Emails are one of the key tools in every marketer’s pocket. Email marketing is a common and convenient way to reach out to customers, and it has been for so long that no one even questions its importance in their marketing mix.
In 2021, the global email marketing market was valued at $8.49 billion, and it’s still expected to grow by more than 50% in the upcoming 5 years. Millions of marketing emails land in customers’ inboxes every single day, only proving the effectiveness of this channel.
As easy as sending emails to customers may sound, it’s actually not that easy. You want to make sure that the emails you send are relevant, provide value, and are well-made to achieve the desired results. Another crucial aspect of an effective email marketing strategy – diversity in format and purpose.
To keep your subscribers engaged and run successful campaigns, check out the list of different types of emails that can cater to various needs – both yours and your customers', and make sure to consider incorporating them into your email strategy.
1. Welcome emails
A welcome email is the first email a company sends to subscribers once they sign up for email marketing or create an account on their website.
It’s one of the most important emails to send to your customers since it helps to confirm that the registration was successful (= assurance, peace of mind), help set the right tone for future communication, and start onboarding the customer.
Besides, welcome emails can be an excellent opportunity to tell more about your company, help people get started, and even promote your product and services (gently!).
Key tips for strong welcome emails
- Send a welcome email ASAP. Your subscriber's interest is at its peak, so it's important to hit their inbox as soon as they sign in, especially if you're providing an incentive alongside. Even a few hours can make a big difference if someone is ready to act now.
- Show gratitude. Saying "Thank you" for subscribing is a part of basic etiquette. It’s a simple but very important step that makes people feel valued and shows that you care.
- Set expectations. Let people know how often they can expect to hear from you and introduce your future content to avoid any misunderstandings. Sending emails to customers too often can cost you your reputation and subscribers, just like sending emails that are irrelevant to your mailing list.
- Share helpful resources. A welcome email is a great opportunity to help people start using your product or services by sharing instructions, guides, and other valuable content. This way, subscribers can hop on board immediately without trying to figure out how to do all this themselves.
- Tell subscribers what to do next. Include a clear call to action to direct users to the place where they can perform your desired action. In Trello’s example, that would be “Go to my boards” – inviting the reader to start immediately.
As the title indicates, newsletter emails are more about informing than selling. Newsletters can include company and product updates, tips, inspiration, educational content, event invitations, and so on. Something to learn from, enjoy reading, and get value out of it.
This type of emails is mainly used to keep subscribers in the loop; therefore, you may want to schedule your newsletters to go out regularly. 61% of consumers expect to receive at least one email a week; meanwhile, on average, it’s recommended to email customers no more than twice a week but at least once per month to stay on their radar.
Key tips for creating newsletter emails
- Provide value. The content you usually share in newsletters might take some time to go through, so your goal is to make sure the readers get something valuable out of it. Otherwise, they will have no interest in checking the next one you send.
- Keep it short and simple. Prioritize quality over quantity and include only what you think it’s worth it. Visually long newsletters can encourage readers to “save it for later” and never actually come back to it.
- Make it visual. Photos, illustrations, and other visuals can help grab the reader's attention and make the content easier to digest.
- Include a call to action. Whether it’s an article, illustration, e-book, or anything else, make it easy for subscribers to follow by including a clear call to action.
- Don’t try too hard to sell. Remember that it’s a newsletter, not a promotion – focus on building connections that you can benefit from sending other types of emails.
3. New product launch emails
New product launch is a big deal – you've been working hard for it, and now you want everyone to know it's finally available.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make at this point is to treat launch emails as an afterthought. You know the ins and outs of your product and feel excited to release it; however, your audience might not necessarily feel the same way.
Besides, your subscribers are the people who are interested and agreed to hear from you, therefore, new product launch emails can be a great way to kickstart your sales.
Key tips for new product launch emails
- Create a series of emails. By sending just one email, you risk getting lost in many other marketing messages. A carefully-planned sequence of emails will help you build anticipation way before the product launch and make the customer look forward to it.
- Don’t take a subject line for granted. It can help you stand out in your subscribers' inbox and encourage them to open the email – so make it catchy.
- Polish your copy. A good copy can evoke many feelings – create buzz, interest, exclusivity, inspire to try something out. Create a sense of urgency, use power words, and make readers feel special by highlighting the exclusivity of an offer ("Get early access," "Letting you know first," etc.)
- Use visuals. Add high-quality pictures and/or a video of the new product in use.
- Include links to more information. Depending on a product, one email might not necessarily be enough to introduce readers to all the best the product has to offer. Direct subscribers to other sources where they can learn more and make an informed decision.
4. Promotional emails
A promotional email is an email that includes an offer for your subscribers. Its primary goal is to sell, and it usually comes with coupons, discounts, sales announcements, access to exclusive content, and similar.
This is where you can use all the tools in your sales arsenal and encourage readers to convert. Promotional emails are also great for boosting customer retention and engagement since you're giving them quick access to your best deals.
Overall, sending a promotional email to your customers can drive sales that might not have happened otherwise.
