EDM Marketing vs Email Marketing Campaigns: Which is Better?

Team MHC    Written: January 16th, 2020 / Updated: May 20th, 2022

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In 2021, 320 billion emails were sent and received each day around the world. This number is expected to increase to over 347 emails each day by the end of 2023.  EDM marketing is one of the best ways to reach potential customers.

Although many of your potential clients will be on social media, not everyone can be effectively reached this way. However, in 2022, it’s practically unheard of for someone not to have an email address.

Email should be a focal point of any modern marketing campaign because of it’s potential to quickly reach an enormous audience. But what’s the difference between traditional email marketing and EDM marketing? And which is better?

In this article, we’ll be giving you an in-depth look into what EDM marketing is, how it differs from Email Marketing, what the benefits are, and how to amp up your EDM marketing campaign by leveraging Customer Communications Management (CCM).

Keep reading while we break it down.

What is EDM Marketing?

What is EDM

EDM marketing is an acronym for Electronic Direct Mail marketing. It’s a digital marketing strategy used by companies to quickly and efficiently promote products or services by targeting potential customers who have opted into emails.

EDM Marketing builds customer loyalty by reaching large groups of existing and potential clients, building and fostering relationships, generating new leads, and incrasing sales.

EDM marketing works by allowing businesses to target large groups of clients and potential clients. The strategy is designed to build and foster relationships with clients, generate new leads, and increase sales. And using cross-channel marketing, companies can use EDM marketing to target customers on various channels.

EDM vs Email Marketing

The terms EDM marketing and email marketing are often used interchangeably, but there are some key differences. While both strategies are based on email marketing and have similar goals, EDM marketing is more involved.

Email marketing is pretty simple – obtain a list of users to target, draft an email promoting your product or service, send that email out in bulk and hope that it motivates action.

  • EDM marketing, however, is far more nuanced, intricate, and performs at a higher level. It delivers promotions and information via email blasts, batches of emails sent out to large groups at one time. The goal of using email blasts is to build an email database of target customers and send your offer to them directly via email. But unlike email marketing, that’s not where the strategy ends.
  • EDM marketing is more complex than simply emailing potential customers. A good EDM campaign encompasses multiple media channels – increasing the number of touchpoints, thereby expanding the opportunity for interaction and leads. These additional media channels include printed marketing materials, social media, and even text messaging to truly ensure that your campaign is targeting the right people, at the right time… right where they are.
  • EDM marketing integrates various forms of media and marketing strategies including remarketing, pay-per-click advertising, offline advertising, and social media. Taking the concept of traditional email marketing and turning it up to 11, EDM marketing transforms it into a more comprehensive and effective campaign.

Which is Better?

EDM is essentially an “amped up” version of email marketing, so the answer is obvious. EDM marketing is a strategy that covers every angle rather than focusing solely on email. It increases the number of potential touchpoints, improving the likelihood of getting your message in the right hands. So, in this particular case, more is better.

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The Benefits of EDM Marketing

Let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of using an EDM marketing strategy for your business.


EDM marketing is highly effective because it’s easy to craft emails that your customers will actually feel excited to read. EDM marketing uses a quality over quantity approach to create content that email users will open and feel engaged by.

It’s better to send emails with select promos and offers your audience will remember than to force them to wade through a sea of extraneous emails. There are so many different types of emails you can send as part of your overall EDM marketing campaign. Here are just a few examples:

  • Special offers
  • “We miss you” emails
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Industry news
  • Event information

As you can see, some of these encourage potential clients to purchase a product or service, but many simply seek to provide content that will be seen as valuable to the reader. These types of emails put your business at the forefront of your audience’s minds so that when they are ready to make a purchase, they will think of you first.


RelationshipsAlong the same lines, EDM marketing uses email to provide value to your customers without asking them to do anything in return. It builds goodwill, leaving an impression with your customer that you’re not just looking to sell them at every turn.

You also have an inherent advantage. If your target audience members have given you their email address, they already have some interest and trust in your company. The step of brand awareness no longer has to be worried about, you know you have at least a few seconds of this customer’s attention.

Take this lead and build on it by fostering a relationship with your potential customers. If your email content is good and provides a benefit your competitors aren’t offering, your audience will begin to look forward to receiving emails from your company instead of automatically sending them to trash.

EDM has the leg up on regular email marketing as you can simultaneously experiment with other marketing channels like text messaging, print materials, and other digital channels. You are no longer limited to only getting in front of your customers if they happen to have their email client open.


