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Six types of marketing emails your customers will love

By Will Stevens - February 17, 2015

Email marketing is one of the most powerful techniques available to online businesses. But it can be tough to know where to start. With that in mind, let’s look at six different email marketing techniques and how they can be used to keep in touch with existing and potential customers. Although most of the messages we look at here come from major brands, the beauty of email marketing is that the most powerful techniques can be used by smallest of businesses without spending big.

Welcome emails

When someone signs up for your service or mailing list, it’s important to get in touch with them straight away. This can either be to let them know how to access the service they’ve registered for, or to ask them to confirm their subscription to your mailing list.

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Groove’s welcome email

This email from customer service platform Groove is pretty much perfect. It lets people know the company’s aims, explains that they’ll be receiving more email in the future so customers will be expecting them and it also links to a demo of the product, which will help new users get to grips with the platform.

It also asks a question which is good for two reasons. First, if someone replies to an email you’ve sent, your future emails are far less likely to end up in a junk mail folder. Secondly, the information that you gather through these questions can be used to improve your product. You can read more about how Groove has done that here.

Confirmation emails

When someone buys a product from you, they’ll expect to receive a message telling them the order has been placed and what they can expect to happen next. This can also be a good time to upsell to customers by offering them a related product.

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Amazon’s confirmation emails are straightforward, no frills affairs. This one acts as both a receipt and tells me when I can expect my purchase to be delivered. Although Amazon hasn’t try to upsell me in this email, it’s more than likely I’ll receive another message in the near future suggesting other books I might be interested in buying based on this purchase.

Reminder emails

People’s memories are short and email is an excellent way to remind them of application deadlines or events they’ve already signed up for. Make sure your first reminder hits people’s inboxes in plenty of time, but remember they may need more than one nudge, so schedule another message closer to the deadline or day of the event.

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This email from the Great North Run was used to remind previous entrants that the ballot for the 2015 race was due to close soon. The focus is on encouraging people to enter before the closing date. It’s clear, simple and has a strong call to action.

Special offer emails

One of the most straight forward types of emails – if you’re having a sale, or want to provide people with a discount code than email can help you spread the word quickly and easily.

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This offer of free delivery from Nike is particularly clever as it’s linked to my Nike+ sports watch. Once I’ve hit a certain distance, Nike emails to suggest I might need new running shoes, tying it in with free delivery. Of course, not all special offers have to be this complex. This email from Asos is a straight forward reminder that its sale is on, and provides an extra 10% off.


Content emails

Newsletters keep customers engaged with you and your brand. If you’re producing content on a regular basis, package it up and email it to people who have expressed an interest in what you have to say. Of course, you don’t always have to talk about yourself – some of the best newsletters out there curate content from a range of sources.

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The Moz Top Ten is one of the most popular online marketing newsletters around. While it will generally feature at least one article from the Moz blog per an edition, most of the content is taken from other blogs. The fact that Moz is willing to curate from a range of sources helps build trust with potential customers.

Survey emails

Surveys allow you to gather feedback from customers and tailor your products and services to better meet their needs. They’ll let you know what you’re doing right and what you could do better. As we’ve already seen, it’s possible to ask one off questions in an email but sending out surveys allows you to gather more in depth information.

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Cineworld sends customers a link to a short survey after they’ve watched a film at the chain. The email is short, and the survey isn’t much longer but if people answer the questions, the company will obtain valuable information about how it is performing.


Next steps

You can learn how to start building your email list with this guide.

While this guide will help you craft the perfect email marketing subject line.

In this guide you’ll discover how to understand your competitors’ email marketing tactics, allowing you to beat them at their own game.

If you have any questions about email marketing, ask us in a comment and we’ll get back to you.