As a marketer or entrepreneur, email is the most effective channel you have for communicating with your customers.
Unlike social media, which is crowded and full of distractions, an email inbox is a direct path to each of your users, subscribers or customers. And unlike a phone call or messaging app, email is convenient and scalable, requiring just as much effort to reach one person as 100 people.
If you aren’t already using email marketing to grow your business, you’re leaving a huge amount of revenue and publicity on the table. By taking email marketing seriously and expanding the list of emails you send to your customers, you can spur rapid user, customer and revenue growth.
You’ll also improve customer retention, which is even more important for long-term growth than acquiring new users.
One of the easiest ways to improve your email marketing results is to add new types of email to your marketing plan. Below, we’ve listed 10 marketing emails that we think belong in any email marketing toolkit, from a small, indie entrepreneur to a rapidly growing startup.
Periodic Update Emails
Periodic update emails list all of the enhancements and improvements you’ve made to your product or service over the last days, weeks, months or quarter.
Update emails can be an annoyance, especially when they’re sent to alert users of every minor improvement to a product’s features or interface. A period update email is designed to cut down the frequency of your update emails by sorting all updates into a regular message.
From a frequency perspective, we think the best approach for period update emails is to send a message every month or every quarter. If your software is mission critical for most customers — for example, a hosting platform for online businesses — consider sending a weekly update.
Recommended Reading: 3 Tips for Better Product Update Emails
Announcement emails are exactly what you’d expect — emails that announce a new product, service or offer. If you have a new product in the pipeline, an announcement email can create buzz among your most existing customers.
The best product announcement emails are designed with a specific goal in mind. If you have a product-specific mailing list you’d like customers to join, mention it in the email. If you’re already taking pre-orders for the product, link to your sales page or checkout.
Like update emails, it’s best not to overuse announcement emails. Send one announcement at the beginning of a project to let your audience know that a new product is coming, then update emails to keep people alert and aware of its progress.
Recommended Reading: 4 Aspects Every Outstanding Product Announcement Needs
You’ve perfected your landing page and managed to convert a high percentage of your visitors into free trial users. There’s only one problem — most free trial users stop using your software at the end of the trial period, resulting in a low conversion rate from free user to paying customer.
Re-engagement emails are designed to bring inactive users back into your application, creating a higher chance of them becoming contributors or paying customers.
The best re-engagement emails are simple, straightforward and friendly. A simple reminder and an incentive to start reusing your product (such as a coupon, extended free trial or upgrade) are often all it takes to win back a user that’s become inactive.
Recommended Reading: 10 Examples of Email Re-engagement Campaigns You’ll Want to Steal
Free Trial Upgrade Emails
As users reach the end of their free trial period, it’s important to remind them of the need to take action. Free trial upgrade emails remind users that they’re nearing the end of the trial period and need to become paying customers in order to keep using your product.
Like re-engagement emails, the best free trial upgrade emails are straightforward, friendly and non-pushy. List a few bullet points to inform users of the benefits they’ll get from your product, then provide a compelling offer that makes them want to make the jump.
Recommended Reading: How the Best SaaS Companies Write Upgrade Emails that Convert
NPS Survey Emails
Net Promoter Score surveys give you actionable feedback on how to improve your product, as well as a simple metric that calculates how positive (or negative) overall customer sentiment is towards your business.
Like product update emails, NPS survey emails are best sent on a consistent schedule. With a quarterly email, you’ll get valuable feedback without annoying your customers. You’ll also gain several data points for each customer, helping you track improvements in sentiment over time.
Recommended Reading: Net Promoter Score 101: The Ultimate Guide
Purchase Confirmation Emails
Transactional emails, which are sent after a purchase or specific event, are just as important for marketing purposes as reminders, trial upgrade emails, new product announcements and other traditional direct marketing messages.
While the goal of most marketing emails is persuasion, the key objective of a confirmation email is clarity. Once a customer purchases something from you, make sure your confirmation lists the purchase price, payment method, account information and other essential data.
This way, your customers will know that you’ve received their payment without issues and that the product or service they ordered — if it requires time to deliver — is on the way.
Recommended Reading: How to Make Your Confirmation Emails Not Suck
Has your software prepared a new monthly report? Has one of your customers reached a new milestone? Notification emails inform users and customers when something significant occurs, letting them decide whether or not to take action.
Notification emails might not seem significant, but they plan an important role in increasing user engagement and keeping users involved with your product. Send the right notification message at the right time and you’ll keep your product fresh in each user’s mind, improving retention.
Like purchase confirmation emails, notification emails should be simple and clear. List the key data that users should know about in the shortest possible message, with a link to click through to your application for more detailed information.
Recommended Reading: The Art of…the Notification Email
Subscription emails are similar to notification emails, but with a twist. Instead of wanting to bring users into your application or product, as you would with a notification, the goal of a subscription email is to guide users towards your best content.
When a user subscribes to your mailing list through your blog, make sure the email they receive links to your most popular, engaging or insightful blog posts. This is a great way to build a closer relationship with readers from the moment they opt in to receive your content.
You can also link to videos, guides and other informational content to keep engagement as high as possible for new subscribers.
Recommended Reading: 10 Tips for Great Welcome Emails
Lead Nurturing Emails
People subscribe to your email list for a reason: they’re interested in learning about your product or service. Lead nurturing emails are designed to take users from interested to motivated, giving them the information they need to make a decision and become a paying customer.
Most leads aren’t ready to buy from you straight away. Implementing a lead nurturing campaign gives you the opportunity to develop rapport and showcase your products and services without the traditional “hard sell” of a sales or landing page.
Recommended Reading: 10 Must-Try Lead Nurturing Campaigns for SaaS
Content Marketing Emails
Finally, every effective email marketer should be aware of the power of email to promote new content. Content marketing emails draw attention to your latest blog and video content, letting you drive traffic to your website and capture the attention of influencers in your industry.
Like product update emails, content marketing emails are most effective when they’re sent on an infrequent schedule. If you publish several pieces of content every week, try combining your notifications into a weekly digest with links to your top articles, posts, guides and videos.
If you publish content every now and then, such as a monthly guide or a long-form video, there’s less risk of annoying your users by sending an email notification whenever you release content.
Recommended Reading: How We Got 1,000+ Subscribers from a Single Blog Post in 24 Hours
Add NPS surveys to your email marketing process
From a retention perspective, NPS survey emails can be some of the most valuable messages you’ll ever send to your customers.
Retently lets you automate your Net Promoter Score process, helping you send email alerts to your customers, generate quantitative and qualitative feedback on your products and close the feedback loop in a convenient, user-friendly interface.