The 7 Most Effective Types of Email Marketing Messages You Should Employ

Posted on June 12, 2015 by in Tips & Tricks | 17 comments

The 7 Most Effective Types of Email Marketing Messages You Should Employ

Considering that across all industries, only 3.26% of emails generate a click-through, it’s of paramount important to have a decent understanding of email marketing if you’re hoping to engage effectively with your audience.

In this post we’re going to cover the top seven types of email marketing messages, how to employ them successfully, and finally their advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s get straight to it!

1. ‘Welcome’ Emails

It’s a well known fact that first impressions count. When someone signs up to your mailing list, the first thing they should receive from you is a ‘Welcome’ email. This first email represents a fantastic chance to upsell, create credibility and trust, and enhance your brand.

Advantages

There are three distinct advantages to sending this type of email:

  1. It sets an expectation. The customer knows that you’re going to be emailing them, what your emails will look like, and can white-list your address.
  2. It confirms their subscription. A lot of customers will hand over their email address without thinking about the potential emails you’ll be sending. A ‘Welcome’ email tells them to expect more emails, so you don’t get banished to the spam folder.
  3. It’s easily automated. There are plenty of ways to set up emails that trigger upon a certain event (such as a new person subscribing).

Disadvantages

There are none. Seriously.

2. Dedicated Emails

These are the types of email that are sent most often by the majority of businesses. Dedicated emails are focused on just one topic, whether that’s a new product, a news announcement, or event that you’re holding.

Dedicated emails are so popular because they enable you to employ a mix of all the best email marketing techniques: a strong call to action and a chance to be personable, potentially provocative and highly shareable.

Advantages

  1. They’re easy to set up and send. Once you know what it is you’re promoting, all you need is the copy. Dedicated emails don’t have to rely on graphics or fancy layouts to engage readers.
  2. They’re very easy to track. As they tend to have one call to action, it’s easy to see who has clicked-through and so on.

Disadvantages

  1. As these emails are only sent when you have something to promote, scheduling them can be difficult. You don’t want to bombard your subscribers with emails, but similarly you don’t want to be too sporadic.
  2. You’re limited in what you can include. The whole point of a dedicated email is to focus on only one call to action, so if you start mixing in other announcements or offers, your message will become diluted.

3. Newsletter Emails

Newsletters are a great way of giving your customers the lowdown on your brand at regular intervals.

Before you decide to set up a newsletter email however, you first need to decide what your goal is. Do you want to increase social sharing? Or perhaps you want to reinforce your brand image by nurturing your existing customers? This will determine what kind of content should go into your newsletter.

Advantages

While not suitable for everyone, newsletters have some very persuasive advantages:

  1. By building regular communication with your subscribers, they will begin to recognize your brand and associate it will something reliable and trustworthy.
  2. You can leverage and push existing content. By summing-up the week’s most popular posts or highlighting a recent announcement, you’re avoiding having to create new content while also pushing people towards visiting your site.
  3. While not quite as simple as an automated welcome message, newsletters in general aren’t too time-consuming, especially if you aren’t coming up with fresh copy every issue.

Disadvantages

  1. Newsletters are geared towards maintaining existing relationships rather than bringing in new customers, as your newsletter will only go to subscribed users. Less a disadvantage than something to bear in mind.
  2. Depending on how professional you want your email to look, you may need to employ help from designers or copywriters, potentially pushing the cost and time spent through the roof.

4. Digest Emails

This is essentially a smaller “digested” version of the newsletter. Depending on what you want your digest to contain, you can automate and schedule them to be sent at regular intervals. A perfect example is collating a list of notifications for every new post you publish that is then sent to your email list once a week. Some blogging platforms will even allow your subscribers to set up their own preferences, so how often they are sent a digest for example.

Advantages

  1. This requires very little input from you, apart from setting it up in the first place.
  2. They’re a lot easier to skim than newsletters, meaning that some subscribers will prefer them. If they see something that catches their eye, they’ll click-through.

Disadvantages

  1. While they are quick and simple, digest emails are also very impersonal. There is no real input from you the sender, meaning that no real brand enhancement or engagement occurs.

5. Lead Nurturing Emails

This is specifically targeting subscribers that you want to turn into customers. This can be a time consuming but highly rewarding way of engaging with your subscribers. Depending on how many resources you have available, there are two different ways you can employ lead nurturing.

