17 types of marketing emails you should definitely be sending

Using marketing emails to keep in touch with your customers is a crucial part of your business. Are you sending the right message?

You want your customers and prospects to remain interested regarding all things your organization brings to the table and look forward to hearing the latest and greatest of what you have to offer. 

A great way to stay connected is to find your way into their email inbox, sending relevant messages without being spammy, which means:

  • Only sending relevant emails
  • Not over-sending, or blasting your entire audience
  • Using email to tactically advance prospects through the pipeline
Richardson would probably not be a good email marketer.

17 types of marketing emails 

There are so many different ways you can reach a lead, prospect, or a new customer in their inbox. Here are the 15 most common types of marketing emails to incorporate into your email strategy.

1. Welcome email

It’s always a good feeling to gain a subscriber. Someone out there in the universe who wants to know more about your product or services. Sending a welcome email to that person is a way for your organization to introduce itself. Doing so will either educate them about your brand, allow them to learn more about your products, or simply build some familiarity with a new fan.

Here’s your chance to get to know them a little better, too. You can ask them some questions about themselves, like their birthday or location, and even ask that they select preferences for how often they’d like to hear from you. 

No matter how you package it, just make sure to avoid making a bad first impression. 

2. Automated email

Depending on their purpose, automated marketing emails may also be referred to as kickback or trigger emails. They are a type of form email that gets sent to customers and sales reps when they perform specific actions on your website or social media. Examples of trigger emails may include:

  • A reminder email when someone abandons their cart.
  • An informational email after someone views a particular product or service.
  • A confirmation email when someone signs up for an event or newsletter.

Once you create your emails, you can use customer relationship management (CRM) software like Nutshell to send these messages at just the right time, maximizing efficiency and sales possibility simultaneously.

After the initial time investment of setting everything up, your automated emails will take care of themselves, leaving your sales team with more time to focus on creating more personalized emails and marketing tools.

3. New content announcement

When your business has something fresh and exciting to share, do so in a new content announcement email.

Whether it be a new product, sale, coupon, webinar, conference, eBook, the list goes on and on… but whatever it may be, be sure to spread the news. This type of email will describe and promote the offer with call-to-action links sending customers to a targeted landing page where they can learn more. 

Make the actual content of the email brief with the CTA to learn more large and visible, so it can’t be missed.

4. Event invitation

When your organization is about to host something exciting, be sure that your subscribers get a chance to RSVP yes. With an event invitation email, you’ll want to get readers excited about registering for your new event, so be sure to highlight what makes this one so exciting and different from all the rest.

It goes without saying that the email should also include any important details about the event, like the date, time, price, and agenda.  

5. Email newsletters

Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries send out newsletters to their customers so they can stay top of mind. Whether you’re using this type of marketing email to send out new content from your blog or sharing general news about your company, they can be a great touch-point with your subscribers as you nurture them for the long haul. 

Keep the format simple and relatively the same each time you send your newsletter, so your readers can get accustomed to what to expect every time one enters their inbox. And don’t forget an eye-catching subject line to entice them to read more.

6. Product update email

Depending on your organization and the products you sell, there may come a time when you need to send your customers an update.

A product update email can be a tricky one to send because customers don’t necessarily find them to be interesting or thought-provoking. Because of this, make them short, sweet, and straightforward. List out the basic details to keep customers up-to-date on any changing features or functionality of your product. 

If tons of updates are around the corner, don’t spam your readers with a series of product emails every other day, and consider sending a roundup email highlighting everything they need to know in one email. 


Powerful email marketing, minus the headaches

Nutshell Marketing plugs directly into your CRM data, so you can create highly targeted audience segments, track the impact of your emails in real-time, and manage all your communications out of a single tool. Get started for free!



7. Referral email

Your sales team knows that any form of marketing is good marketing. From managing social media to networking at trade shows, they do everything they can to get the word out about your brand and draw in new interest in your services.

But even the largest, most experienced sales team could use some help in reaching new leads outside your target market. So why not use your most valuable resource to assist — your existing customers?

Referral emails invite your leads to create leads of their own. They often offer some discount or exclusive offer in exchange for them bringing in new customers who make a purchase at your existing lead’s suggestion.

Since word-of-mouth marketing from people with existing relationships is one of the most effective forms of marketing, referral emails can bring in major sales, expanding your reach and growing potential target audiences.

8. Dedicated send email

A dedicated send email is an email your organization will send to a specific group of people that subscribe to your business. For instance, when you’re hosting an event, like a conference or webinar, you may want an announcement to only those who have registered or signed up. 

Essentially, these emails won’t be to your complete list of subscribers, but only to ones that are in need of the information your email includes.

