Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Email Marketing Guide Singapore

Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) Email Marketing Guide Singapore

eDM is a great strategy for promoting your brand, strengthening customer relationships, and boosting customer loyalty. It’s also among the few digital marketing strategies that don’t necessarily need a heavy budget.

If done correctly, eDM can be one of the most cost-effective ways of communicating with your target audience and keeping them informed.

What Exactly is Electronic Direct Mail (eDM)?

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eDM is a vaguely defined term in the digital quarters. If you encountered the term in someplace online or while having a random conversation with someone, the chances are good that you didn’t know what the person was talking about.

So, you smiled, nodded in agreement, and rushed to Google to find its meaning. And probably, that’s how you found your way here.

It’s worth repeating that eDM stands for Electronic Direct Mail. It’s a form of marketing that brands and companies use to build customer loyalty and crank up sales.

It can, therefore, be defined as a form of marketing that brands and companies use to target large groups of potential clients and customers, intending to build connections, generate leads, and boost sales.

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand that eDM and email marketing don’t exactly mean the same thing.

eDM Vs. Email Marketing

While email marketing is restricted to sending emails, eDM is not. eDM goes far beyond email communication.

Both email marketing and eDM use emails. But eDM goes a step further by also involving other forms of communication to reinforce the campaign message.

Some other tactics are also incorporated in eDM, and they include:

  • PPC campaigns
  • Offline Advertising
  • SMS Campaigns
  • Remarketing Campaigns
  • Social Media

Put these differences aside, and there’s so much similarity between email marketing and eDM. Plus, the outcome is pretty much the same on both ends – establish relationships, generate leads, and build brand loyalty.

When compared to email marketing, eDM is a bit complex. Of course, it’s fashioned around email marketing, but after transforming it into an all-encompassing marketing campaign.

Which is Better?

eDM is generally viewed as a better version of email marketing. You’re not just targeting your customers via email, but targeting them from every possible angle with no restriction as to what channel you should use.

It excels by offering more.

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Benefits of Running an Effective eDM Campaign

Here are some of the benefits that an eDM campaign will bring to your business:

Stronger Client Relationships

The emails that you send to your clients is a great way to establish a lasting connection with them. eDM even goes a step further to ensure your messages are delivered to the clients more effectively.

It also allows you to add a personal appeal to your messages so you can capture your clients’ attention and get them to take action.

In addition to all that, eDM will be offering you the opportunity to learn and understand your customers, provided you remain consistent with your marketing effort.

The more you understand your clients, the more you’ll be able to establish a strong connection with them.


Before you run with any marketing strategy, simple logic demands that you evaluate the amount of resources that you have to allocate to it. The size of the business doesn’t matter; you still have to look into your budget and make sure it’s within your spending limits.

Luckily for eDM, you can reach a bigger audience directly without straining your budget.

Of course, you have to pay for the marketing automation tool or email marketing software that you’ll be using. After this, you can begin sending your emails at no extra cost.

Easy to Track

One advantage eDM has over other forms of marketing is that you can easily track your success and monitor the outcome.

Some trackers allow you to see which clients opened your emails and if they did proceed to take action after reading it. You can even tell the exact time that they opened the emails and from what location and using what device.

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Being able to track your marketing effort means you can experiment with lots of things to find out what works best for your business.

It also allows you to track your success after you’ve integrated it with other marketing channels, including social media marketing.

That way, you can project your outcome, and depending on the marketing goals you’ve set for yourself, make necessary adjustments to your marketing effort.

Easy to Customise

eDM allows you to target your customers or clients at an individual level. It allows you to craft a marketing message that addresses the specific needs of your clients instead of basing everything on speculations.

It’s a form of marketing that focuses on quality over quantity. The point is to craft emails that your customers are more likely to read.

Instead of sending so many emails, you should be thinking of sending emails that your customers are more likely to remember. You have so many email options that you can send, including Product launches, New arrivals, Company newsletters, Re-orders, Tips and tricks, Sale reminders, and so forth.

Increased Reach

eDM boasts an extensive reach. You have the option of targeting almost anyone in the world. Plus, you’re not restricted to one particular geographical location, unless you plan to operate locally.

Who doesn’t have an email address at this time and age?