Easy to trackWhat’s the use of making moves if you never quite know how they worked? With EDM marketing, campaign success is easily measured. In any marketing campaign, tracking and measuring outcomes is a vital part of understanding your audience and how they engage with your communications. EDM marketing offers this valuable information with which you can truly enhance how you market to and communicate with customers.

Unlike with traditional forms of marketing, you have access to insight into who opened your emails and what action they took once read. You now have a window into when and where they were when motivated to open your email and what device they tend to use.

This ability to track your marketing efforts makes it effortless and enticing to try new things and find out which strategies work best. Seamlessly track your success when integrating other digital marketing channels, such as social media, using the built-in tools EDM marketing platforms typically offer as a standard feature.


PersonalizeEveryone knows how they respond when they see their name- you sit up a little taller, you take notice, you are instantly interested in what is about to be said. Nothing captures someone’s attention more than personalized details.

Personalizing communications with something as simple as the contact’s first name immediately increases the likelihood that someone will open and engage with an email. In fact, 72% of consumers claim that they will only engage with an email if it offers a personalized message. It turns out that customers like to be seen as an individual, and not just a pool of potential profit.

EDM marketing offers easy-to-use personalization tokens and features that aren’t typically found in more traditional email marketing strategies. Whether it be the subject line (to motivate opens) or personalization within the body of the message (to motivate clicks), EDM marketing makes it simple to add personalization to your campaign strategy. After all,75% of marketers experience increased customer engagement and an average increase of 20% in sales when personalization is made a priority in emails. Given those stats, you simply can’t argue with the importance of personalization.


ROIIn 2020, there were 4 billion active email users, with that number expected to increase to 4.6 by 2025. There’s no denying it – your audience is on email. A strategy that quickly and easily gets your message in front of the right people is going to be the one that drives the most profitability.

It has been said that with traditional email marketing, an average return of $42 for every $1 spent is pretty standard. Consider how much higher that return would be given all of the additional channels through which EDM marketing operates. If email marketing has a high ROI, EDM marketing can only increase that.

As ROI is a huge consideration for any marketing strategy, this method has proven to be a boon to any organization. You’re accessing the correct people, without spending your entire marketing budget to spread your message. Increased open and click rates will be the proof that your company has made the right choice with this type of campaign.

How to Build an EDM Marketing Campaign in 8 Steps

So you know that EDM marketing is the way to go. But what next? How does one create a successful EDM marketing campaign that will prove to be the cornerstone of your organization’s marketing efforts? These simple steps will get you from crossing your fingers that customers will find you to building a tried-and-true strategy that will always target the exact people who are eager and excited to do business with you.


This step of the EDM marketing campaign can feel daunting as a lot of companies out there are doing this and doing it well. While email service providers can offer a whole host of options, select the one that will allow your company to be agile and will scale with your organization’s unique needs.


Most companies manage a list of customers that have opted-in to receive emails. But it’s not always easily accessible or entirely comprehensive. Take the time to truly cultivate your email list received throughout your business’ marketing efforts.


Segmenting is the name of the game. You can have a list a mile long, but if you’re not segmenting it appropriately, and getting the right message to the right people at the right time, all of your efforts will be wasted. Once you have compiled your list, break it out by demographic (age, gender, and ethnicity), psychographic (interests and hobbies), geographics (location), and behavioral (browsing and spending habits).


This is where the creative juices start flowing in EDM marketing. Using your branding tone of voice, put together an email that promotes your company while capturing the audience’s attention. Using eye-catching graphics, conversational language, and clean formatting, your customers will be intrigued to take action.


Whether it’s changes to subject lines, preheader text, time sent, or content, A/B tests can provide invaluable knowledge into what truly gets the attention of your audience. Perform your own experiments by doing something as simple as changing out the copy on the call-to-action or swapping out a single word in the subject line. 

You’ll be surprised at how differently people engage with content with even the smallest of changes. And that information can be leveraged as you make strategic decisions going forward in your EDM marketing campaign.


Autoresponders are triggers you can set up within your EDM marketing platform that will allow you to automate additional emails sent to an audience. A welcome email when someone opts in to your list, a birthday greeting based on demographic information provided, product recommendations based on recent browsing history – these autoresponders will ensure that you keep your brand in the forefront of your customers’ minds.


There is nothing more valuable to an EDM marketing campaign than analytics. You can take all the steps, but the magic happens when you truly understand how a campaign performed. Tracking and analyzing information such as open, clickthrough, click-to-open, and unsubscribe will give you insight into your audience’s behavior and will give you the information needed to create an even more successful campaign in the future.


