direct email marketing

Businesses that are more involved in high-profile marketing use platforms like television and billboards. While these are good media for promoting your business, they are slight, not wholly, outdated. They have been the same throughout the decades and run your ad generally to the entire public. There are no specific targeting features in television or billboard advertisements.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, gives you more opportunities to target your ads to particular groups of audiences. One method of digital marketing is direct email marketing.

In a direct email campaign, you can customize and specify exactly which groups of people receive your emails or newsletters in a direct email campaign. Therefore, it has a clear advantage over other marketing methods. It can offer high levels of personalization.

Keep reading until the end to better understand what direct email marketing is and what advantages and disadvantages it has compared to the other forms of marketing.

What is Direct Email Marketing?

Direct email marketing refers to an email marketing campaign that sends emails directly to those who have subscribed to your brand or website. It is used to establish a relationship between a business and its potential or existing customers.

A direct email campaign gives a business a competitive advantage over others. Email sent is usually highly personalized, and an email automation tool is used to automate and speed up the process.

Direct email marketing is a low-cost digital marketing method that has proven to generate fantastic results for many large and small businesses. Given its personalized nature, direct email marketing is easier to gauge when compared to other marketing methods.

When an ad is run on the TV, the viewers cannot interact with it. Therefore, there is no metric to calculate the relation between the ad and any action taken by a viewer. But with direct email marketing, you can measure its effectiveness by simply checking a few metrics.

Let’s have a look at some of these metrics.

1. Open Rates

This refers to the number of times a specific marketing email was opened by the subscribers. It tells you the percentage of emails opened out of the total number that was sent. It is calculated by dividing the number of emails opened by the number delivered and then multiplying by 100.

If your open rate is high, it means your direct email campaign is at least halfway successful. Getting your subscribers to open your emails is among the primary goals of direct email marketing.

2. Click-Through Rates

Once you can achieve a high open rate, the next goal of your direct email marketing should be to understand and increase your click-through rate. This is the percentage of your subscribers or email recipients who clicked on any links included within the email content. This is different from the conversion rate, which is the percentage of people who convert into your customers or take some other desired action.

It is calculated by dividing the number of clicks your emails receive by the number of recipients for a specific email and then multiplying by 100.

Benefits of Direct Email Marketing

If you are thinking of implementing direct email marketing, here are a few benefits you’ll be able to cash on.

1. Target a Specific Niche Audience

With direct email marketing, you can really target a particular niche. Most email management tools allow you to categorize your audience into groups so that you can send a different email to each group.

In general, the more targeted your email recipients are, the more fruitful your direct email marketing efforts will be. For instance, among your entire audience, there is a specific group of people who you know will be interested the most to know about a sales offer on a specific product. If you send details about this sales offer to only that group, your open rates and click-through rates are likely higher. Sending this particular email to your entire audience will simply cause a dip in your open rates and not have much of an effect on your sales either.

The groups are categorized based on subscribers’ demographics, buying behaviors, addresses, and other factors. It is a bit tricky to make the groups, but your direct email campaigns can be run smoothly once you have them.

If you build a website on Strikingly, you can integrate an email management tool, such as MailChimp, with your website. When you do this, every subscriber you get through the subscription form created on your Strikingly site will be automatically recorded in your MailChimp account. In other words, all the subscribers that you gather from the website will build an email list in your MailChimp.

sign-up form

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Strikingly also offers a newsletter feature that can help you run a complete direct email campaign.

Newsletter page on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly

With the help of this feature, you can send newsletters to up to 2,000 recipients in a month. If you are using a custom domain, your emails will be sent out from that custom domain.

2. Provide Detailed Information

Direct email marketing gives you a lot of room to work around with your newsletters. If you prepare useful and appealing newsletters, they can do wonders for your brand image and sales.

There is no limit to the amount of content you can send out in a direct email campaign. The information you give out as part of the campaign does not have to be limited to your products and services alone. You can also give information on the latest trends in the respective industry or talk about the impact of the economy on your field of business.

When your subscribers gain so much knowledge by reading your newsletters, it helps you build trust in their minds regarding your brand. It enables you to establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your field. As a result, your brand will be perceived as trustworthy, causing a gradual rise in your brand equity and sales.

A user checking out a newsletter on their mobile phone

3. Track the Response Rate Easily

It is easy to track the response and analyze other metrics in direct email marketing, such as the open rate and click-through rate. These stats help you interpret the effectiveness of your direct email campaign. If you don't know how many people even bothered to open your email, you won’t be able to figure out what went wrong if your campaign doesn’t bring you any additional sales.

Another way of tracking the response rate of your direct email campaign is to plan for redemption tracking. An example of this is asking your customers to bring a coupon that they receive in email to redeem a special deal. The coupon will include a promo code, or maybe a bar code, needed for them to get the discount. The number of people who bring the coupon to your retail outlet, or key it in on your online store checkout page, will reflect the open rate and response rate of your direct email campaign.

If your website is on Strikingly, you can easily create coupons for your subscribers.

Strikingly coupon editor showing where to key in a coupon code

Image taken from Strikingly

Screenshot of Strikingly editor showing coupons

Image taken from Strikingly

Disadvantages of Direct Email Marketing

Despite the benefits, there are certain disadvantages of direct email marketing as well.

1. The Costs Might Add Up

What does this mean? Direct mailing costs comprise the following four components.

  • The email list (if it’s purchased, not built on your own through your website
  • The sales offer is included in the email as an incentive for subscribers to visit your store.
  • The creative design of the newsletter
  • The email delivery for which you need to use an email automation software on a monthly subscription

Even though direct email marketing overall is a low-cost means of marketing, these costs might add up and cost you more than other marketing methods, such as social media marketing. That will only happen if you hire skilled people to perform each of the above tasks separately. For instance, if you hire a graphic designer to create a newsletter layout, buy a ready-made list of email addresses, and use an expensive email management system, your costs might be higher than a few other forms of digital marketing.

2. Response Rates Could Be Very Low

Generally speaking, the response rates for direct email marketing are typically very low. It takes time, probably months, of sending newsletters to your subscribers before you can actually pursue some of them to visit your store and make a purchase.

Moreover, many of your subscribers might start putting your newsletters into their junk folders. If they do not recognize your domain or email address, your emails might get tossed. According to a research study, 44% of direct emails are never actually opened.

Have you ever used direct email marketing? Has it given positive results for your business? If you haven’t tried it out yet, would you like to use the Strikingly newsletter feature to start implementing direct email marketing?

If yes, the first thing you need to do is create a simple website or landing page on Strikingly. Then create a simple sign-up form that your site visitors can fill out. This way, you will build your email list. Then you can start running a direct email campaign and test the results!