9. Co-marketing email

Got an exciting partnership lined up? If so, send a co-marketing email. Co-marketing is when two or more companies partner with one another for a promotion, event, or task, as a way to leverage and gain from the audience of another company to increase their customer base. 

Whether it’s an announcement regarding hosting a webinar or conference, or pairing up for a hybrid product launch, the email blast will go out to customers of all parties involved. Because of this, make sure the email clearly states all details regarding the partnership with each company — especially if the partnership is with a company that’s more popular or more widely known than yours.

10. Seasonal campaign

‘Tis the season to send a… seasonal campaign. 

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, the Fourth of July, Father’s Day, or Thanksgiving, your company may be running a specific promotion or special centered around a certain holiday. These types of email campaigns should have build-up before the event, so all subscribers know what to expect.

While these marketing emails are especially beneficial to retail organizations, anyone can send them! Just be sure you start ending these emails early enough to ramp up the excitement, stick to a theme (pink for Valentine’s Day!), and use urgency regarding the date of the specific holiday. 

11. Post-purchase/confirmation email

Any time I make a purchase… If I don’t receive a confirmation within 60 seconds, I start to get nervous. Whether it’s a flight purchase, tickets to a concert, or something as small as buying a new book, I always want to know my purchase has been confirmed.

Your customers are the same. They don’t want to worry about their purchase being processed somewhere out in cyberspace. Because of this, be sure to send a post-purchase or confirmation email to your customers once they’ve made a purchase. 

Be sure the subject line is clear and concise, and keep the content of the email to a summary of the purchase, including a tracking number, the total amount the customer spent, and estimated shipping date. The design can be simple, too, and may include a CTA for the customer to track their purchase.

12. Form submission/thank you email

Similarly, whenever a new prospect, lead, or customer fills out a form on your website, don’t leave them hanging. 

Make sure they receive a kickback email automatically after submitting a form, sometimes referred to as a “thank you” email. These emails should have a clear CTA for customers with minimal content. Simply thank the individual for signing up and include any link or information that was promised after sign-up.

13. Cart abandonment email

An abandoned cart email should be sent to your customers when they put various products or items in their shopping cart and then leave your website without making a purchase. 

This type of marking email should remind customers of the items within their cart and will usually also include some sort of discount code to entice the customer to return to your website and complete the purchase. 

This is your chance to showcase why the customer should come back to your website and click Buy.

14. Re-engagement campaign

Are your subscribers ghosting you? Send them a re-engagement campaign. In this email campaign, consider asking for feedback regarding your products or services as a way to bring your business back to their minds. You can also send them a promotion that may pique their interest. If they engage, you’ll have fresh feedback and may have even made a purchase.

If they unsubscribe, don’t fret. At the very least, your engagement rates may improve when you weed out those who just aren’t interested anymore, allowing you to clean up your email list and focus on those who actively engage with your content.

See also: 8 Winback Email Templates to Help You Recover Lost Leads

15. Lead nurturing 

How well do you know your leads? If your answer is “not very well”, lead nurturing emails can help get you there. These emails are essentially a connected series of emails for a specific purpose, full of useful content to the reader.

These can be used to promote any number of things, from a new blog post to an upcoming webinar, and even a discount your organization is offering.  Whatever the case may be, these have a main purpose of promoting or informing leads about what’s happening within your organization. 

16. Connect via social campaign

Follow us on Twitter! Connect with us on LinkedIn!

No matter what kind of social media platform you’re looking to grow, a social campaign can boost your follower count with the aim of asking customers to engage with you elsewhere. 

These emails can include a trending hashtag you’d like customers to use when posting pictures of them using your product. When new tweets, comments, or followers begin to appear, don’t forget to engage with your connections! It’s a great way to take your relationship to the next level. 

17. The post-purchase drip campaign

Last but not least is another tried-and-true marketing email campaign… the post-purchase drip.

The goal of these emails isn’t necessarily to sell anything new, but simply to follow-up after a customer has made a purchase. These can be used as a way to build brand loyalty, ask for feedback, or entice a customer to leave a review on items they purchased. 

It can also feature tips on how to use the item they purchased or entice a customer to post a picture of their purchase on social. No matter what the content says, these emails are a great way to build trust with your customers and encourage them to come back for more.

Best practices for email marketing

While there are hundreds of types of email marketing campaigns, there are a few best practices you can keep in mind for any marketing operation. We’ve gathered some of our best email marketing strategies for your convenience.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you construct the perfect campaign and maintain it while navigating the ever-changing landscape of your brand, the economy, and your customers’ spending habits.

Segment your audience

In email marketing, segmenting your audience is similar to defining your target market. It’s actually a bit easier since you already have some basic information about the people and brands you’re marketing to.