Key tips for successful promotional emails
- Diversify your offers. If you send special deals regularly, make sure to offer different incentives. It will help keep subscribers more engaged, apply to a broader audience, and won't get boring after a while.
- Have a good reason. Dropping one deal after another can raise some questions – is everything alright with those products? To avoid inspiring such questions, always think about timing and other circumstances – like special occasions, rewards for feedback or loyalty, etc.
- Use personalization. Segment your audience, analyze their behavior, and call them by their names. It will help you create stronger bonds with customers and offer something relevant.
- Create a sense of urgency. Promotional emails aim to make sales, so ideally, you want your subscribers to act instantly. Set time limits (e.g., offer valid until midnight) or define how many people can take advantage of the offer (e.g., first 500). This will inspire FOMO (fear of missing out), increasing your chances of making more sales.
- Put thought into your call to action. Not including or failing to include a good call to action in your promotional emails can lose you a sale. Actually, more than one.
5. Back-in-stock emails
It happens, products run out of stock, and sometimes there is no quick way to fix this. Your site visitors browse your store just to find out that the item they’re interested in is not available, and it costs you sales.
Back-in-stock emails can help you re-engage those customers and recover some of the lost revenue. Allow your visitors to leave you their email address so that they can be notified when the product is once again available and come back to get it.
Key tips for back-in-stock emails
- Craft an attention-grabbing subject line. Try to mention why you are sending this email and evoke curiosity, e.g., Good news! Our best-selling sweater is back in stock!
- Make it exciting. Something someone’s been waiting for a while is finally available – make sure to celebrate it in your copy to boost the mood and interest to check it out.
- Use urgency. As with promotional emails, urgency is very important, too. Encourage readers to act now as the product might sell out again. You can mention that the stock is limited or the item is in high demand, so it's easy to miss out.
- Include other product recommendations. Depending on how long your subscribers have been waiting, they might have lost interest in a specific product over time. Use back-in-stock email as an opportunity to showcase other products for them to explore – and who knows, maybe you will even sell more than expected.
6. Abandoned cart emails
Abandoned cart emails are the type of emails businesses send to shoppers who add items to their cart but leave the site without making a purchase.
Online shopping abandoned cart rate varies from 70.65% to 89.11% (2021) in different industries, and that’s just way too many orders to lose. Some of them can be recovered by sending an automated follow-up email that encourages shoppers to come back and finish what they’ve started.
In fact, more than 44% of abandoned cart emails get opened (that’s almost twice more than regular emails), and nearly 30% of them lead to conversion.
Key tips for abandoned cart emails
- Come up with a catchy subject line. Your goal is to grab your subscribers' attention instantly, and this will help you do it. A catchy headline is critical if you want more people to open your emails, and abandoned cart emails are not an exception.
- Add an incentive. Some of the most common reasons for cart abandonment are unexpected shipping costs or the order's final price. Therefore, a discount, coupon, or free shipping can be enough to nudge a shopper in the right direction and encourage them to complete the checkout.
- The right timing. Generally, you should send the first email one hour after the cart abandonment while the shopper is still in that "shopping mode." It can help you increase the chances of them acting on your offer. The next email should be sent about 12 hours later, followed by the last one 24 hours later.
- Call to action. Make sure your CTA button is clearly visible and easy to find. You have one particular goal sending abandoned cart emails – and CTA, leading to the right place, is crucial here.
7. Transactional emails
Put simply, transactional emails are emails that usually provide information about an ongoing commercial transaction or account activity. Some of the examples of transactional emails are order, shipping and delivery confirmations, refund-related emails, password reminders, and similar. They are usually triggered by a user request or an action that just took place.
What differentiates transactional emails from other types of emails is that they're highly personalized. While promotional emails are usually sent in bulk, transactional emails only get sent to one particular individual. They help users perform specific actions within the product (e.g., password change), provide them with peace of mind, and make your business look more transparent.
Key tips for better transactional emails
- Send transactional emails ASAP. Since they’re triggered by specific user actions or requests, transactional emails should land in their inboxes as soon as possible. This will reduce uncertainty and doubt that might otherwise occur.
- Be direct with your subject line. Make sure the subject line of your transactional email is clear and straightforward to ensure that the email is opened. Besides, it will make it easier for the recipient to find it in a bunch of emails later if needed.
- Match your brand tone and design. Don’t underestimate the importance of the looks and feels of your transactional emails. Stay professional, but not boring.
- Avoid “no-reply” emails. Customers can have questions, and using "no-reply" emails can send the wrong message of avoiding them.
- Include recommendations. You can also include other product recommendations at the end of your transactional emails to give customers a reason to return to your store.
Start engaging customers with different types of emails today
Email marketing is not only about sending newsletters and promotions. There's much more to it, and mixing things up can benefit both companies and subscribers.
Sending different types of emails to customers will help you fulfill different goals (like selling, informing, or entertaining), keep subscribers interested, and keep your open rates high. Sincere efforts to keep readers engaged and provide value won't go unnoticed, likely increasing sales.