9 Types of Email Marketing Campaigns Every Business Needs
Email marketing is essential to any business’s marketing strategy. It is highly effective, with an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent!
So, why do email marketing campaigns work so well? For one thing, it requires you to ask your prospect for permission before sending your helpful and exciting emails to their inbox.
And when someone does subscribe to your email list, it means they are interested in your offerings. They want to receive regular updates about your products or services, promotions, and events.
The bottom line is that everyone checks their inbox. As long as you send valuable, personalized, attention-grabbing emails to your audience, there is a high chance they will see and engage with them.
There are many types of email campaigns, so if you’re just starting or looking to level up your efforts, it can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why I’m breaking down nine of the most powerful (and influential) types of emails to implement below.
On a high level, they will fall under one of two umbrellas:
One-off Emails/Campaigns: Standard one-time emails or series sent to your subscribers or specific segments of your list
Automated Email Series: A campaign of targeted, relevant emails triggered by a user’s action (e.g., leaving something in their cart without purchasing, viewing a particular product on your site, or clicking on a link in your recent promotional email)
Read on to get your creative juices flowing, and start personalizing your email marketing strategy!
Keep in mind that for the automated email series, you will need software that allows you to set up workflows.
1. Welcome Email
When you subscribe to a new company’s email list or create a free account, what is the first thing you expect?
Most likely, you wait for some kind of welcome to arrive in your inbox. This welcome can be a single email or an email series. Either way, they are typically automated, triggered by a new subscriber.
Use this type of email campaign to:
Thank new subscribers for joining
Introduce them to the brand
Tell them what to expect (i.e., types of emails and frequency)
Get to know them (e.g., Have them create an account, where they can include their birthday, email preferences, and how they found you)
Share a freebie/gift (e.g., free download or introductory discount)
When I signed up for a free Loom account, they sent a welcome email instructing me what to do next and shared helpful resources to get started. It even includes a friendly welcome video!
2. Promotional Email/Campaign
As one of the most common uses for email marketing, a promotional email can range from a special based on new product or service offerings to seasonal campaigns. A promotion could be a single send or a campaign, depending on the deal.
Maropost advises that the key to an effective promotional email campaign is creating a series of related, progressive emails (e.g., listing specific items/collections on sale each day).
Here are a few tips for running a successful email promo:
Start marketing early for seasonal/holiday campaigns.
Segment your list to personalize emails and offers by customer behavior and interests.
Give an exclusive discount/offer (it’s all about that exclusivity!).
Include a sense of urgency (e.g., send reminders like “Just two days left!” or “Final hours!”).
The 2020 holiday season saw marketers promoting and customers shopping earlier than ever. It is safe to assume that this is a result of the pandemic and these weird times, but it also meant that the landscape was more competitive than ever. Who knows what this year will bring?!
This Valentine's Day promotion I created for Laurel Hill Jams & Jellies includes a sense of urgency and easy shopping links for customers to buy gifts for their loved ones.
3. Email Newsletter
The primary purpose of an email newsletter is not to promote or sell but to educate and entertain your audience. The ideal frequency for a newsletter varies depending on your industry and audience. It could be weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Consider what new, valuable content you have to share when determining the frequency.
Email newsletters are a great way to stay connected and build brand loyalty by:
Keeping your audience updated on product/service updates
Sharing fun, helpful facts or tips
Including videos, new blog posts, and other resources
Building relationships and community (e.g., employee spotlights, user-generated content)
Speaking of newsletters, subscribe to the Creative Corner for your free checklist of 15 things to do after publishing a new blog post!
Check out this newsletter I created for Tany's Kitchen. It includes a timely personal message, some holiday food prep tips, and a seasonal recipe accompanied by a helpful recipe video.
4. Event Invitation
If you need to promote an upcoming event, email marketing should be part of the strategy. It is the perfect channel to build value and show your contacts all the great reasons for registering—especially if the event is expensive. Even for free events like webinars, remember that you’re still taking their time, so show them what they have to gain.
By “show,” I mean literally show them! Use visuals, like photos and videos. For example, if you’re hosting a conference, include clips or shots from prior years. Throw in photos of your well-known keynote speakers. Use the email copy to share the essentials, but focus primarily on visuals.
Or, if you have multiple events going on, you can follow the Women’s Business League’s style and include a roundup of upcoming events!
5. Dedicated Email
This is why email list segmentation is critical! Targeted emails allow you to speak directly to specific groups based on events they’ve registered for or items they’ve purchased.
Keep event attendees updated on event changes and essential information. You can even follow up with them after the event to get their feedback and stay top-of-mind. Dedicated emails are also a great way to reach specific list segments based on interest or behavior with a special offer or freebie.
This email from HubSpot's conference, INBOUND, explains select events and changes so far for this year's conference to hype up invitees and keep them aware of how things will work.
6. Confirmation Email
A simple but critical email, this is an automated email confirming a purchase or registration was successful. Like receiving a welcome email after signing up, we expect a confirmation email after completing an order. And if we don’t receive one within a few minutes, we usually stress about the payment going through.
Keep your confirmation emails clear and straightforward. Provide a summary and essential information like the order number, item, and any necessary instructions on what to do next.
This simple confirmation email from Nespresso let me know that my purchase was processed and provides instructions to check my order and track it.
7. Post-Purchase Drip Campaign
This is also an automated email campaign, but this one is triggered after a customer has made a purchase. A post-purchase drip series is a perfect way to follow up with new customers to maximize their experience with your product or service and make sure they’re happy.
Not to mention, post-purchase emails help your brand:
Maintain a connection with existing customers.
Show that you care about your customers’ thoughts and experiences.
Build brand loyalty.
Below is an example of a drip campaign I previously created for Infinity Massage Chairs, shown in the order in which they were sent. Since a massage chair is a high-ticket item, we realized follow-up and setting expectations is essential to customer satisfaction. The campaign also allowed us to gather feedback and beneficial market research. Keep in mind that you’ll want to carefully consider the timing between each email in this type of campaign.
8. Abandoned Cart Series
A study by SaleCycle found that 79% of people abandon their shopping carts online. Oof.
Don’t worry, though; you can do something about it. It’s called an abandoned cart email, another common automated campaign triggered when a visitor adds an item to their shopping cart without buying.
An abandoned cart email series encourages a to complete their purchase. The crucial elements are:
A sense of urgency (e.g., “Your cart expires in 2 days!”)
A discount or other incentive to complete their purchase
While this type of email marketing campaign can be complex to set up, they are worth the effort. Abandonment emails have an average 43% open rate and a 2.9% conversion rate. To give you some perspective, the average ecommerce open rate is around 15%!
Just be sure to do a fair amount of research and testing when it comes to the timing of your abandoned cart email sends. A good starting point to remember is low-value, fast-moving purchases require shorter consideration time, while high-value purchases typically require more consideration.
Below is a quick abandonment email I received from Marmalade Nails shortly after shopping without buying.
9. Re-Engagement Campaign
A re-engagement campaign is a series of emails sent to inactive subscribers.
The average email list churn rate (i.e., how many subscribers leave your list in a given period) is about 25 to 30% per year. Re-engagement campaigns help combat this and keep your list full of high-quality contacts.
Start by segmenting contacts who haven’t opened an email in over six months. You can send a re-engagement campaign to either keep them subscribed and engaged or remove them from your list.
Removing disengaged contacts is crucial to maintaining a healthy email list. If you have too many disengaged contacts, they can affect your email deliverability rate because email service providers will filter your emails as spam.
Below is a recent 3-email re-engagement campaign I received from Jasmine Star. Guess what? It worked. I downloaded the branding bundle on the last email.
Where Do I Start?
Before you head into a downward spiral, note that you do not need to implement ALL of these emails at once!
Start with one email marketing strategy at a time based on your company’s immediate needs. What will help move the needle and boost conversions?
Test different techniques and styles with your audience and specific segments. Most importantly, make your emails as personalized and targeted as possible. With the right tools and knowledge, you can develop email campaigns that keep your brand visible and deliver solutions to your target audience at just the right time.