16 Types of Email Campaigns for Your Business Strategy

Types of email campaigns typing on a laptop

This article will present and explain 16 different types of email campaigns you can use in your daily email marketing.

With an exceptionally high ROI, email marketing is an intelligent way of selling products. This powerful channel offers a variety of promotion models distributed in different types of email campaigns. And while many marketers understand the basics of creating an email campaign, they often face the challenge of finding the correct method to maintain, nurture, and expand their email list. 

You may wonder how to kick off a campaign, what kind of follow-up email you should send, or how to retain customers. When it comes to high-volume email senders, these questions get more complicated because they may need to send several email campaign types simultaneously. The solution comes in knowing what types of email marketing campaigns exist and how they can benefit your organization. 

To help marketers, we’ve identified the most common questions and created a list of 16 different types of email marketing campaigns you want to include in your strategy. But before you start crafting your first email campaign, you should know what an email campaign represents, learn the 5 “Ts” of email marketing and master the four primary types of email. 

What is an email campaign?

An email campaign represents a series of emails sent to multiple recipients at the same time. It serves to raise brand awareness, share news, sell products, engage new businesses, or ask for donations. Email campaigns’ most significant benefits are loyalty and lasting relationships you can build with your customers, which helps increase revenue. 

Email campaigns can be:

  1. Automated,
  2. Manual.

Automated email campaigns

This type of email campaign represents a sequence of emails initiated by a series of triggers. They are customer journey guides composed of personalized, targeted email messages to drive the leads through the sales funnel. Abandoned cart emails are an excellent example of an automated email campaign. 

Manual email campaigns 

These campaigns represent emails you send your audience manually, one at a time. While they can target specific demographics, the emails usually differ from one another and are hard to automate. A newsletter would be a great example of a manual email campaign. 

What are the 5 “Ts” of email marketing? 

The 5 “Ts” of email marketing are crucial checkpoints in creating any type of email campaign. They can help significantly improve the campaign results. 

The “Ts” are:

  1. Tease: use a clever subject line that will leave your audience wanting to know more;
  2. Targeting: always tailor your messaging to your target audience; 
  3. Testing: A/B testing will help you achieve better results;
  4. Timing: be smart about timing your email sequence because timing is everything;
  5. Technology: optimize, automate, and measure your campaign engagement using the right software.

By following these principles, you can edit and adjust your email campaign to the precise demographic, and by choosing the right email automation technology, you can easily set it up and track (hey, another T!) its performance, even when facing a high-volume audience. 

Effective Types of Email Campaigns You Should Send

All email campaigns will use only four types of emails: newsletter-style sendspromotional emailstransactional emails, and retention (behavioral) emails. Still, each campaign should be designed with a specific intent and purpose and defined by its goal. Engagement expectations can be different when you’re sending an email blast promoting an event and when you want to reach out to an old customer, and the messaging has to correspond to the primary campaign requirements. That is why we have many email marketing campaign types in circulation today.

So, here is a list of 16 types of email campaigns you should start using today!

Automatic Confirmation Emails 

An automatic confirmation email should be one of the first email campaigns to set up concerning new subscriptions. As its name suggests, this type of transactional email message serves your subscribers to confirm their subscription or inform them that a purchase went through. 

Creating an automatic confirmation email campaign, you should mind the following:

  • Subject: The subject line is clear about the nature of the email;
  • Clarity: The information your customer wants is immediately visible when they open the email;
  • Relevance: If you’re confirming an order, ensure all the relevant information is in the message.

There is no need to complicate things – a simple “confirmation email” or “your order is on its way” message will do the job.

Welcome Email Messages

Your first subscription confirmation email should precede a welcome email or – a welcome email series. It’s a polite way to open communication with your new lead, and by providing more information about your business or product, you can learn more about them. Be bold, use casual language, and add a personal touch. 

In a single email or a series of 2-3 messages, you can include:

  • A thank you note: Thank the subscriber for joining your list;
  • Brand info: Present more detailed information about your brand;
  • Relatable questions: Ask to learn more about them;
  • CTAs: Invite them to follow you on social media;
  • Giveaways: Give them a small gift, for example, a discount coupon or a longer free trial.

Wait to push hard for the sales. First, you should start your customer relationship and build a good foundation for future business. Remember, this is your unique chance to make an excellent first impression, and you should make the most of it. 

Dedicated Emails 

Or “standalone emails” are dedicated to your business’s specific offers. Although a series of one-offer-related emails is possible, this type of message can’t be automated or resent without updates. For example, you can send dedicated emails to a group of customers based on their interests and behavior, which means that by the time you decide to use this email marketing campaign type, you should know who your subscribers are and conduct a clever email list segmentation. 

To build a successful dedicated email, you should have the following:

  • Powerful Call-To-Action: CTA should be in focus, clear, and specific, allowing you to track the campaign clicks more easily;
  • Visually-grabbing template: You should create separate templates for events, new products, discounts, and similar promotions because this can make dedicated email campaigns relatively easy to build;
  • Be short and sweet: Invite your audience and guide them to that click button in a straightforward manner.

You can promote an industry event by inviting only your top subscribers through dedicated emails. Or you can launch a product by targeting those customers who have already bought something similar from your website. You should see good results if you get all the elements and the targeting right. 

Abandoned Cart Email Campaigns

An abandoned cart email campaign sits at the core of your sales. It is one of the most critical email series you will set up and send because it directly affects your revenue. You can set it up as an automated campaign triggered by customers’ actions. In this instance – a customer fills up a shopping cart without completing the purchase. Open rates and conversions in abandoned cart emails are usually higher than in other campaigns, but creating a successful sequence is a little more tricky. 

