Direct Email Marketing: Tips, Secrets and 3 Winning Strategies

Is email dead? This is one of the most asked questions nowadays, and one that will keep rumbling in our heads…But, it’s far from the truth! Email is changing as we it gets ready to enter a “second youth”.

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DEM strategy

Stop and think for a minute: how many emails do you receive a day, and how full is your inbox? Chances are you’re overwhelmed by communications of all sorts, as brands increasingly use email to communicate with their users with the aim of increasing their engagement and loyalty.

David Newman Quote

Today, we’ill show you how to perform email marketing effectively using direct emails. We’ll explain in detail what they are, the characteristics that set them apart, what differentiates them from newsletters, and finally, we’ll give you a list of best practices, as well as many examples to immediately put into practice.

Ready? Let’s see how to make the most of direct email 😊

Definition of Direct Email Marketing

Direct Email Marketing, which from now on we will be referring to as DEM, is an extremely effective tool that allows you to communicate in a personalized way with your potential customers by directly targeting their inboxes. It is a purely commercial form of communication, aimed at promoting a product, service, or event.

Erik Harbison quote


direct email marketing campaign allows you implement loyalty, lead generation and nurturing actions on all users already present in your database, targeting them according to specific characteristics. These types of messages have a much higher conversion rate compared to periodic newsletters, as they are sent exclusively to a specific target groupand have a much lower cost compared to other more traditional forms of promotion.

The unique feature of direct emails is that users not only read emails, but also interact with them by taking a conversion action such as purchasing, downloading, and so on, thus generating traffic on your website. In short, it is one of the few tools that, if used most appropriately, can launch any type of online business.


The results of our research conducted together with CRIBIS D&B and AISM, suggest that companies implement a direct email marketing strategy to achieve lead generation goals (64%), increase sales opportunities (50%) and implement lead nurturing actions (36%).

An effective DEM campaign has the following advantages:

  • Speed: Reach many users in just a few minutes, unlike a traditional Google campaign, which has much longer lead times and higher costs. In addition, using a multichannel marketing platform such as MagNews gives you a series of predefined templates, so you can create professionally styled communications in no time.
  • Customization and segmentation: messages can be sent to a well-defined target group.
  • Costs: reach a large number of users, not only in a very short time but also at a very low cost. Generally you pay by the volume of emails sent to the individual contact and not by exposure.
  • Analytics: you can measure the results of your campaigns.
  • Accuracy: profiling your users allows you to send custom messages based on specific parameters.

Newsletter VS Direct Email: what’s the difference?

Why do we use two different terms to refer to email marketing campaigns? There seems to be some confusion behind these two words which both require mass sending, but at the same time they have different characteristics depending on the objective, target audience, message and sending frequency.

Let’s look at the differences in detail.



These are informational communications sent periodically, aiming to inform users of the company’s activities/news/products, and increase their loyalty and engagement over time.
The recipients of these communications are very loyal users, interested in everything that revolves around the brand. Indeed, they personally chose to subscribe, either online or paper form, to be kept constantly up to date.
It therefore becomes essential to curate the editorial plan in every detail, establishing the frequency and recognizability of the brand, values that are crucial for the success of your campaign. The design of this communication must be flexible enough to adapt to the various types of information you wish to convey. For example, you can divide your newsletter into different categories: events, news, products, blog articles etc… Use quality content so as not to disappoint the trust that users put into you when they signed up.
Careful: this doesn’t mean you cannot place promotional boxes, they will just be of secondary importance.


These are communications with commercial and promotional focus, with the purpose of encouraging users to convert, and a specific call to action present in the communication. A truly effective tool if your goal is to reach an increasing number of potential customers or engaging existing ones. The recipients of these communications are users in your database. Therefore, it is paramount that you curate the graphical aspect of your direct email, with copy that is captivating, engaging, and customized based upon what you wish to communicate.

NewsletterDirect Email
Informational messagePromotional message
Sent periodicallySeizes the opportunities of the moment
Loyalty, nurturing, branding, trafficConversion

The perfect structure of a direct email

Designing the layout of a direct email is not easy, you need to consider the objective you want to reach and the message you want to convey. Here’s an example of direct email you can use if you have an eCommerce site and need to advertise a limited offer.

Direct Email Structure: Main Image, descriptive content, cta

Tips for an effective direct email

A marketing campaign can be effective if it is targeted at the right audience and created following best practices. Below, we’ll list the aspects that need the most attention, as they could determine the success or failure of your campaigns.

Find out how your target audience uses Email: number of active mailboxes, email traffic, email providers.


Mistakes to be Avoided

There are a number of common mistakes that can hinder the success of your direct email marketing campaigns preventing you from reaching your goals.

Here are the most common ones:

Direct email campaign Examples

Our advice doesn’t end here! Here are some practical direct email examples to inspire you for your next campaigns.

DEM: metrics you can’t ignore

Think your work is done after you’ve sent your communication? Well, you’re wrong! The next, most important step is measuring the results of your digital email marketing campaigns to evaluate their success or failure.

The KPIs you analyze must be established based on objectives. Here are the most common ones.

  • Open Rate (OR): indicates the percentage of users who opened your communication. This KPI is very important to assess the engagement of your mailing list.
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): indicates the total number of emails clicked at least once against the total number of emails opened.
  • Conversion Rate: indicates the percentage of users who have interacted with your communication by completing the desired action; measures the user’s behavior and their conversion.
  • Delivery Rate: indicates the percentage of emails delivered from the sender’s server to the recipient’s server, (e.g. All messages for which no bounce is recorded). Therefore, it evaluates the quality of your database.


In conclusion, Direct Email Marketing is one of the winning forms of communication for direct contact with users, and has a much higher ROI compared to other communication tools.
Before implementing a Direct Email Marketing strategy, always remember to start from the goals and then choose the channel and the most suitable tool accordingly: newsletters for building loyalty, and direct emails for promoting and selling. Then, kickstart your campaigns and reach your users!

If you want to design direct email campaigns and increase sales up to 20%: