13 Types of Emails You Need to Be Sending Your Email List

Do you know what types of emails you should be sending your email list? You probably know that email marketing is the best way to sell online, but after you grow your email list, then what? In this post, we’ll cover 13 types of emails that you need to be sending your email list.

While collecting emails and encouraging website visitors to opt in to your list is a major process that requires a lot of time and effort to perfect, the end goal is not to have a massive list of subscribers. At some point, you have to convert these subscribers into customers.

Effectively turning all those email leads into paying customers really depends on the types of emails you’re sending.

Why You Need Different Types of Emails

The problem with many ineffective email marketing campaigns isn’t that they send emails too frequently or infrequently. It’s that the content they’re sending isn’t differentiated enough.

If you’re simply sending out the same old weekly newsletter over and over again, your subscribers will stop being interested in your emails before they have a chance to convert.

The other problem with ineffective email marketing campaigns is that they don’t include a good mix of “value” based emails versus “selling” emails. If you are constantly sending either one or the other type of email, you’ll either turn your subscribers off or you’ll never sell anything.

Be willing to mix things up. Your subscribers will appreciate it, and you’ll enjoy the benefit of higher open and click through rates, leading to increased sales.

To get you started, let’s review some of the different types of emails you absolutely need to be sending your list…

1. The Welcome Email

This is the email you send a subscriber within 24 hours after they opt in to your list. It’s a simple email that tells them how happy you are that they’ve subscribed, and then lays out some of the things they can expect to receive in their inbox.

In MacPaw’s welcome email, they let you know to expect a monthly newsletter with information about their products, special offers, updates, etc. By setting the expectations from the get-go, their new subscribers won’t get any unpleasant surprises in their inbox.

macpaw welcome email

You may also consider sending a discount or special offer in your welcome email. Poppin includes a $10 OFF discount code (plus, notice the bullet points of what to “get psyched for”).

poppin-welcome-email

If you have a SAAS product, your welcome email should include onboarding information with a call to action to get started using your app.

Here’s an example from Sellfy. Notice how they remind you of what you can do with their software, and the green call to action button to “Start selling”.

sellfy-welcome-email

2. The Offer Email

This email includes a discount, coupon, or some other special deal that you send out to subscribers as a “thank you” for being on your VIP list. Offer emails typically have high open rates.

Whether or not your business model includes offering sales and discounts, it’s a good idea to send out some sort of special offer just for your subscribers every now and then. This shows your appreciation, and drives sales.

Here’s an example of an offer email from Old Navy. These emails are very important because they are the exact reason that their subscribers have signed up to be on their list: to hear about the sales before everyone else.

oldnavy-offer-email

Not in retail? Don’t worry, you don’t have to slash prices right and left. You can still offer free shipping, like Teavana. The other great thing about Teavana’s offer email is the value added by the recipe at the bottom!

teavana-offer-email

Even if you don’t have a physical product at all, you can still send offer emails. Here’s an example where Zapier offers a free live training session on their software. It makes their subscribers happy because it gives them access to something they probably wouldn’t have known about if they hadn’t been on the list, but it also moves their subscribers further along their sales funnel.

zapier-offer-email

3. The Survey Email

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.

Here’s an example of a survey email from Dropbox: just a simple request to take a 10 minute survey and give some feedback. You’d be surprised how many people really enjoy filling these out!

dropbox-survey-email

Your survey, however, doesn’t need to be a lengthy 10 minute questionnaire. You could simply ask your subscribers to rate their willingness to recommend you to a friend, like Medium.

medium-survey-email

If your subscribers need a bit more incentive to fill out a survey, offer them a gift. Frye’s subject line for this survey email is “$50 for your thoughts”.

frye-survey-email

4. The Request Email

After you’ve delivered on your promises, you’ve earned the right to ask for a little something in return. This email can be used to ask for a favor, such as a testimonial or review on a particular site.

Since online testimonials are essentially currency in many industries, this is a high returning email.

Casper (a company that sells mattresses) asks their customers to review their product with the subject line, “How did you sleep?”.

casper-request-email

TradeGecko uses a very cute mascot in their email to entice their subscribers to leave them a rating and review.

tradegecko-request-email

5. The Newsletter Email

While the newsletter email gets a lot of focus in email marketing circles, don’t fall into the trap of sending boring or uneventful newsletters just for the sake of sending a newsletter. This is a surefire way to make your followers hit the “unsubscribe” button.

Always make sure that your newsletters contain important, intriguing, or helpful information. If you don’t have anything important to say this week, skip it.

eROI’s monthly newsletter is a stellar example on so many levels. The first few paragraphs includes an entertaining introduction to the topic of the newsletter. Then, they include four “insider tips”, which include “read more” buttons to the blog post on their site. But the best part of this newsletter is the interactive element at the bottom: they used working radio buttons to allow subscribers to vote for next month’s theme! How cool is that?

eroi-newsletter

6. The Free Gift Email

Did you know that the average office worker receives 121 emails per day? Furthermore, open rates for marketing emails hover right around 18 percent. So, if you want your email to be one of the few that’s actually opened, you need to give free value now and again.

An exclusive, free gift email sprinkled in to your email marketing campaign will work like magic to keep your subscribers engaged and, well, subscribed.

