Why are there so many email types and why should you be bothered about them? Let’s talk about it.
You work hard to build an impressive email list. You put in the time to curate the perfect email design. Everything from the subject line to the email body is absolutely on point.
But no matter what you do, your conversion and click-through rates just keep dropping. Why aren’t people going through your emails? You’re doing everything by the book, then where are the results you were promised?
Maybe you realize it’s just not meant to be. After all, outreach can be very tricky. So you give up, tell yourself this field isn’t for you, pack your bags, and disappear off the face of the earth.
Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a less dramatic solution here. Perhaps it’s time to consider that you’re sending the wrong emails to the wrong people.
Wild, right? Turns out there are multiple email types that you can make use of, with each one serving a different purpose. It might sound confusing at the start, but don’t worry. We’ll walk you through each type of email and why it’s important.
Why Make Use of Different Email Types?
Imagine this: a customer just placed an order on your website. They’re obviously waiting for that order confirmation or shipping update email. However, the following email they’re receiving from you is your monthly newsletter.
Not exactly what they were expecting, is it? It’s like wanting Coke at a restaurant and constantly being asked if Pepsi is okay.
That might have been a bit of an extreme example, but it gets the point across. You can’t keep sending the same email content to different customer segments.
Using different email types is also essential because it opens up several possible streams for success. And greater success naturally translates into generating more significant revenue.
Moreover, keep in mind that your customers are used to receiving hundreds of promotional emails every day. So if you want customers to interact with your emails amidst all that clutter, you really have to mix it up by sending different types of emails every now and then.
11 Email Types to Help Drive Up Revenue
There are typically 11 email types that you should keep in mind when deciding what kind of content to send out to your subscribers. Here, we talk about each of them, explaining what to include in them and why they matter - plus some free templates!
1. Welcome emails
What are welcome emails?
A welcome email is a friendly hello to establish a relationship with a new customer or subscriber. Put your best foot forward with these emails because they are the first impression your company makes on the new contact.
Why do they matter?
Welcome emails are sent immediately after the customer signs up on your website or joins your mailing list - in other words, when the customer is the most engaged. You need to keep that engagement going, which is where welcome emails come in.
These emails show the customer how much you appreciate their interest in the business. Certain companies appreciate the new interest so much that they offer welcome discounts. These discounts are an excellent way of ensuring that the customer keeps coming back for more.
Look at this simple yet engaging welcome email that Bokksu came up with that keeps the customer hooked with a 10% discount:
These emails also matter because you can use them to point customers towards other resources to engage with, such as following you on social media.
The more points of connection you establish with the customer, the stronger the relationship will be, inevitably leading to greater revenue.
Make sure you choose a welcome email template that is unique and memorable because your company’s first impression is the most important. So pick a template that lets you add photos, videos, and other relevant information that the customer might find attractive.
2. Promotional emails
What are promotional emails?
A promotional email is used to let your audience know about any incentives being offered on your product or service. These can include discounts, special access to some content or event, coupon codes, etc.
Why do they work?
If you want to improve profits, it stands to reason that you will first have to promote your business or product. As the name implies, that is precisely why promotional emails exist, because they are a great way of getting the word out and attracting customers.
Promotional emails generally evoke a sense of urgency, since the offers or promotions are time-bound. This urgency acts as a significant driving force, prompting customers to use the offer before it runs out.
Apart from a discount or coupon code, promotions can also include early access to a coveted piece of content or a special pass to an invite-only event. The exclusivity of both these promotions makes them so irresistible to customers.
Using the urgency and exclusivity factor, you can easily use promotional emails to drive up sales and acquire new customers.
With so many email types to keep track of, you can’t possibly design each of them all on your own. Make work easier for yourself by using this free promotional email template instead:
3. Newsletter emails
What are newsletter emails?
A newsletter is an email regularly sent to inform your audience of your business’s latest news and updates.
Why are newsletters the most used form of content marketing?
Newsletters are a great way to highlight new information the customer might find interesting, such as new or upcoming blogs, product features, promotions, offers, and events.
81% of B2B marketers say their most used form of content marketing is newsletter emails. With such a huge number of marketers swearing by the email type, there must be a reason surely.
There are several. A well-designed newsletter email can help you:
- Build brand awareness and loyalty
- Direct readers to other valuable resources
- Increase your brand and product visibility
- Drive more significant traffic to your site
The caveat here is “well-designed.” You need to pick a suitable newsletter email template that lets you present all the vital information in a well-structured manner. Here is one such free template you can use:
4. Announcement emails
What are announcement emails?
An announcement email is a publicizing message to inform your customers about something new, upcoming, or updated in your product or business.
Why are they important?