You’ll come across people who don’t use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. But almost everyone has got an email address.

Not to mention, anyone with a social media account will also have an email address. Come to think of it; you need an email address to set a social media account.

What this means in terms of marketing is that eDM has a more extensive reach compared to any other digital marketing channel.

It’s hard to neglect email marketing these days, and here’s why:

According to a recent study report by Forrester Research, 90 percent of the emails that marketers sent are delivered right into the intended recipient’s inbox. However, the messages you send on social media are only read by 2% of your followers or fans.

Easy to Earn Your Customers Trust

Marketers don’t just surprise their customers with emails. By the time you’re sending them your emails, that means the client expressed interest in your product offering at some point.

Getting them to trust you after that is fairly easy. As an eDM marketer, your biggest virtue is patience. Instead of rushing in to close a deal, this marketing strategy dictates that you ingratiate yourself into the life of your customers and establish a relationship first to earn their trust.

Your focus should be on offering extra value to them. Inform, educate, and make yourself useful to the clients you’re targeting, and they’ll soon learn to trust your brand and everything that you have to say to them.

The sleazy salesman slant does no work with eDM. So, work on elevating your value and building attraction, and the world will soon learn to echo your sentiments.

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Simple Execution

eDM doesn’t require any technical know-how. Unlike other marketing channels, you don’t have to break the bank or pump in thousands of your marketing allocation to be granted a chance with your target audience.

All you need is a copywriter and freelance designer, and you’re free to run with your campaign any way you want.

  • You can start immediately. You don’t have to wait for anything to optimise.
  • You’re presented with the opportunity to grab the full attention of your customers without competing for screen space with other marketers.
  • Tracking your progress is a cinch too. There’s nothing technical about how any of the tracking processes are handled.

Creative Leeway

There’s no limit as to how high you should soar with your creativity.

You’ve probably heard about digital channels opening up unexplored creative avenues, such as animation, CTA, and video.

Direct mail marketing offers you a chance to let the genius in you shine. For instance, if your brand is sophisticated and the soft type, you can keep everything simple by sending your customers a brilliantly written copy.

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When to use eDM Marketing?

eDM can be used alongside other marketing channels.

It’s a strategy you’d want to consider if you find it hard to rely on email marketing alone. With this strategy, you can retarget the subscribers who clicked on your email link from Google Ads Remarketing or Facebook Custom Audiences, for instance.

An important 101 reminder: a quality list generates better results. For this, you want to make sure that your email database is updated from time to time. Be sure to segment the email list properly and make sure that everything is clean.

Characteristics of eDM?

There are two defining characteristics of eDM.

It’s Targeted

Far from the “see-if-it-sticks” techniques associated with traditional media and a few forms of modern marketing; email blast campaigns tend to be more targeted.

Email recipients have also evolved a great deal. They’re more discerning these days, and can easily tell between a company that’s genuine and one that’s only trying to lure them into taking action.

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With eDM, you must be genuinely interested in helping your customers. Their needs come first.

The first rule of creating an eDM campaign is to narrow down your audience to a specific demographic. This demands that you segment your list of subscribers and create offers that are in perfect sync with the needs of each group.

It’s Mobile Responsive

Mobile usage has been on the rise lately. As we speak, adult users are even spending more time on their mobile devices than even watching TV.

The good thing with eDM is that it can be optimised to target mobile customers. It’s possible to come up with content that beautifully renders across different devices.

How to Use eDM in Your Marketing Campaign

Here’s how you conduct an effective eDM Marketing campaign in Singapore:

Step 1: Choose an Email Marketing Platform to Use

While you’re starting, and your email list is pretty small, you can manage your email contacts via a spreadsheet such as Excel. But as your business continues to grow and your database expands, you might want to look into the possibility of automating some of the tasks.

And that’s where an email marketing software comes in handy.

Among the features that you’d want to take advantage of in an email marketing software is the autoresponder.

Your options abound. But it’s good to start with a software solution with a free plan that isn’t going to expire on you after a few days.

We suggest you take advantage of Sendinblue or Mailchimp’s “free forever” plans.

Email software such as ActiveCampaign, Vertical Response, and Constant Contact don’t have a free plan. But they each have a free trial that you may want to take advantage of.

