Email marketing is so much more than sending an email to your list every now and then when you have something to sell.  Part of creating your email marketing strategy will include looking at all the types of email  you can send and how they might fit into your overal marketing strategy.

There are some 5 types of email that I believe every business should be sending to their list to begin to make email marketing work for them.


1. Transactional emails

These are emails that confirm an arrangement or action has taken place such as a purchase, a meeting confirmation, a change of password request or a subscription cancellation.  

Any online business event that takes place that is functional will usually be followed up by transaction email.  

These emails will be expected by the recipient.  When a person joins an online membership, they expect an email with their login details.  When a person books a meeting through your online calendar, they would expect an email with confirmation of date, time and location.

Sometimes these emails can come from your email service provider (ESP) if you have integrated it with another application.  Often, they can come direct from the application you are using – for example, Acuity Scheduling sends out a confirmation to anyone booking a discovery call with me.


Customer experience

Don’t forget these emails because they are all part of the customers experience of your brand – and often the first.  Where you can, customise them to your brand specifications.

Here’s an email I received after placing an order with Moonpig.


Example of Moonpig transactional email

The rest of email recapped what I had ordered and to whom, together with delivery information.


2. Welcome Emails

When someone comes into your house, you give them a warm welcome don’t you. 

When someone joins a company, they get ‘onboarded’ by HR which usually involves a tour of the office, a run through the staff handbook, shown their desk, introduced to colleagues and, most importantly (I reckon) shown where the coffee machine is.

My point is, people aren’t left to their own devices, wondering what’s what.  

Same goes with your email list.  An email address is a valuable asset and you need to feel privileged that someone has given this to you.

So give them a warm welcome to your world.

A welcome email often includes a link to a freebie (eg checklist, discount code) that they’ve requested but not always. 

Either way, say  hello, thank them for subscribing and give them expectations for when they will hear from you again and what you will be sending.  Invite them to connect with you on INstagram, or wherever you hang out most on social media. 

You can also invite them to reply to you with their challenges relating to what you do.  Make people feel that although they’ve received an automated email, they can communicate with you on a personal level.

Here’s a welcome email from Office. The rest of the email showed me their free delivery and click and collect options.

Example of Welcome Email from Office


3. Nurture Emails

You’ve welcomed people to your list.  Now it’s time to nurture them, to build their ‘like, know and trust’ in you so that when you do make an offer, they are more likely to purchase.

The nurture sequence is an automated flow of 2-5 emails, depending on what you offer.

Include content around your background, your product’s provenance or behind the scenes.  Give subscribers more value by being helpful. If you’re a coach or consultant, then give them some useful tips, perhaps a link to a video tutorial or blog on your website.  If you sell products, you could guide them to products that go well with what they’ve already bought.

Social proof is ideal content for the nurture sequence.  Include testimonials, case studies or User Generated Content (UGC).  

Finally, make sure you include a Call to Action.  What do you want your new subscribers to do next?  If you want them to book a discovery call then tell them so and give them link to do it.  If you want them buy more products, then show them and give them a direct link to that product on the website.


4. Broadcast Emails

These are one-time send emails such as a regular newsletter. 

Email service providers might call them broadcasts or campaigns. You send them ‘manually’ unlike an automated email that is triggered by an action.

The content you include will be timely such new products, industry news, behind the scenes, letting readers know about your latest blog.  Often companies will use broadcast emails to send out an announcement.

These types of emails are sent to your main list.  You might also send to a segment eg VIPs or those who have bought a particular product or service.

The key with broadcast emails is frequency and consistency. 

It’s likely you’ll send at least one broadcast email a week with your company’s news; ecommerce businesses will tend to send more than one a week depending on the season. 

As I write, Halloween and Black Friday are on the horizon and so my inbox is filling up with daily and timely emails about new ranges of ghost-shaped cakes and various Black Friday discounts.  Below is an email I received from LNER (train company).

Example of LNER Halloween-styled email


5. Cart Abandonment Emails

If you sell anything online then a cart abandonment email is a must-have.  It’s essential for ecommerce businesses. Even if you only sell one product such as a digital course, I would recommend using this email.

Data suggests that almost 70% of online shoppers will abandon their cart at some point.  That’s a lot of revenue being lost!  But with cart abandonment emails, you could win back 12-15% of those shoppers.

This is an automated email triggered by a would-be purchaser adding something to their  online cart but not completing checkout.  As long as the purchaser’s email is already in your system, they will receive this email.

People get distracted during their online shopping for a myriad of reasons – phone rings, doorbell goes, child wants feeding – and might not complete their checkout.  Research has also shown people change their minds due to factors such as high shipping charges or complicated returns policy.

Your cart abandonment email which they will receive an hour or so later is a reminder to them that they’ve left something in the online cart. The link in the email takes them straight back to checkout so they can complete the process.

Below is an example of a cart abandonment email from ECCO.  Amazingly, of the six carts I added to, this was the only cart abandonment email I received.


Example of Cart Abandonment email from ECCO


These are the five types of email everyone needs to use.  Email marketing is a such a powerful tool that gives you data you just won’t get from social media.  Make the most of it because sending a newsletter once every few weeks is merely scratching the tip of the iceberg


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