Announcement emails are a great way to show customers how you are constantly building up your business and working to make it better. Knowing about your consistent effort helps customers value you even more.
These emails also help build hype around your business, getting customers excited about the new product or the upcoming event. That hype can easily be translated into sales if only you play your cards right.
It is important to note that you only send out these announcements when you have something so important that it is worth sending a standalone email about it.
Not every announcement can be deemed worthy. The updates that don’t make the cut can always be used in your newsletter emails, which we discussed above.
With so many email types to worry about, we’d like to make things easier for you. Here are some free announcement email templates, so you don’t have to design your own from scratch!
5. Survey emails
What are survey emails?
A survey email is a chance to reach out to your customers to gain useful information regarding their experience with your company.
Why ask for a survey?
The only way to know if you’re doing something right (or wrong) is to ask for customer feedback. That’s precisely what survey emails are for - to help you hear back from customers and figure out all possible areas of improvement.
Moreover, it also gives your customers a chance to talk to you and voice any concerns they may have. The last thing you want is to have a dissatisfied customer stay quiet and silently slip away without you figuring out what went wrong.
While you can ask customers to fill out a lengthy survey, it is best if you just stick to a single question that you can easily add to the footer. This increases the chances of you actually getting replies and doesn’t annoy your customer.
To encourage customers to go through with the survey, you might consider offering them a perk, like 10% off the following order.
If you’re confused about how to design your survey email that customers will actually want to fill out, stress no more. Here’s a simple yet effective free template to get you started:
6. Transactional emails
What are transactional emails?
A transactional email is sent to one individual in response to a specific action or commercial transaction they make, such as a purchase from your site or a password reset request.
Why do they matter?
Transactional emails play a significant role in keeping your customers happy. Think about it, if you perform any transaction, would you rather be left in the dark about it entirely, or would you rather receive a timely acknowledgment about it?
Kind of a no-brainer, right?
Your customers feel the same way. They expect the right information to be sitting in their inbox at the right time. Making that happen with the help of transactional emails helps build trust and credibility with customers.
Better credibility naturally translates into a better customer experience. And that’s exactly what you need to improve retention (and bring in those profits).
There are several different types of transactional emails you might need to send out, such as:
- Order confirmations
- Shipping updates
- Password change requests
- Digital receipts
- Personalized post-sale product recommendations
With so many types, do you really have the time to design a professional email for each of them? Chances are - no! But fear not because you can find awesome free transactional email templates right here, such as the one below:
7. Abandoned cart emails
What are abandoned cart emails?
An abandoned cart email is sent to nudge customers to complete the checkout of the abandoned items in their cart.
How do they help with customer retention?
A user is doing so well. They’ve spent hours browsing through your site, adding and deleting items from their cart.
Then suddenly, they ghost you.
Never feels good being ghosted, right? You start questioning why this happened to you and what could have been done differently to prevent this. We’ve all been there; we understand.
But just because you got ghosted doesn’t mean this is the end! You have to fight for what you truly believe in - and that’s where abandoned cart emails come in.
These emails are crucial to help customers follow through on purchases. Users abandon a staggering 69% of online carts. That is a massive chunk of users that can easily be converted into sales with a slight nudge in the right direction.
Abandoned cart emails directly convert sales that otherwise may have been lost entirely. This is why they are so important, and you need to choose the right design for them. Here’s a great - and free - template to help get you started:
8. Milestone emails
What are milestone emails?
A milestone email is a celebration-based email sent to existing customers to invoke a sense of community and re-emphasize the value you offer them. Examples include the company’s anniversary email where you thank customers for their support and give them a celebratory discount.
Why are they important?
Who doesn’t like feeling included? Humans are social animals, and even if that socializing happens via email, it still counts! That’s exactly what milestone emails do; they make your customers feel included like they mean more to you than just a sales figure.
That sense of belonging and community eventually translates into better referrals, more repeat purchases, and a profitable long-term customer relationship.
To add even more value to each milestone email, you can add a personalized gift voucher or coupon for your customers. Here’s an example of an effective milestone email by Puma:
9. Educational emails
What are educational emails?
An educational email is an informative content-based email that teaches your audience about your products, services, or industry, helping you subtly nurture and educate them.
How do they benefit customers?
That post-purchase overthinking is real. You’re sitting there with this super complicated vacuum cleaner you bought because it looked cool on TikTok, but you have no idea how it works.
In situations like these, educational emails are a godsend. These emails give you instructions on using the product, tips, tricks for its maintenance and upkeep, and other helpful content.
The emails don’t have to be product-specific. For a yoga retreat, the emails can include sample breathing exercises. For a task manager, the emails might explain how to create a study routine that sticks.