Step 2: Build Your Database and Segment it

Worth repeating is that the success of your eDM campaign is loosely hinged to the quality of your list.

For this, you want to make sure your data is coming from a legitimate source and that you’re constantly cleaning it and getting rid of junk email addresses.

If you’ve been operating for a while, you have the following list of sources to consolidate your email contacts:

  • Your existing email lists
  • Your email accounts
  • CRM
  • Ecommerce platform

However, if you’re working everything from scratch, here are a few email list building strategies you might want to adopt:

  • Have something valuable to offer your site readers. This can be a free webinar, an eBook, or a 30-day free trial on your software.
  • Have multiple ways that your site visitors can join your email list. You can use web forms, pop-ups, floating bars, and so on.
  • Remember to add links to your landing page and newsletters, social media profiles, email signature, and anywhere else your company profile is listed.
  • The next thing you want to do is segment your list.

This is the only way to send targeted emails to your subscribers. You want to make sure your email list is grouped accordingly.

There are so many ways to go about this. For instance, you can group your subscribers based on their age, location, gender, online behaviour, past purchases, and level of engagement.

Step 3: Create Your Campaign

At this point, you’re free to go ahead and create your campaign. We’d also like to assume you’ve collected a substantial number of emails to start sending your marketing message.

If you’re using an email marketing software, this is where you head to the “create a campaign” page to set up everything. You’d be asked to add your email recipients or choose them from the list you have.

At this point, you’re also allowed to go ahead and design your email content.

A few things to keep in mind while crafting your campaign message:

  • Wear the mindset of your subscribers and speak their language: You can begin by looking into the pain points your subscribers have. That should help you figure out how to best talk to them in a manner that they’ll have no second thoughts performing the intended action.
  • Use Visuals: There’s no denying that online customers don’t like digging through huge blocks of texts. Where possible, try to break your marketing text into small digestible chunks.

More importantly, use visuals to enhance their appeal and kill the ennui of reading through huge blocks of text.

  • Be Consistent: Work on your email theme and make sure it’s consistent with every email that you send
  • Include CTAs. Your email message must bear a CTA that reminds your site visitors to proceed with an action. Make sure the CTA is featured in different locations, and not just at the bottom of your marketing email.
  • Add Contact: Your customers must be able to contact you when they feel like it. You can include your phone number, email address, physical address, and so on. Remember to include your social media handles as well.
  • Make the unsubscribe button visible: The unsubscribe button should be visible enough to a user who feels like hopping out of your email list. The last thing you want to do is hold your subscribers against their will. If anything, that’s the only thing that draws the distinction between you and a spammer.
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Step 4: Set Up Autoresponders

Autoresponders allow you to automate some of the emails that you send. They can be defined as computer programs that trigger particular actions based on user behaviour or in response to something a subscriber did.

Example of consumer behaviours and their triggered actions:

  • When a new subscriber opts into your email list, an autoresponder program can respond by sending a welcome message to that subscriber.
  • After a week of joining your subscription list, the lead will receive an automated email with discount codes that they can take advantage of.

You can use autoresponders to do the following;

  • Send birthday greetings to your subscribers
  • Tailor your content to specific user behaviour on your website
  • Product recommendations
  • Receipts, bills, and confirmations
  • Reminders for shopping cart abandonment
Set 5: Enable Tracking

You want to keep track of your campaign and make sure that everything aligns with your marketing goals and objectives.

What do you expect to achieve through the campaign?

You have to begin by defining your marketing objectives, after which you’ll have to choose your marketing KPIs (Key Performance Indexes).

Here are some of the metrics and KPIs you can use to track your performance:

Clickthrough rate

The percentage number of people that clicked on any of your links. It’s calculated as your total number of emails divided by the total number of clicks your email got.

CTR = (Total Number of clicks/Total number of emails sent) x 100

Unique open rate

Refers to the percentage number of unique people that opened your emails. These are the people that have never opened your emails before.

It’s calculated as:

total number of unique email opens/total number of emails sent) x 100

Bounce Rate

Refers to the percentage count of emails that failed to deliver. In other words, the recipient didn’t receive the email.

The server usually returns these emails.

