you can evaluate and improve your email marketing. You can see what works and what doesn’t.

E-mail can be customized

You can make your target group as large or small as you want. You can email your entire audience, but you can also send several emails to smaller audiences.

By simply segmenting on interests, gender, or geographical data, for example, you split up your target group, and each “segment” receives its “own” message.

E-mail is easily scalable

Email is also easily scalable. Whether you want to email 100 or 100,000 contacts, that does not matter for your email marketing software. This also applies to automated emails. For example, you create a one-time welcome campaign, which can be activated automatically 2,000 times, but also 50,000 times. And you don’t have to worry about that.

E-mail is a personal channel

You can easily personalize an email with the information you have from a recipient. For example, by placing the first name in the salutation, placing offers based on the gender or content based on the interests of the recipient.

It is precisely these qualities that make direct email marketing such an effective marketing channel.

People prefer to receive advertising by email

E-mail is the most popular channel for receiving advertising. This is evident from the Dutch National E-mail Survey 2019. No less than 69% indicate that they prefer to receive advertising via e-mail. With 13%, our mailbox in the front door is the second favorite channel for receiving advertising. Facebook only scores 6% and Instagram 2%.

Direct Email Marketing Or Spam?

What are the disadvantages of email marketing?

In addition to the many advantages of direct email marketing, it also has one major drawback. When it comes to e-mail marketing, many people think of sending unwanted e-mails. Also called SPAM. Fortunately, there are strict regulations and there are good guidelines around email marketing.

For example, as a marketer you must always have permission to email a contact. Buying an email list with thousands of addresses is simply no longer allowed. With the European GDPR regulations, large fines can also be imposed for this.

Why should you use direct email marketing?

As you have read, there are numerous benefits of including email marketing in your content marketing mix. And of course, it is not mandatory to use e-mail marketing, but this channel should not be missing in your marketing mix.

Email is a powerful and very effective channel. E-mail is a good marketing and communication tool to keep in direct contact with your target group and to keep them involved with your organization. You can easily communicate with your target group in a very targeted manner and even adjust your message down to a personal level.


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About me
Josien in Murano Burano - lightblue wall
Traveler & Online Marketing Specialist

My name is Josien, I travel around the world while I work remotely as an Online Marketing Specialist.

On this blog, you will find articles about my travel experiences & recommendations, business insights & knowledge bombs, and things I find interesting like photography, eco projects, and ways of passive income.

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