The possibilities are literally endless. And so are the benefits.
Sending out educational emails shows customers that you are willing to go above and beyond just selling them the product. That extra step helps create and retain a great customer relationship - which translates into more cha-ching for you.
10. Re-engagement emails
What are re-engagement emails?
A re-engagement email is sent to inactive users to get them interested again and turn them back into active subscribers.
Why are they important?
No one likes being forgotten. Sure, your subscribers might have been inactive for a while now. But that doesn’t mean you just let them slip away. You need to show them they still matter to you and are willing to make this work.
Sending re-engagement emails helps increase your chances of winning back all those disengaged subscribers. More engaged subscribers = more paying customers!
But to get those subscribers back on board, you need to nail your re-engagement email down to the tiniest detail. Don’t even try designing one from scratch, don’t do that to yourself. Instead, check out this free template that you can easily edit:
11. Last-chance emails
What are last-chance emails?
A last chance email is an email meant to prompt your audience to act on your expiring offer, such as a limited-time discount or a one-time promo code.
What makes last chance emails so effective?
Adding a sense of urgency about anything automatically sends the human mind into FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) mode.
Add a countdown to any sale or promotion, which will drive up conversions instantly. Why? Because no one wants to miss out on a good deal, and it must be a good sale since it has a countdown attached to it - that’s how humans think.
That sense of urgency is precisely what makes last chance emails so effective. These emails capitalize on the concept that counting down to the end of an offer or sale prompts action.
You need an incredibly well-designed last chance email to motivate customers to jump at the offer instantly. Here’s an excellent example of such an email by Skydio:
Important Elements to Include Across All Email Types
Irrespective of what email type you’re sending out, some essential elements should be a part of all of them. Here, we dive deeper into these elements and why they matter.
Exciting subject line
The subject line is your email’s first impression, so you better make it count.
Think of it this way: why should your reader open your email instead of the hundreds of others sitting in their inbox?
The answer: because yours has a more catchy subject line that gets the reader hooked from the getgo.
Keep the subject line as concise as possible. The ideal subject line should not be more than 9 words or 60 characters. If possible, add stats in there or end with a cliffhanger to truly pique your reader’s interest.
Another great way to ensure higher open rates is to add a touch of personalization. Instead of keeping it generic, write their name in the subject, something like, “Hey Mr. Adams, we noticed…”
Consistent company branding
You will reach out to your customer via multiple touchpoints, be it in-store, online, through social media, or email. You want to make sure your branding across all these platforms is consistent so your customer doesn’t get confused at any point.
Clear branding also shows the audience how you’re positioning yourself, your values, and what key elements make up your brand identity.
For example, using a kangaroo logo everywhere can make it easier for the customer to spot your product from miles away in-store. However, if the logo’s colors are slightly different, the customer might walk away thinking the product is a knockoff.
Apart from the colors and logos, you also need to keep other brand elements in mind, such as the font style and size, tone of voice, and any slogans used.
Simplified visual hierarchy
In this constant world of scrolling, there is no patience for emails with huge chunks of text thrown at the reader. Now, everything needs to be well-organized and sleek, with manageable bits of information that the reader’s eyes can simply skim over without stopping.
That well-organized and sleek design is exactly what a visual hierarchy is. According to this design principle, you rank elements in your email in order of importance. So the most crucial bits of text and graphics should be near the top of your email.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the design should be broken into blocks, with each block only having a limited amount of information in there. Try to keep things more on the minimal side.
Where possible, use images over text.
The CTA should have a whole separate block of its own, and it should truly stand out, so the reader knows what action to take.
Compelling call to action
The most crucial part of any email is the CTA (Call To Action). What do you want the reader to do after going over your email? Do you want them to visit a particular site, purchase an item, or subscribe to your page?
Whatever the action may be, you need to make it clear to the reader, so they don’t get confused. Write it in glaring red letters if you have to!
A great start to a completing CTA is to begin with a verb. Common verbs that fit different situations include buy, subscribe, like, fill out, and find out. Next, make sure you use exclamation marks to invoke enthusiasm, if they fit the situation.
Lastly, create a sense of urgency. You can’t add a timer in your CTA, but you can write something like, “Shop now! Sale ends in 24 hrs”. Once that FOMO kicks in, the reader is sure to take the bait.
We know those were a ton of email types to go through. Don’t sweat it though. Just try being more aware of the context next time you’re sending out an email.
Start by figuring out the purpose of sending the email, and then move on to the design. All great emails have some common elements, starting from a catchy subject line and ending with a solid call to action.
At the end of all this, if you’re still confused about how to design the template for your chosen email type, we’ve got that covered too. You can find some great and free templates for all email types on Unlayer.