Email Marketing The 9 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending

Published on March 28th, 2014 | by Lisa Furgison

7

The 9 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending [Guide]

If you want take your email marketing to a new level, we’ve put together nine emails your business should send on a regular basis. We’ll tell you the purpose of each email and the type of businesses that can benefit from it. We’ll also tell you, on a scale of 1 to 5, the difficulty level for each email. The closer the number is to 5, the more effort it takes. Plus, we give you three tips to create each email.

1. Promotional Email

Purpose: To promote a product or service, usually to entice customers to make a purchase.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 1. Promotional emails are short and sweet. You might want to create a special graphic, otherwise, it’s not a time consuming process.

Three tips to create a Promotional Email:

  • Make the offer clear - Your customers may not take the time to read your email, but if you have a clear offer that’s front-and-center, they can’t neglect it, says marketer Anthony Kirlew with AKA Internet Marketing. In the promotional email below, there is no question what the deal is.
  • Create a sense of urgency – Give customers a reason to act quickly, rather than let the email sit in their inbox. Create a sense of urgency with your promotion. In the example above, the dates of the promotion are apparent. Use active language, too. For instance, “Shop now.”
  • Keep it short - Promotional emails don’t require a lot of explanation. State the deal, tell customers how to redeem it and when the deal expires. No need for a lot of flowery words. Take a look at the example below. In less than 45 words, the retailer sums up the deal.

2. New Inventory Email

Purpose: To let your customers know about new items. It falls under the promotional email umbrella. You’re updating customers, but also hoping for a sale.
Business that would benefit: Any business can tell customers about a new item in stock. Fashion and retail businesses may get the most bang for their buck.
Difficulty level: 2. Time is spent taking a good picture of the new product, but it doesn’t require a lot of text.

Three tips to create a New Inventory Email:

  • Send the email out as soon as the item arrives – As soon as you have the inventory in stock, create the email and hit send. This shows you’re on top of new trends and want your customers to have the latest, greatest items available.
  • Take a killer picture – You don’t have to get artsy, but you do need to showcase your new item. In fact, these types of emails are more about the photo than text. Take the email below, for example. It’s all about the picture. In just 17 words, Coach gets its point across.
    NewInventoryEmail1
  • Convey the point in your subject line You know subject lines can determine whether or not your customer opens your email, and this email is no different. Be sure to tell your customers that you’ve got something new and fun for them to check out. Redbox does this with a simple subject line, “This week’s new releases,” in the example below.
    NewInventoryEmail2

3.  Newsletter Email

Purpose: To inform customers about company news, improve brand awareness and build a relationship with your core audience.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 3. It takes a bit of time to create a solid newsletter, but it’s a valuable marketing tool.

Three tips to create a Newsletter Email:

  • A newsletter doesn’t mean long format Break the copy in your newsletter into short, digestible and actionable sections of content, copy, images and calls to action.
  • Create an easy-on-the-eyes design Think of your newsletter like a mini-newspaper. You want clear lines and divisions between your content. Take a look at the example below. See how clean it looks? You want a simple layout with basic fonts. Don’t go crazy with the color scheme, either.
    NewsletterEmail1
  • Include your contact information in the newsletter You always want your contact information in an easy-to-find area on the newsletter. The purpose of your newsletter isn’t necessarily to sell, but if your customers are inspired to reach out to you because of the newsletter, you want them to be able to find you, Kirlew says. Note the contact buttons on the newsletter below.
    NewsletterEmail2a

Tips for newsletter content

1. The content should be useful to readers Every piece of information included in your newsletter should have value. You want your customers to learn something about your business and come to rely on you for industry information.

2. Send your newsletter on a consistent basis You want your customers to look forward to your newsletter. To do that, you have to be consistent. Send a newsletter on the last day of the month, or on the 15th of each month. Whatever you decide, stick to it.

4. Welcome Email

Purpose: To welcome new email subscribers to the family and establish a good relationship.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 2. Creating the email doesn’t take long, but you need to know when a new customer signs up.

Three tips to create a Welcome Email:

  • Write in a conversational tone A Welcome Email is like a virtual handshake that accepts a new member to your group. It should be inviting and warm. Show the personal side of your business, says Noah Parsons, a marketer with Palo Alto Software. Take a look at the email below. The letter format feels welcoming and it has a nice tone.
    WelcomeEmail3
  • Consider offering a reward In celebration of a new customer, you could offer a discount or some sort of perk. You could offer 15 percent off the next purchase like REI did in the example above, or offer another perk like free shipping.
  • Remind new users about the benefits Thank your new customers for signing up and reinforce their decision to join. Tell readers what they’ll get out of this new partnership. The email below does exactly that.
    WelcomeEmail2

5. Product Advice Email

Purpose: To offer your customers advice on how to get the most from your business or product. At the same time, you establish your authority in the industry.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 3. This kind of email is has more information, so your time will go toward writing and proofreading.