One is by occasionally emailing clients about updates or changes in prices – these can be automated and don’t require too much input. The second way is much more labour intensive but can reap far greater rewards and includes educated the subscriber on the advantages of a particular product. This requires you to design personalized pitches taking into account the customer’s needs and the best way of selling to them.

Advantages

  1. The more intense lead nurturing is very personable; you are connecting directly with the client and tailoring your email and pitch specifically to them. This increase brand awareness and trust.
  2. According to Hubspot, lead nurturing emails achieve 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone emails.

Disadvantages

  1. The main disadvantage is probably the amount of time and effort you’ll need to put behind your lead nurturing campaigns. Chances are each client will need a slightly tweaked approach, meaning very little can be templated.
  2. They generate less buzz. More lead nurturing emails are only sent to one address, rather than the thousands-strong subscriber list of your newsletter.

6. Transactional Emails

These are emails that are triggered after a customer completes a certain action. It could be that they’ve abandoned a cart on your site, so a few days later you send a transactional email reminder to checkout. Alternatively, after signing up for a webinar on your site, the customer receives a transactional email with a thank you and their login details. Any circumstance where a transaction takes place is a perfect opportunity to send this kind of email.

Advantages

  1. Transactional emails enjoy a high click-through rate, as they tend to be very specific towards the customer. They also tend to contain important information such as confirmation and receipts.
  2. It adds that personal touch – thanking someone for buying a product or service is going to strengthen your brand.
  3. Easy to automate based on the actions your customers take on the site.

Disadvantages

  1. Sometimes transactional emails can create a barrier which prevents a customer from completing their purchase. Either they simply miss the email, or don’t want to complete yet another step to confirm their order.

7. Anniversary Emails

Getting personal is one of the most effective ways of retaining customers and persuading them to make transactions on your site. Anniversary emails are a great way to make a personal connect with your subscribers, and they can cover a whole host of events:

  • The anniversary of them joining
  • A company anniversary such as a birthday
  • Public holidays
  • The subscriber’s actual birthday (if you know it)

This grows brand trust and customer engagement, and is especially effective when tied in with some sort of one-off deal. In a study conducted by Experian, opening rates for anniversary campaigns were nearly three times as high (34.4% vs. 12.9%) as standard bulk emails.

Advantages

  1. They’re easy to set up. If you have customers’ birthdays as part of the sign-up process, you can set up an automated email to send on those dates. All you need is the copy!
  2. They can achieve a lot of different things. For example, online retailer ASOS uses the anniversary of your first purchase to increase its social shares.

Disadvantages

  1. There aren’t really any disadvantages to anniversary emails. They don’t take much to implement, and are an effective method of email marketing.

Summing Up

There we have it! Seven of the top email marketing messages, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Which you go ahead and use can depend on a number of things, including the resources at your disposal and how big your subscriber list is.

Generally speaking, the most effective email marketing campaign is actually a mix of all of these techniques, especially if a subscriber can personalize which emails they want to receive.

What email marketing messages do you use to interact with your subscriber base? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: pixome / Shutterstock

17 Comments

  1. Nice article Tim! Though I wish you have given an example or a template.

  2. For the love of all that is good and decent, can someone from ET give us an update or ETA on Divi and Extra? Is Extra even still in the works? Is an update really too much to ask?

    Even Comcast is more forthcoming with their customers than ET, and that’s saying a lot.

    • As far As I know Version 2.4 of DIVI comes out this month..\

      Then comes DIVI as a plugin.

      Then comes the Extra theme after that…

    • Why would you post such a request on a post that’s got nothing to do with a Theme Release Date?

      In case you haven’t noticed or bothered – this post is about E-Mail Marketing.

      Why and how do such dumb as comments get accepted in the 1st place.

      • Because people are frustrated and for good reason. The name of the company is Elegant Themes, and yet no new themes since December 2013. A few very average plugins, but those have not been included in the subscription we’re all paying for new themes every year. We’ve paid for a few updates and access to some very out-dated themes.
        It is inexcusable that an UPDATE to a theme, no matter how complicated, is the sole theme progress they’ve been working on for a year and a half.
        They are not building a lunar module, they are supposed to be developing themes – something they are good at and something they have more than enough time and funds to accomplish and yet nothing….
        Unyson framework and themify.me are both more advanced than divi and include everything that’s expected in the new Divi and yet they still manage to release more than one them every year and a half (and still counting).
        Give everyone a free year who’s been here for years waiting patiently while you don’t produce themes and charge us anyway.

