Email marketing is the best way to reach consumers and remains one of the top conversion tools available to businesses across every market.
We all want to deliver the best content to our email subscribers. We want them to open and consume our content or take some desired action. Sadly, this is not always the case.
Sure, email marketing has a high ROI but what kind of email marketing campaigns can you send to your list to achieve this?
Well… the key to success in email marketing is sending the right type of email at the right time. It’s important to understand the types of emails that businesses send, and how to use them.
Note: If you’re new to email marketing and want to level-up your email game, check out our Email Marketing Guide.
Why Do You Need Different Types Of Emails?
Email marketing campaigns are not launched on a whim—they are strategic and calculated. Imagine being sent the same old weekly newsletter over and over again. Your subscribers might read it once, but eventually will lose interest and stop opening them—let alone read them.
When your content is not differentiated enough, you seem repetitive and no one wants to read the same thing over and over. A typical internet user is looking for more and more information that adds value to his or her interests.
However, you can’t just endlessly keep adding value to your subscribers without some sort of ask. There are going to be times when you need to sell a product or nudge them to share something in their circles–all these emails are different and your subscribers need to be prepared to receive them.
This calls for finding the right balance between value-based emails and emails that sell something. Mixing in different types of emails every time you reach out to your subscribers is a great way to keep them engaged with your business. The more they appreciate emails from you, the higher your open and click-through rates, which eventually lead to higher sales.
So take a look at these 3 major types (and 15 sub-types) of marketing emails with examples from our favorite brands, and think of how you are or how you might use them in your business! Let’s get started, shall we?
Types of Relational Emails
Relational emails are the bread-and-butter of email marketing. These emails are primarily for offering value to your subscribers, even when they may not have asked for it. According to Digital Marketer, Companies that send relational emails have an average of 50% more sales-ready leads than those who do not.
These deliver value to your customers by providing free content and information, such as product announcements, newsletters, new blog articles, social updates and more. Relational emails should feel more personal and less transactional.
Relational emails may not make an offer or sell a product or service directly, but they are designed to build relationships with the customer by adding value upfront. For example, when your email subscriber receives a piece of high-quality content in your newsletter, he or she is interacting with your brand in a deeper and more meaningful way.
Here are the most common examples of relational emails you could be sending:
According to research from Clutch, newsletters are the most popular type of email, with 83 percent of companies sending them. These emails are typically sent on a consistent schedule (weekday mornings tend to be the most popular with brands) and will often contain either content from the company blog or website, links curated from other sources, or both.
A newsletter might also contain upcoming events or webinars, new things about your brand, or other updates. Whether you create or curate your newsletter content, it should first and foremost be relevant and valuable to your audience.
2. New Content Announcement Email
As you can imagine– a new content announcement email is a marketing message sent to tell people about something new, updated, or changed in your content. They are used to publicize things like a new blog post, newly uploaded videos, ebooks, etc.
When you do new content announcement right, they are not sales pieces that your audience is likely to grow tired of but rather emails that can do them a real service — keeping them in the loop on product updates, educating them and even just entertaining them.
3. Company Email Updates
Company updates help establish your organization’s brand and presence in the market. Major updates such as a press release, new branding, customer testimonial, new external partnership, new employee, etc., are often communicated to your customer base via email marketing. If handled correctly, these emails can present the organization as innovative, dynamic and market-leading, constantly evolving and expanding their product offering.
4. Milestone Emails
According to Campaign Monitor, birthday emails are some of the most effective emails you can send, with a 481 percent higher transaction rate than promotional emails. Other milestones you can celebrate include your subscribers’ sign-up anniversary or your company anniversary. When combined with a special promotion or offer, these emails can drive much greater clicks and conversions.
5. Survey Emails
Customer reviews are central to the importance of social media marketing.
Remember that a really good email marketing campaign isn’t a monologue, it’s a dialogue!
You can’t expect to shower your subscribers with emails without ever asking them for their input. That’s where the survey email comes into play.
It’s a simple email, typically sent within the first couple weeks, that asks them to respond to certain questions around topics relevant to your product. You can then use this information to better tailor your marketing efforts to their needs.
Types of Promotional Emails
Promotional emails are the type of email that most people think of when they think of email marketing. In fact, these are the most common type of marketing emails, and their purpose is to make an offer to your email list. Promotional email campaigns inform readers about upcoming sales, offers, events, and other activities, and are primarily designed to stimulate sales.
These marketing emails are arguably the most recognizable email marketing format, and as a result, the open rate and readership are proportionately lower than other formats. However, promotional emails generally achieve a much higher click-through-rate to the organization’s website, particularly if the promotion is available for a limited time only.
Below are the most common examples of promotional emails you could be sending:
6. Special Offer Emails
This email consists of coupons, discounts, or other deals that you offer subscribers on your VIP list. Offer emails usually have high open rates and can help improve your marketing ROI. Irrespective of whether you have sales or discounts, it’s vital you chalk up special offers for subscribers. This way you can engage with them and hopefully make sales too.