So what kind of a free gift should you send? An easy way to start is with something downloadable. For example, Slides sends out a huge pack of free design resources to download.

slides-freegift-email

Here’s another example of a free download email from Font Fabric, who offers a limited time opportunity to download some of their fonts for free (this adds an element of scarcity, which further trains their subscribers to promptly open their emails).

fontfabric-freegift-email

Death to the Stock Photo sends out free gift emails on a monthly basis with their downloadable photo packs.

deathtostock-free-email

7. The Value Email

There doesn’t have to be some direct conversion goal behind every email you send. In fact, if you want your conversion focused emails to be effective, you have to first earn your subscriber’s trust.

A value email is where you simply provide value with no strings attached. It could be a blog post, a dose of inspiration, or a simple tip. These emails are where you really start to build a relationship with your audience, and they are an absolutely critical component to a high-converting email marketing campaign.

FiveThirtyEight gives incredible value with their daily digest email. They have curated all of the interesting news stories for the day, and get right to the bottom line so their subscribers don’t have to read all of the stories themselves in order to sound smart when discussing current events with their friends and colleagues.

fivethirtyeight-strings-email

Every Monday, Noon Pacific gives their subscribers a mixtape of the 10 best songs of the week.

noonpacific-value-email

Here’s another example of a great value email from the Trunk Club: here, they offer a summer office style guide to help you look professional without being unbearably hot and sweaty in your suit.

trunkclub-value-email

8. The We’re Hiring Email

Subscribers want to feel like they’re special. When you have a job opening, send out an email asking them to nominate people who they believe would be a good fit (or apply themselves).

This shows that you really value their input, plus, your subscribers are your biggest fans… why not give them the first shot at working for your company?

Here’s an example of a we’re hiring email from Thoughtwire Media.

thoughtwiremedia-hiringemail

9. The New Product Email

When you launch a product or new inventory comes in, your subscribers should be the first to know.

You already know that these are your most engaged customers, so it’s a fantastic way to jumpstart your sales.

Here’s a beautiful example of a new product email from Rifle Paper Co. It doesn’t need a whole lot of words… the pictures say it all.

rifle-new-email

As Design Disruptors knows, you don’t actually have to wait until the product launches to send a new product email. In fact, it’s a really good idea to build up the anticipation beforehand. In this case, they sent out a teaser trailer for their upcoming documentary.

designdisruptors-new-email

Noun Project builds anticipation for their new tool by giving subscribers the option to subscribe to a special segment and be the first to know about it.

nounproject-new-email

10. The Reorder Email

Especially if you run a subscription service, or sell consumable goods that are ordered in regular intervals, a simple reorder email can be an effective way to retain customers.

The Dollar Shave Club knows that immediately after you make a purchase is the time to offer you more. In fact, they offer to toss more products in before they ship your existing order.

dollarshaveclub-reorder-email

11. The Abandoned Cart Email

If you have the right site tracking tools in place and customers are logged into their accounts, you can tell when they add an item to their shopping cart and abandon it before completing the purchase.

Sending a nice email reminding them that they haven’t checked out is a very effective way to recover those lost sales.

Casper has a lot of fun with their abandoned cart email, with the subject line, “Did you forget something?” and the headline, “Come back to bed.”

casper-abandoned-cart-email

Bonobos sends an abandoned cart email roughly 48 hours after the abandonment. The subject line reads, “Everything cool with your transaction?”

bonobos-abandoned-cart-email

12. The Announcement Email

It’s worth repeating that email subscribers like to feel valued and special. Whenever you’re launching a new product or announcing an event, send a simple email to your subscribers to let them know and make them a part of your growing brand.

This email takes very little time, and is an effective way to conjure up excitement.

Chick-fil-A really does a great job of grabbing your attention and creating a sense of mystery and excitement in their announcement email.

chickfila-announcement-email

Haworth uses a beautiful photo to announce their new line of chairs. It doesn’t feel like they are announcing a mundane chair, but rather that they are starting a “new movement” with these revolutionary products.

fern-announcement-email

13. The Anniversary Email

Many marketers like to send out an anniversary email to thank subscribers for being a part of their list.

You could celebrate the 1-year anniversary of a subscriber joining your list, or you could celebrate a big milestone for your list in general.

For example, when Trello hit 10 million users, they gave away some free “Trello Gold” as a thank you.

trello-anniversary-email

Grabyo celebrated their 1 billion impressions milestone with a thank you email (and they also share how they did it).

grabyo-anniversary-email

Conclusion

Deciding where to expend your energy and spend your time is a major challenge for email marketers. Do you spend time generating new subscribers, or is it better to focus on writing different types of emails to convert your subscribers into paying customers?

Well, the truth is that you need both subscribers and effective emails in order to make email marketing work for your business.

With OptinMonster, you don’t have to spend hours of your week focusing on lead capture strategies. Our unique lead generation software features an intuitive drag and drop builder, powerful A/B testing features, page level targeting, and exit intent technology – all of which work together and allow you to focus on what really matters: crafting influential emails that engage your subscribers.

Get started with OptinMonster today, and start converting more website visitors into subscribers and customers!

Mary Fernandez
Mary Fernandez is the Content Marketing Manager for OptinMonster. When she's not creating content, she loves to help experts get booked on popular podcasts.

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