List Growth Rate

The rate at which your email list is growing with

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It’s calculated as:

((The total number of new subscribers – the total number of unsubscribes) / the total number of the emails delivered) x 100

Email Sharing Rate

What percentage of your subscribers are sharing your emails.

It’s calculated as:

The total number of people click on “share this” divided by the total number of emails that were delivered.

Unsubscribe rate

At what rate are you loosing followers? At what percentage are people opting out of your email list. The lower your unsubscribe rate, the better.

Step 6: Run Other Marketing Campaigns to Compliment Your eDM marketing Campaign

Up to this point, you must have been wondering, “isn’t this the same as email marketing?”

Well, this last step is what makes all the difference. After working on your emails and all that, the next thing you want to do with eDM is run a series of complementary marketing campaigns to boost it.

The complementary campaigns that you choose to run, for the most part, depending on the objectives you’ve set for yourself.

You can combine your PPC campaign with  Social media, SMS, Retargeting/remarketing, or offline advertising.

Who are the Top 10 eDM Service Providers in Singapore?


A full-service digital marketing agency that excels in various services, including SEO, content marketing, eDM, PPC, and email marketing. Founded in 2008, the company promises to create a robust eDM campaign that will be closely monitored to ensure it delivers the desired results.

Website: www.mediaonemarketing.com.sg

Phone: +65 6789 9852


Icons is a Singapore-based SEO solution that also offers a wide range of digital marketing services to different clients. Founded in 2013, the agency prides itself in employing one of the most qualified and experienced teams of digital marketers.

They also have a dedicated team for designing eDM templates for your email communications and managing your email marketing campaigns.

Website: http://iconz.com.sg/services-email-marketing/

Phone: +65 6774 4889


A top-tier email marketing agency in Singapore that’s been around since 2001. XirLink is a household name as far email marketing goes, having executed thousands of successful eDM campaigns for some of the big brands you know.

Website: http://www.xirlynx.com/company.asp

Email: sales@xirlynx.com

EFusion Technology

EFusion Technology is one of the leading providers of permission-based eDM and email marketing solutions in Singapore. The agency operates with a dedicated team of marketers whose main interest in the field is to see that every single one of their clients succeeds.

Website: https://www.efusiontech.com/email-marketing/

Phone: +65 6292 3086


NotionAge is a Singapore-based, full-service digital marketing agency that’s been around since January of 2001. Poised as one of the leading providers of interactive solutions in Singapore, the company offers an extensive range of digital marketing solutions, including SEO, eDM, Email Marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Web Development, Social Media Marketing, and so forth.

Website: http://notionage.sg/

Phone: +65 6438 8303

Web Design

Web Design is a well-known IT solution in Singapore that happens to offer comprehensive coverage of digital marketing solutions, of which eDM is part. Since 2001, the company has been offering digital marketing services to SMEs, Start-ups, and some of the leading brands in the country.

Website: https://www.webdesign.com.sg/about.asp

Phone: +65 6669 8255

Wave Evolution

Wave Evolution is a one-stop-shop for all things email marketing. The agency offers a comprehensive range of email marketing solutions for all types of businesses, ranging from government institutions to non-profits and private institutions.

Website: https://www.blastsg.com/

Phone: +65 6403 0303

Impossible Sg

Whenever someone broaches the topic of digital marketing in Singapore, Impossible sg is among the few agencies that pop up. The company was started in 2012 by Allan Koh and would become a certified advertising consultant in 2014 by both Google and Yahoo.

Website: https://www.impossible.sg/

Phone: +65 9374 0111

Fort Digital

Fort Digital is a multinational IT firm with offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It’s one of the oldest software solutions in the country, having started in 2002.

Website: https://fortdigital.com.sg

Phone: +65 6484 3863


24K is a full-service digital marketing solution that works with both small and medium-sized B2B and B2C businesses in Singapore. The agency’s goal is to help businesses in Singapore achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to grow your revenue, increase brand awareness, or scale, they’re the right agency to talk to for all matter digital marketing.

Website: www.24k.com.sg

Phone: +65 6600 0131

Final Thoughts

Email marketing is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies that no marketer can afford to turn a blind eye on.

It’s a form of marketing that opens a direct line of communication to your customers, and the only one of its kind.

Call us today or reach us via email, and let’s help you figure out how to make eDM part of your digital marketing strategy.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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