Audience segmentation is the process of separating your email list into categories so you can tailor their emails to their varied interests. You might segment them based on demographic information, like location and purchase history, or you may take a more creative approach and separate them by shared interests and hobbies. 

Once you’ve determined your segments, you can create emails that appeal to their particular needs. Segmentation gives you more freedom to adjust your emails and enhance connection while saving you from writing out personalized emails to every client.

Personalize your content

One of your marketing goals should be to make a personal connection with your leads. When your customers feel like you care about them as more than a number, they’re more likely to stay with your brand and choose you over the competition — even when the competition is offering something you don’t.

Today, most people’s email inboxes are inundated with impersonal form emails, and a majority of them end up ignored or quickly deleted. Personalizing your email is an excellent way to stand out and show leads that you’re different because you want to get to know them. Plus, it gives you plenty of opportunity to infuse every message with your brand’s identity, giving your customers a better idea of who you are and what your brand stands for.

Some of the easiest ways to customize your content include:

  • Addressing clients by name
  • Using conversational, emotive language
  • Using your brand’s colors in graphics
  • Linking to unique informational content

Optimize email for mobile devices

Consider how often you check your email on your phone or tablet over a computer. If you’re like most people, you check and reply to emails more often on your mobile phone than anywhere else. With that in mind, it’s crucial that any emails you send out look as good on a mobile screen as they do on a computer screen. To optimize your messages for any device:

  • Get to the point: A smaller screen means fewer words can fit “above the fold,” or above the point a viewer will have to scroll to read them. Make sure you tell them the important information or something that gets them to continue reading within the first few lines, or else they’ll delete your message and navigate away from it.
  • Use responsive design: Responsive design is a method of creating emails and websites so the content looks appropriate regardless of the medium your lead accesses it on. It allows you to adjust images and text based on screen size.

Keep your subject lines short and sweet

Just as your email should get right to the point, so should your subject line. When subject lines reach upwards of 40 characters, most devices will cut off some of the text. And if the first part of that line isn’t interesting enough, leads won’t even click on it to read the rest.

Be descriptive in your subject lines, but try to keep them under 10 words for the best results. You can always say more in the body of your email when necessary.

Use an automated platform for better metrics monitoring

Once you start your email marketing campaign, how will you know it’s working? Metrics and analytic data can show you what parts of your process are working and where you can improve your numbers. Collecting raw data like that can be a challenge, but with an automated platform, you can access those numbers with ease at any time.

CRMs are designed to help you stay in touch with your clients and monitor how your efforts affect metrics like click-through and conversion rates. They also allow you to automate some of your communications, further boosting your efficiency and possibilities for profit.

Test your campaigns before sending them

Testing your emails before you send them en masse lets you put your best foot forward every time.

Even the best email marketing experts can let a typo slip through or use improper formatting that makes the entire message unreadable. The good news is that most times, something like this is an easy fix. However, sending it out to your entire contact list can make your brand look unprofessional or possibly untrustworthy.

Prevent this by always sending your emails to a test recipient first. Then, make sure you view the message on a computer, phone, and tablet to ensure it’s optimized for each device. This quick check takes only minutes, but it ensures you deliver accurate and effective communications every time.

Follow spam regulations

Most email sites now have automatic filters to detect anything they think may be spam. This means if your email doesn’t follow CAN-SPAM guidelines, your message may never make it to your recipient’s inbox.

The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act was first enacted by the U.S. government in 2003 to give email users rights against commercial email deliveries. All business emails must follow these guidelines, including honoring opt-out requests and identifying your messages as advertisements.

You can learn more about CAN-SPAM guidelines on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

End your email with calls to action and social sharing buttons

At the end of every effective email is a call to action (CTA). CTAs are actionable requests you give the recipient, such as learning more about a sale or sending the message along to their friends. This lets your message’s influence go on once the recipient has finished reading, giving them something more to do with your brand.

Similar to CTAs, including your social media buttons in your emails give your leads something actionable to do after they read your message. Whether you tell them to follow you or share your latest promotions on social media, this is another way of helping your sales team get the word out about your brand without adding to their workload.

Ready, set, send

No matter what kind of marketing email you’re sending, it’s a great way to connect with your customers. Take the time to ensure these emails reflect your brand, have a snappy subject line, and make your customers feel appreciated. 

And if you’re still looking for email marketing inspiration, check out 28 Experts Share Their Best Email Marketing Tips, or the enormous Guide to Writing Much Better Marketing Emails, written by the Sell to Win Staff for marketers just like you.


Want to generate more leads? Of course you do.

The B2B Marketer’s Toolkit collects 120+ of the best lead generation tips ever published on the Nutshell blog. Download it today!



Join 30,000+ other sales and marketing professionals. Subscribe to our Sell to Win newsletter!