The wonderful thing about EDM marketing is that it is so much more than traditional email marketing. Use the information you gleaned from the email campaign to run complementary campaigns such as pay-per-click, social media, remarketing/retargeting, and SMS sends. Getting in front of your audience as often and in as many different channels as possible will ensure you’ve captured their attention.


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Better EDM Marketing Campaigns With CCM

CC FeaturesIt’s fairly common for today’s enterprises to use automation in their EDM marketing or to build their campaigns with some email client in parallel to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

There are several tools out there promising efficient marketing email sends and list management, and many of them are great – but where much of the endgame for enterprise technology is efficiency, there is still significant headroom to be explored.

While these may be enough to power an email marketing campaign, for a successful EDM campaign, you need a single solution that can streamline operations and empower your company to reach its goals. That solution is Customer Communications Management (CCM) software.

Choose EngageCXBy combining your communications and customer data into a single CCM solution, such as MHC EngageCX, you can create and send emails more efficiently, beyond just an effective email client.

The potential to engage customers with more relevant messaging – even just more secure, error-free communications – can put a business years ahead of competitors that are still managing legacy systems with data operating in a silo apart from the documents they are supposed to inform.

And with advanced technology like Smart Documents, your organization can create a more powerful, more meaningful interactive experience for your audience- enhancing engagement and securing your place in the customer’s mind as a tech-forward company that values their overall experience.

Without a solution to facilitate the connection between customer data and communications, your EDM marketing campaign is simply not engaging customers at the personal level they expect. MHC EngageCX gives you a glimpse into your customers’ minds that will serve your organization in untold ways.


CCM is a much more user-friendly way to send email and build a strong EDM marketing campaign. With a single platform, you establish an interface that any of your stakeholders, technical and non-technical alike, can use to easily manage customer data and email templates.

When the two are approached separately, they are managed by separate teams, each in their own respective bubbles, and the exchange of information between them is not as fluid as it could be. This type of segregation can only serve to hurt the performance of your EDM marketing campaign.

Centralizing the relationship between customer data and templates with a solution like MHC EngageCX makes for seamless, intentional communication that adjusts to customer needs as they arise and empowers your EDM campaign. Your emails need not lack anything in the least, with pinpoint accuracy and more personal engagement.

Streamlining your email processes with CCM can go a long way to increasing customer retention, selling other products, and raising brand awareness. A single solution can bring together not just your email tools, but all of your communications solutions into one – optimizing internal processes, longer customer relationships, and higher profits. And with EngageCX, your EDM marketing campaign will be that much stronger for it.


EDM marketing aims to build a relationship with the customer across communications. This means that the customer’s interaction with the communications must be prioritized and meaningful. And in our current climate, companies must be ready to meet the specific needs of each customer, being able to turn on a dime. This means offering omnichannel communications.

Some customers read emails exclusively on their smartphones, while others only on their computers. Some don’t want emails at all because they still prefer direct mail. The success of your EDM campaign depends on delivering the best possible content to each customer.

To deliver on omnichannel marketing, your communications must be flawless whether they are accessed on smartphones, computers, tablets, or direct mail. MHC EngageCX offers powerful omnichannel communication functions that will get your brand in front of the eyes of your customers, regardless of location, device, or format preference.

Discover more about Omnichannel Communications


Combining your customer data and email services with a CCM solution enables you to personalize communications.

You can give each customer the freedom to choose how they want to communicate.

This is an essential stepping stone in your EDM marketing campaign because it helps you grow the customer relationship.

Building your EDM marketing campaign with a CCM platform like MHC EngageCX ensures that you categorize each request for personalized communications precisely. And that your email sends are executed at scale, with the correct information, and free from human error.

How to Personalize Communications with CCM Infographic  


Of course, a successful EDM marketing campaign goes beyond preferred communication channels. Using CCM enables you to focus more precisely on customer engagement. It is geared toward following every individual customer’s journey with you over time, including the customer’s journey specifically with your emails.

As a customer makes its way through the marketing and sales pipelines, you learn about which strategies in your EDM marketing campaign were most engaging and which were not. Using a customer communication management solution like MHC EngageCX, you can trigger different approaches for different groups, or send different template styles for maximum appeal.

Here are the benefits of Customer Journey Mapping 


What appeals to your customers today might not tomorrow. Using CCM in your EDM marketing campaign makes it easy to store and adjust customer data to your benefit. With a CCM solution like MHC EngageCX, you can track their preferences all the way from initial contact to when they become full-fledged advocates of your brand. It enables you to identify and use the best possible strategies for each customer based on their previous behavior and track the results.