Offer emails usually have high open rates and can help improve your marketing ROI. Irrespective of whether you have sales or discounts, it’s vital you chalk up special offers for subscribers. This way you can engage with them and hopefully make sales too.
Moreover, while sending such emails, try to impart a sense of appreciation and exclusivity. Let your subscribers know that they get the offers before anybody else. They get to do so because they have subscribed and are apart of your exclusive group.
7. Product Launch/Update Emails
A product launch email is an email you send with the purpose of announcing the launch of a new product, new features, new release, or an upcoming event. This is also when you send weekly or monthly product digests to keep your customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features and functionalities of your product or service.
However, people generally don’t want to receive these often, and they’re typically not as interesting or engaging as something like an offer email. That said, it’s important to keep these emails simple and straightforward.
8. Event Invitation Emails
Email marketing can also be a great vehicle for promoting an upcoming event you’re hosting. But if you want to invite your contacts to an event and motivate them to register, it’s extremely important to clearly showcase why that event is worth their attendance. A great way to do so is through visuals that show potential registrants why the event will be awesome!
9. Co-marketing Emails
Co-marketing email is a partnership between brands that allows companies to promote an offer to their shared audience, specifically in the inbox. When done right, co-marketing builds audiences, increases conversions, and drives revenue. Those are traits it shares with email marketing, which makes email the perfect place to create co-marketing campaigns.
10. Seasonal Campaign Emails
This is one of the most common promotional marketing campaigns and probably the one most familiar to you. These are the types of emails you send on any major holiday– from Valentine’s Day to New Year’s Eve. These types of email marketing campaigns can have a buildup before the event and a follow-up after—meaning you have several opportunities to send an email.
This period’s especially important for retail. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales account for 20% of all retail sales. In the US alone, those sales were worth more than $84 billion.
Types of Transactional Emails
These emails are sent in response to an action that a customer has taken with your brand. They include messages such as order confirmations, receipts, coupon codes, shipping notifications, password reminders and more. These types of emails are triggered by specific actions, such as completing a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
In addition, these types of messages have 8x the opens and clicks than any other type of email. This is often overlooked as an opportunity to give customers an idea of the voice behind your brand, and what it is like to do business with you. Do you deliver what you promised? Do you respect your customer’s wishes? The leads and customers on your email list are observing how you do business, and transactional emails are a big part of that!
Below are the most common examples of transactional emails you could be sending:
11. Welcome Emails
This is a type of email you send when you gain a new subscriber. Imagine for a second you made a new friend or perhaps a new colleague, it’s only polite to introduce yourself. This is exactly what the welcome email series are for. It’s not the most common email campaign, but it’s one of the most effective.
The elements you include in a welcome email will depend on the specifics of what you’re offering. But in general, you can use email to showcase your brand’s personality and to highlight the value that recipients can expect to receive. If you’re welcoming new users to a product or service, the welcome email is a great place to explain how everything works and what users need to do in order to get started.
12. Confirmation Emails
Transactional email is different and contains critical information that is relevant to each recipient. For example, after recently purchasing an item from your ecommerce store, you should always send a purchase confirmation, preferably with tracking info.
Confirmation emails should be simple– with just a receipt or a brief summary of the information your recipients would want you to confirm. Try not to fuss with the design, as they simply want to know that the action they took was completed so they can save the information, have peace of mind, and move on.
13. Security Check Emails
Cybersecurity is important — customers expect that their information is safe and private. So by sending a transactional email every time there is a new login or access from a new device, sending an email to let the user know is both a courtesy and a protective measure. By sending a security check, contacts will either feel confident that their data is safe or take further security actions.
14. Lead Nurturing Emails
Lead nurturing campaigns are automated emails sent to new sign-ups to establish trust, build brand awareness and move the prospect further along the sales cycle. Lead-nurturing emails are typically a series of related emails that are sent over a period of several days or weeks. The idea is to move leads through your funnel and convert them into customers, all through an automated series of helpful content.
Not only do these emails help convert customers, but they also drive engagement. According to HubSpot, lead nurturing emails to generate an 8 percent click-through rate compared to a 3 percent click-through rate for general emails. These email sequences are also great time savers for your team. You set up your series once, and if it’s successful, delivering qualified leads to your sales team without much hands-on work.
15. Feedback Emails
There is always room for improvement, and one of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to understand how your buyers feel. Ask your subscribers for feedback directly based on the proper context–like after their purchase or after they use your service. Since their feedback can be extensive, you may want to provide a CTA to a landing page to collect it.
Final Thoughts On Email Types
The purpose of email marketing is to move a customer along their customer journey. From prospect to customer, and from customer to raving fan!
No matter what type of email you’re sending, the bottom line for every type is VALUE. Every email should provide something valuable to your audience, whether that’s a perfectly timed offer, a lead-nurturing message tailored to where the user is in your funnel, or a newsletter packed with interesting, relevant content.
There you have it, 3 major types and 15 sub-types of email and their examples to help get you moving in the right direction with your email marketing! Still feeling lost in the sauce? If you are interested in learning how to incorporate email into your marketing plans, then please do get in touch with us!