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11 Types of Email That Really Work!


Are you frustrated with sending the same marketing emails month after month and getting disappointing results?

We’ve pulled together a list of the 11 most effective marketing email types you can use for your business. Some require more work than others, but all of them offer you the opportunity to break you out of that monthly repetitive cycle.

  • Welcome Email – Set up an automated email for each new subscriber to your email list. This can either be a single email or part of a longer “onboarding” sequence involving a series of emails which introduce your new subscriber to your brand. Open rates on welcome emails are normally much higher (often double) than regular emails, so make sure to capitalise on those extra eyeballs. All too often we see this opportunity wasted when businesses choose to send out a simple “thank you for signing up” auto responder!

  • Referral Email – This type of email is sent to your existing subscribers / customers with a view to getting referrals from them. Who better to refer new customers, than happy ones! Often referral emails use points programs or awards of some kind as an incentive for the referrals. Don’t think this is just realm of the big brands giving away air miles. The introduction of tools like Spark Loop provide any brand with the opportunity to become really creative in their referrals programs.

  • Announcement Email – This email is normally a single campaign format. Saved for specific updates you want to share with your email list. Product releases, limited edition launches, pre orders, or sales are all examples of how to use announcement emails. Careful not to over use this messaging type or the effectiveness will drop off dramatically over time.

  • Launch Email – Normally a series of emails. This email type can be combined with an announcement. Most effective when used as part of a sequence running up to an event or product launch. Can be very effective at keeping your brand top of mind as you approach the critical date. Obviously the main danger associated with this type of email is slipping dates. So be careful not to start your sequence until the dates are set in stone, or you will confuse your audience and dilute the effectiveness of the marketing campaign.

  • New Arrival Email – A very effective email campaign for established brands with a strong fan base. At the top of the brand tree think in terms of the latest iPhone or Nike Jordans. Smaller brands can still use this strategy effectively if they target the right segments of their email list correctly. Buyers of a specific product or service are most likely to be excited about a follow up purchase. So just make sure not to blanket your email list with this kind of messaging or it will fall flat.

  • Win Back Email – This email type is designed to reengage subscribers who have become inactive in your list. One of the most effective ways to improve your email list performance is to remove inactive subscribers. A well written win back email can re-engage dormant subscribers (clever subject lines are more important than ever) and at the same time allow you to identify ones to remove from the list.

  • Thank You Email – A pretty straightforward one off email type. This email is used to make a customer (or subscriber) feel appreciated. (This type of email is also sometimes used as an alternative to a welcome email). You will see this email most often combined with a coupon or discount code linked to first purchases. Be aware open rates on this type of email (similar to welcome emails) are often much higher than regular emails. This is because there’s an expectation in the mind of the reader that they will have some financial benefit on opening.

  • Abandoned Cart Email – This highly effective e-commerce email or in some cases sequence of emails is designed to recover customers who failed to complete their purchase after adding items to an online shopping cart. As more and more e-commerce is conducted via mobile, consumers are increasingly making purchases on the move. Movement brings convenience but also connectivity issues. Dropped signal or weak wifi means people often fail to complete the purchase. Sending a simple follow up email with a “complete” your purchase link, allows you to recover a percentage of these lost sales. Most modern e-commerce platforms like shopify offer this email automation as standard, yet many store owners still fail to capitalise on it!

  • Memorable Date Email – Single email designed to reinforce the personal connection between a business and its customers. This email type depends greatly on the amount of information you have about your customers. Effective use of sign up forms or email questionnaires can help you build a more complete picture of your subscribers. Perhaps the most common industry to use this email strategy is insurance. Policy renewal dates and birthday wishes are both dates used to target customers in a more personalised way. Be careful to not appear creepy though when using information from your database which wasn’t provided necessarily with that intention.

  • Survey Emails – Surveys and questionnaire emails can be used very effectively in two ways. Firstly they allow your subscriber to self select things they’re interested in. Which allows you to tailor your content to their specific interests. Secondly and most often overlooked, they allow you to speak to conduct market research within your own audience. Allowing you to improve products and services as well as create new ideas to fulfil a need you were previously unaware of.

  • Giveaway Emails – As the name suggests, this type of email is most often used for free prizes. Generally combined with a contest or prize draw, this email can be incredibly effective at helping to build your email list. Use these emails sparingly though as although they can provide low cost way of increasing your list size, they can also draw in consumers who don’t fit your regular customer profile (they’re just here for free stuff!) A more interactive approach (question & answer format is popular) that requires involvement from the subscribers will help improve results, but also require more work on your part as well.


Hopefully, this list will start your creative juices flowing! Our advice is to start small. Don’t try and tackle multiple items on the list at once. Break things down into months and introduce new emails over time. Test the results and remove what doesn’t work for you. 12 months from now you’ll have a really powerful set of emails being sent every month that’s producing a much stronger return for your business.

If your current email software isn’t up to the job, we put together a handy guide to help you choose the right replacement. 👇

🔥 How to choose the right email marketing software 🔥