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EDM Marketing Examples and Use Cases

It takes an average of 6-8 touchpoints before organizations can convert an email recipient to someone who pays for your products or services. So nothing is more important than determining all the various ways you can leverage your EDM marketing campaign to remind your audience that not only do you exist but that what you’re offering could benefit them greatly.


Keep your audience constantly informed of the goings-on of your company. Not only do newsletters create a more informed consumer, but it familiarizes the customer with your brand culture and makes them more likely to take action in the form of purchasing from you.


Once a user opts in, that’s the time to hit them with a welcome email featuring all of the relevant and important information about your brand and what you offer. It’s a “first impression” moment that can make or break the relationship going forward. Ensuring you have a tone in-line with your brand voice while also rewarding the customer for signing up for emails from your company, this is likely to be the first step toward a future sale.


Only the most staunchly loyal customer will be fully aware of your latest product releases. For the ones who won’t regularly browse your website, there’s EDM marketing. Be sure they know what’s coming down the pike so they have an opportunity to purchase. Send them product launch emails and provide the date and time of the launch. That’s useful data as people will be able to place the launch on their calendar so they don’t forget.


You never want to lose a customer who was potentially interested in something but it happened to be out-of-stock. Make your customers aware of popular items that are returning to stock by sending them back in stock emails. This way, they’ll have the opportunity to purchase. This not only motivates a sale but also tells the customer that you can rely on them- that you have their best interests at heart.


Everyone likes to save money. Tell the customers that might’ve had an eye on one of your products that now is the best time to buy. Promotion emails are also very useful for holiday or seasonal sales, so customers are aware that they will see a discount if they shop in the near future.


Sometimes customers browse your website and then… life happens. They have to take a phone call or their kid needs them and they never get back to looking at your site. EDM marketing to the rescue! Reminder and “we miss you” emails are the perfect way to attract their attention again, hopefully resulting in a future sale.


Earlier in this article, we mentioned the importance of personalization in marketing. And what is more personal than a company acknowledging that you are celebrating your birthday. Birthday offer emails are excellent for customer recognition. And with the potential promise of birthday money from grandma, they have more cash in their pocket to possibly spend with you! This sale is even more likely if paired with a generous birthday discount.


Based on browsing behavior, it’s easier than ever to see what customers are interested in and extrapolate what else they might be interested in. Sending them product recommendation emails makes them aware of the depth of your offerings and builds customer loyalty- as they feel you absolutely understand their taste and needs.


We’ve all done it. Started a cart only to get dragged away. Or we put it in the cart, marking it off as a possible purchase in our future. Abandoned cart reminder emails will jog the customer’s memory that they were interested in the item at one point and lead them to possibly pull the trigger and make the purchase.

What kind of emails are most effective?

Any emails that place the needs and wants of the customer first will be the most effective. A customer-centric approach is important for most aspects of marketing but given the sheer amount of emails and communications a customer receives in a day from various companies, an email that the customer feels targeted specifically to them will get the most attention.

With personalization, using knowledge of past behavior and interests, acknowledgments of special moments in the customer’s life, and delivering these when and where the customer will most benefit from them- EDM marketing will grow to be an important trick up your company’s sleeve.

Using CCM solutions like MHC EngageCX, you can leverage the importance of EDM marketing from a single, user-friendly platform, gaining easy access to vital analytics that will inform your marketing campaigns going forward. Never underestimate the importance of personal, engaged communication with your most valued asset… your customers.

Get Started with EDM Marketing Today

Don’t settle for old-school email marketing strategies when you could be using an advanced strategy like EDM marketing. EDM marketing takes the traditional principles that made email marketing such an integral part of the customer experience and transforms them into a modern marketing miracle.

With MHC EngageCX, we can help you excite and engage your customers using EDM marketing. Technology and consequently, best marketing practices, are constantly changing and it can be hard for businesses to keep up. Request a demo today to learn more about how we can help you stay ahead of your competition while building a sustained relationship with your customer base using the best and most cost-effective marketing strategies.

Team MHC

Team MHC consists of a multitude of roles, functions, and expertise within MHC. With extensive combined experience in accounts payable and customer communication management, Team MHC has a unique insight into how to empower people using solutions that streamline processes while enhancing customer communication. Working alongside field experts in various industries and company sizes, Team MHC has garnered impressive thought leadership knowledge that we are excited to share with our readers. Including Aragon’s 2022 Women in Tech winner Gina Armada, CTO Dan Ward, VPs of Finance and Customer Service, and other talent that runs the spectrum of technology ability, Team MHC offers a mastery of skills to benefit our customers and prospects alike.


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