Three tips to create a Product Advice Email:

  • Create valuable content – The key to this kind of email is to offer tips that your customers want to read. Help solve problems they may have or obstacles they may need to overcome. Or, offer tips to help your customers use and maintain your product or service. If you sell cameras, send an email that teaches customers how to use certain features. If you sell bathroom fixtures, include installation tips. Whatever your business is, create an email that gives your customers a helping hand. Swap Couture, a website where members swap designer purses, sends emails to its customers about how to care for designer bags. Take a look at the example below.
    ProductTips1
  • Proofread – No matter what email you send, you should proofread it several times. Read it from the bottom up so your brain isn’t reading words that aren’t there. Then, have someone else read it. Take it through an error-check process before sending. Nothing cuts your credibility like misspellings and grammatical errors.
  • Focus on customer service – Emails that offer product tips should also showcase your commitment to customer service. Emails like this tell customers, “We’re here for you.” Follow through with that message by adding contact information to the email. The email below, for example, offers tips to wear a certain piece of clothing, but you’ll also notice there is a “contact us” option in the top right corner.
    ProductTip2

6. Educational Email

Purpose: To provide customers with industry knowledge that’s connected to your business or product. It helps build relationships and trust between your business and your customers.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 3. It takes time to brainstorm ideas and to create a sharp email.

Three tips to create an Educational Email:

  •  Offer relevant content - When you send an educational email, you’re trying to build a relationship with your customers. The best way to do that is to teach them something. However, you want to teach them something that has a connection to your business. For instance, Monster.com, the job search site, sends its customers information about life in the workplace. An example is below.
    EducationalEmail1
  • Consider offering bite-sized information - Take a cue from the Monster.com email above and write bite-sized pieces of information in the article; let your customers decide if they want to read more. The “Read more” link takes your customer to your blog for the full article. It’s a great way to engage with customers via email and boost blog traffic.
  • Add a mini-promotion – You can add a promotional element to this kind of email, but it shouldn’t be the main attraction. For example, Lumosity, the brain game site, offers an educational article as the main feature, but notice a promotion on the right side for a family membership. It’s subtle and simple.
    EducationalEmail2a

7. Reorder Email

Purpose: To remind customers that it’s time to reorder a certain product.
Business that would benefit: Any business that sells products or services needed on a regular basis. Examples include products like printer cartridges, contacts, pet medications and vitamins.
Difficulty level: 3. Basic text and images are needed.

Three tips to create a Reorder Email:

  • Clear call to action - The purpose of a reorder email is to encourage your customers to replenish your product or perhaps renew a subscription for a service. You want to make the buying process as simple as possible. To do so, create a simple, easy-to-find button that says, “Reorder now.” For instance, in the example below, customers can reorder pet medication from Pet Wellbeing.
    reorderEmail4
  • Remind customers of the value – In the email, tell your customers why reordering is a good idea. Maybe it’s to keep vital pet medications on hand, or to avoid the hassle of running out of toner at the office. You could also offer a discount to those who reorder within a certain time frame.
  • Mention past purchases – If you want, you can mention in the email what your customer purchased in the past, so they can reorder the same thing. The pet supply store below does this for its customers. It’s a nice addition to the email, but you can send it without this information.
    ReorderEmail2

8. Testimonial Email

Purpose: To reinforce how valuable your business or product is through customer feedback.
Business that would benefit: Every business.
Difficulty level: 4. It takes a bit of time to collect testimonials. You may need to be persistent to get customers to give them to you.

Three tips to create a Testimonial Email:

  • Create a sleek design – Email design elements are important with testimonial emails. You want something that’s eye-catching and easy to read. Take a look at the example below. This retailer put together four quotes from happy customers and highlighted the product, too. It’s a win-win. Both the accolades and the products are showcased well in this simple design.
    TestimonialEmail1
  • Include an image – If you sell tangible items like clothing, using pictures of shirts and dresses makes sense. But that doesn’t work for every business. Take a medical clinic, for example, or a sanitation company. What image do you use in these cases? If you need a powerful image, ask the customer who gave the testimonial for a picture. Take a look at the example below. The customer’s picture is what makes the email work.
    TestimonialEmail2
  • Offer more information – A testimonial is great, but you should offer your customers a next step. For example, in the email above, customers can read more testimonials by clicking on the text. You could offer a link for others to leave feedback, or a link to other uplifting company news.