        • I am sorry you feel that way Glen, but the fact is we are working incredibly hard, and that’s all we can do. We have only released 1 theme, but that’s not the whole story. That theme has been updated constantly, and has become to backbone of our membership. The Divi Builder is our focus right now, and we want to keep making it better and better as it becomes the framework for our future themes. You can read more about our plans for the future of Elegant Themes here:

          http://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/general-news/the-silent-progress-of-extra-the-evolution-of-divi-and-a-glimpse-into-the-future-of-elegant-themes

          Right now we are not focused on adding a tone of new themes to our collection. Our focus is on making a smaller amount of really stellar products.

        • WeWe don’t want a constant flow of themes, we want a handful of great themes. Divi is one of them. Plugins like bloom are awesome to. I know this is what the majority of us want because this is the push eg has chosen to take.

          EG – make some awesome plugins we all use. Contact form – anti spam – commenting etc

          I wish you would add the option for multiple dates on the countdown timer. We have to go in twice a week to reset the countdown date. After date one, countdown to date two, repeat this date and time forever

      • Probably because Melodie, like many others, when they see a new email from an Elegant Themes post, they’d hope it’s the things that actually matter and registered for, Themes/ Themes Updates, and what has been promoted long time ago..

        I’ve to admit, I check the blog daily, with the hope of a theme update release .. not much more

        Noz

  3. Nice article. Concise and easy to skim/read. Nice breakdown – like the pros & cons.

    Great job! Thanks.

  4. While all these articles are great. It would be amazing to have more CSS tips which we amateurs can use to tweak their site.

    I’ve asked for this a couple of times and it’s never happened but if you look at the user engagement from your blog you will notice that anything related to Divi or CSS tips – like the 12 days of Divi a couple years ago gets hundreds of comments as opposed to your normal daily blog which gets around 5-20 comments.

    It would be awesome if you dedicated one day a week of the blog to tips and tricks of using Divi

    Is it just me that wants this, or does anyone else agree?

    • Agreed 100%

  5. I’d love to use Bloom templates for my email marketing but unfortunately it’s not yet compatible with MyMail (the No.1 newsletter solution on Codecanyon). MyMail replaced mailchimp for us and we’re using it for 2 years already for all our marketing mails. Would be awesome if you guys could add integration to your to-do-list.

    • About Bloom,

      Take care how you use it. Isnt’ working how is expected under Android phones and tablets. Maybe only with Divi is working well but with other themes seems the popup f*** the site on mobile devices. I still wait for an update for two months… but seems everyone use only iphones and ipads here 🙂

  6. great article. fully satisfied by its information. keep it up

  7. Actually, I find ET guys put in a lot of effort developing such dynamic Web builder. It’s a quantum leap from earlier softwares like j**la. The only q I have now is whether blurbs or icon be customized? Ops.. off topic too.

  8. For the money, there is no theme that’s better-built, responsive, flexible for all site types, secure, and has robust community support than Divi and Elegant Themes.
    We’ve tried them all. Divi 2.4 now gives all of us from 1 theme unlimited themes for one reasonable price per year that is less than other premium themes with upsells for plugins and features.
    No other theme company gives as much value as ET. In Internet Marketing, Divi 2.4 now replaces several themes and plug-ins plus it replaces a monthly membership for us. This saves us hundreds of dollars a year with one theme.
    Frankly we’d rather have Divi 2.4 with all its built-in options and pre-made page layouts and live demos than a few additional new themes per year. It’s less work on our end, faster delivery of customized sites and more money because we save time, our most valuable non-renewable resource in our marketing and consulting business.
    So for those of you complaining about the number of themes released, consider the whole picture of the new Divi. Invest a little time learning Divi 2.4.
    To us it was well worth the wait and the hours spent over the weekend and today to get familiar with the new features has opened our eyes to the value of Elegant Themes and the strategic brilliance for Nick and his crew and for us as members.
    We embraced Divi as the foundational theme for all our site design and now welcome with warm hugs and hoorahs the phenomenal versatility of the new Divi and what this one go-to theme will do for our business and our personal time.
    And we love the community of ET that is such a family that shares, compliments, moans, complains and at the end of the day, it’s a great family of ET members who value each other and all want the same thing: fine marketing websites for ourselves or clients.
    Cheers to your success!

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