15 types of marketing emails you should be sending
When you’re looking at individual emails’ subject lines, content, and visuals, plus action-based email journeys or time-based email playbooks, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. When this happens, you run a risk of creating an imbalance in the types of emails you’re sending on a weekly, monthly, or even annual basis.
In this blog, we’ll explore the emails you need, when to use them, and how to balance them. Plus, we’ll include some best-in-class examples along the way.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a direct marketing channel that lets businesses share new products, sales, and updates with customers on their contact lists. Its high return on investment (ROI) makes it crucial to most businesses’ overall inbound strategy.
Modern email marketing has moved away from one-size-fits-all mass mailings and instead focuses on consent, segmentation, and personalization. This may sound time-consuming, but marketing automation handles most of the heavy lifting for you. In the long run, a well-designed email marketing strategy not only drives sales but helps build a community around your brand.
15 types of marketing emails you should be sending
1. Welcome Emails
Initial contact with prospects typically finds them unready to do business.
In fact, research shows that only 25% of leads are immediately sales-ready while 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy.
Nurturing, therefore, is critical for pushing your leads closer to the buying stage.
Welcome emails show better open and click-through rates when they offer a personal touch and introduce your organization without slathering on the sales pitch. Don’t introduce a new product or service before you’ve built a relationship. Simply work on giving off a good first impression — one that illustrates your industry knowledge and expertise — and pave the way for future contact.
2. Co-marketing emails
Co-marketing emails will likely be a fairly infrequent email type on your calendar. They occur only when you are running events, sweepstakes, integrations, or other promotions with another brand or brands, with the obvious drawcard being you can leverage your partner’s audience to increase your reach.
The content of the email you send will be largely dependent on the type of partnership and the agreement you have with your partner/s. Let’s say you’re running a sweepstake with two other brands. In this case, your email will largely focus on the sweeps itself — the entry mechanism, what your audience could win, and details like when the winner will be announced. You will want to make it very clear to your audience that the promotion is in partnership with other brands, and share logos or other visuals to bring their branding to life alongside your own.
3. Product Update Email
Product emails are tricky. 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.
Many companies choose to send weekly or monthly product digests to keep their customers or fan base up-to-date with the latest features and functionalities. And no matter how much a customer loves your business, it still works for them to learn how to use new features or learn why a new product is worth their investment.
4. Lead Nurturing Email
Depending on the specific action a persona takes, you may want to enroll them in a lead nurturing campaign. Lead nurturing emails consist of a tightly connected series of emails containing useful, targeted content.
As their name suggests, these emails are used to nurture leads through the marketing funnel into a position of sales-readiness. For example, let’s say you sent your list a marketing offer email. You might then set up a lead nurturing workflow that triggers another email about a complimentary offer or piece of content to everyone who converted on that initial offer. The logic is simple: By identifying a particular group of contacts that you already know are interested in a specific topic, you can follow up with more relevant and targeted content that makes them more likely to continue their relationship with you.
5. Lead nurturing emails
We recently surveyed marketing experts across a mix of industries to find out which channels and tactics were most effective for nurturing leads to conversion. Email won out by quite some margin, with 45.7% of respondents placing it as the top-performing channel.
Lead nurturing emails are usually sent after new lead signs up to your marketing email database, or takes a specific action on a landing page, like downloading an ebook or using a gated tool. They are usually sent in a time-based sequence, making Ortto’s Playbooks an easy-to-use option.
6. Email Newsletters
Many businesses and organizations send email newsletters to stay on top of mind for their recipients.
Most industrial businesses actually use email newsletters as the foundation of their email marketing program because they are great tools for educating customers and prospects about your business and showcasing employee profiles, company passion projects, and relevant graphics.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of creating email newsletters, you will need to determine your goal.
What is it that you want your email newsletter to achieve? You might want to nurture your existing contacts and become the first brand they think of when they need a product or service in your industry. Or your goal might be to increase sharing so that you attract new people to your list.
7. Dedicated Emails
Every now and then, you may want to send a dedicated email to a certain group of people. For example, if you’re hosting a conference or event, you might want to send a dedicated email just to event registrants to alert them of any new event updates they should be aware of (like in the screenshot above). Or if your business is community-based, it might be a good idea to send a monthly email to welcome all your new members
8. Social Media Send
As the administrator of LinkedIn Group, when you send a LinkedIn Announcement, you’re directly reaching a LinkedIn user’s inbox. And when you create a Google+ event, sending the invite directly sends you into users’ email boxes as well. Without having to create lists or collect email addresses, you automatically have access to users’ emails, but be sure to tap into these resources with care.
When it comes to these social media emails, you don’t have the option of using email software that allows you to customize the layout or add images. You’re at the mercy of copy alone. This is where leveraging white space is very important. Keep your paragraphs short, your sentences brief, and your thoughts clear. Optimize these emails for the scanning reader, and use bullets or numbers to deliver your main points.
9. Event Invitation
Email can 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. A lot of events cost money to attend, and most cost a pretty penny. So if you want to attract registrants, cut down on the copy and show potential registrants why the event will be awesome.
10. Sponsorship email
Sponsorship email campaigns are one component of a paid media strategy, including pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising, mobile advertising, affiliate advertising, etc.
In this paid media universe, you benefit from being super specific when describing the target audience you want to reach.
Generally, you’ll have to design your email copy or ad placement according to the specifications listed by the vendor. Check if the partner has any size restrictions or image suggestions. Provide them with both the HTML and plain text versions of the copy in advance.
11. Transactional Emails
Transactional emails are the messages triggered by a specific action your contacts have taken and enable them to complete that action. For instance, if you sign up for an industry webinar, you will fill out a form and receive a transactional (thank-you) email, which gives you login information to join. If you are using a double opt-in, people will receive an email asking them to click on a link to confirm their registration.
Transactions are also the messages you receive from e-commerce sites that confirm your order and give you shipment information and other details about your recent purchase.
12. Promotional emails
Email marketing campaigns are used to promote special offers, new product releases, gated content like ebooks and webinars, and your brand at large. A campaign could consist of 3-10 emails sent over several days or weeks.
Promotional emails have a clear call-to-action — CTA, for short. The CTA represents the specific action you want the reader to take, whether it’s visiting a page on your website or using a coupon to make a purchase.
Your business’s sales and marketing rhythm typically determines how often you send this type of marketing email.
During crucial periods like Black Friday, you may be sending multiple promotional emails in the same 24-hour period. During slower periods in the marketing calendar, there may be a few weeks between your promotional campaigns.
13. Confirmation emails
Those that have recently signed up for emails or newsletters, or have purchased an item online for the first time may get a confirmation email. This ensures the prospect that the information has been received and that are on the list to receive additional information. These are also a way to let users know that their purchase has been received or that their sign-up was successful and can include more actions for them to take.
14. Survey Email
Feedback from customers is one of the best tools for a business. Sending out these emails communicates to your customers that you value their opinion and want to create an experience, product, or whatever you’re offering that they’ll enjoy. Businesses can also take the feedback from these surveys and apply them to their offerings, creating what is hopefully a better product.
15. Brand Story Emails
Storytelling can be a powerful tool to get your point across to customers and prospects by taking advantage of emotional responses. So ask yourself this: Is there a personal story behind your brand? Do you have a company profile video you’d like to share?
Across emails and other marketing collateral, make your story evident and use your history to display your reputation and showcase your focus to prove purpose. Every business has a unique story to tell, so it’s good to start with your unique selling proposition.
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