 

9. Survey Email

Purpose: To collect helpful information you can use to improve the customer experience.
Businesses that would benefit: Any business looking to better itself.
Difficulty level: 4. You’ll have to spend time creating the survey and writing an email with a link to the survey.

Three tips to create a Survey Email:

  • Explain what’s in it for them – If you want a customer to take the time to fill out a survey, you need to give them a reason. In the example below from Software Advice, participants are entered to win an iPad.
    SurveyEmail2
  • Address the purpose of the survey - Besides an incentive to fill out the survey, you should tell your customers why you want the information. Whether you’re trying to improve your business or conducting product research, which is the case in the example above, let your customers know the purpose of the survey.
  • Make the survey easy to access - There should be an obvious, clickable link to the survey. Take a look at the example below. Notice the links to the survey are clear buttons on the left and also in red text at the bottom of the email.
    Surveyemail1b

Two tips to create a useful survey
Before you send the email out, you’ll need to create the survey. To help you create a useful survey, here are a few tips:

1. Ask the right questions
Make sure the questions you ask will yield helpful results, says, Victoria Garment with Software Advice. Stay on topic and reword questions, if necessary, to make sure they are understandable.

2. Keep it short
If a customer gets bored with your survey, they’ll stop filling it out. Aim for a five-minute survey to ensure customers make it to the end, suggests Garment.

We hope this guide catapults your email marketing to new heights. As always, you can depend on VerticalResponse to be your one-stop-shop for marketing products and information.

 

This guide written by Lisa Furgison for VerticalResponse. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content. This guide edited and produced in full by VerticalResponse.

© 2014, VR Marketing Blog. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

Lisa Furgison

is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content.



7 Responses to The 9 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending [Guide]

  1. Joan says:

    Great examples and great advice. Thanks for sharing these no-nonsense strategies.

  2. Nicole says:

    Nine seems like a lot of different kinds. What is the ideal frequency or cadence? Obviously, when they first become a customer, they are more likely to accept more emails from you. But how do you not overwhelm your contacts with educational, promotional, testimonial, survey, etc, along with the basic newsletter? Great article. Useful pictures. Just want to think about how I can apply this to my audience.

    • Jill Bastian Jill Bastian says:

      Hi Nicole,

      9 different emails are lot to be sending for sure, especially if they’re all in one month. It’s going to depend on what your company or organization does as to which ones will work best. And even if all of them are appropriate, how often do you have a new product/service to announce? Or a survey? Those will probably be sent infrequently for most businesses. If you’re sending out a newsletter once a month, and haven’t sent out any other kinds of emails, try working in one or two other email types and see if you have a good response. You’ll want to keep in mind the expectation you’ve set when people sign up, but if you want to increase that number you can, just know you could have some higher unsubscribe numbers.

      You should send a welcome email if you possibly can, and then send at least one or two other types per month. A newsletter and sales promotion for example, or if you don’t send out newsletters, try sending a sales email and a testimonial one month and see what happens. You can send more emails, depending on your marketing plan, but be sure to have some time between them, no one wants more than one email in a day from the same company. If you find success sending different types of emails, use a marketing calendar to keep track of when and what you’re sending out so that you don’t annoy your readers.

  3. Solid advice! We all get tons of the stuff, but e-mail remains one of the best ways to maintain a relationship (for want of a better word) when done well.

    So treat each one with careful attention.

  4. These are great tips. The top tip in my mind is, “Create a sense of urgency”.

    If you send me a coupon that I can use within the next 30 days, do you think I’ll buy today? But if it expires in 24 hours or the value reduces throughout the month, I’ll use it much sooner.

    Thanks VR for this great list.

  5. Thank you for this succinct and very informative post. The examples of each type of email were especially helpful. Email marketing still tops the leagues in terms of return on investment for SMEs – but nowadays it has to go hand in hand with social media engagement so that the recipients see you as a welcome friend providing them with information of incredible value rather than an annoying intrusive spammer. I call it giving your customers a business HUG – Hearing Understanding and Giving back incredible value. Thanks again and Big Hugs

  6. Dan says:

    Reactivation email will make the list perfect. Like it!

Back to Top ↑