Ultimately, you want your customers to buy. But to successfully guide them to finish the checkout process, you must be sensitive to their intent. What if they used your cart only to mark the products they liked? What if they changed their mind about this purchase but would return later? You can’t know this, but you can send a series of gentle reminders presuming they forgot to check out. 

To craft a mindful cart abandonment campaign, consider the following:

  • Be kind: These are YOUR customers, the bottom funnel. They might be exploring options or products but are interested in your offer. Instead of bluntly pushing, gently guide them to click on that ‘complete purchase’ button; 
  • Don’t be annoying: Send a sequence of 2-3 reminder emails, carefully timed. If you send all of them in minutes or even hours – you may annoy the buyer out of the purchase. It’s better to time them wisely – one in a couple of hours, another in a couple of days, and the last a couple of days later.
  • Create a sense of scarcity: Mention that the selected item is running out of stock or that the time they can keep it in the cart is limited to speed up the process;
  • Incentivize: Offer one final discount for the purchase or a discount on their next purchase;
  • Allow them to come back later: If they give up, offer to send a reminder when you restock;
  • Personalize: Focus on purpose and meaning. It’s your last chance to show how your product will help your lead make their life easier and more successful. Be funny and friendly;
  • Be original: Every email in the series should be unique and as personalized as possible.

Be sure to see the difference between cart and checkout abandonment because the open rates for cart abandonment are higher than others. In contrast, you can handle checkout abandonment in a similar but separate reminder email sequence.

Re-Engagement Campaigns

All of us ghosted a newsletter at some point, right? Long email lists often have inactive subscribers, which is normal – people change active email addresses, jobs, companies, etc. Re-engagement email campaigns aim to reconnect with them and inspire them to stay in touch.

For example, if a subscriber hasn’t opened your email in 6 months or more, you can use a re-engagement campaign to find out if they can be involved again. If the answer is no – remove them from your list. That is part of a regular email list hygiene that affects the deliverability rate – and a crucial chore for the sender. Remember that it’s five times cheaper to transform an inactive subscriber into a customer than to engage a new one, so be sure to know your contact is no longer interested. 

You can use some of the following tactics:

  • Promote: Send a brand reminder with a special promotion;
  • Converse: Ask for feedback about your products;
  • Announce: Notify of a special event;
  • Cleanse: If they don’t engage – remove them from the list.

You want your reputation with the ISPs to remain stellar, and regular re-engagement campaigns make part of maintaining good email marketing practices: you will either regain a customer or improve your ratings. It’s a win-win situation!

Standard Promotional Campaigns

The standard promotional email campaign is just that – a typical email campaign. All of us receive many of these emails over time, and they serve to promote products. 

Although necessary to spread the word about new features, promotional emails are usually less fun. They take longer to conceptualize than other email campaign types and have lower CTRs. People are used to them and even bored with them. Remember that if you want to catch a subscriber’s attention, you must create something special – an engaging message and appealing visuals, depending on your product. 

Your potential customers may enjoy the following:

  • Jokes,
  • Emotional triggers,
  • Hooks and countdowns,
  • Pop-culture references,
  • Special deals, 
  • Coupons and discounts,
  • And most of all – freebies!

Make sure to keep the CTAs on point and craft short-n-sweet emails. Nobody wants to read a novel, but a small gift can go a long way. 

After-Purchase Drip Email Campaigns

Smart marketers know the cycle is ongoing even once the purchase goes through. That is where drip email campaigns come in, as they serve to follow up on a purchase. 

Drip campaigns are a part of your customer care and establish trust and loyalty. That means that your after-purchase email shouldn’t push for a new sale but follow up with advice on how best to use your product and even give more value in support or resources. At this point, you want your customer to feel good about buying from you, and you can achieve that by adding value to your sales.

To create a successful after-purchase email drip sequence, you should:

  • Use purchase as a trigger,
  • Set up a sensibly timed sequence,
  • Send personalized messages,
  • Offer added value,
  • Ask for feedback,
  • Ask for a public review if the feedback is positive.

Post-purchase drip campaigns‘ ultimate goal is to keep a paying customer and to nurture the relationship between them and the brand.

Lead Nurturing Emails

By nature promotional, a lead nurturing campaign represents a series of closely connected, highly targeted, practical, and personalized emails that target a specific group of contacts. To define such a group, you must determine your buyer persona and understand their behavior, needs, and wants. Then, it all comes down to triggers and timing. 

For example, when you notice someone is engaging with your email content regularly but doesn’t ever make a purchase, you may send an incentive and inspire them to do so. 

To do that, you could:

  • Identify a specific group of people interested in a single topic;
  • Follow up with them with more information and material on the topic;
  • When you can, offer more value for free, such as marketing tips, interesting articles, webinars, eBooks, or discounts;
  • Keep them engaged until they convert.

Proper email list segmentation is the key to crafting a successful lead-nurturing campaign. If you understand your audience, you will know exactly what to offer and in what order. If you lose your leads from sight, they will eventually unsubscribe or disengage. Get your targeting right and your values in order, keep track of the campaign, and lead nurturing has a great chance to move those potential customers through the funnel over time. 

Seasonal Email Campaigns

There are four seasons in a year and many holidays in each one. And when it comes to holidays, what do people like to do the most? Shop, of course!

A seasonal email campaign is a series of emails promoting products strategically marketed during a particular season. All the major – and minor – holidays have people who celebrate them and may be interested in your product. It’s your job to take the opportunity and market it right – via email! Even though seasonal campaigns are primarily used in retail (holiday sales account for 20% of all retail sales, according to the US National Retail Federation), there is no reason why a software-based or service-based business cannot use them. 

These are crucial elements of a successful seasonal campaign:

  • The Know: You must know the holidays of the area or country you’re selling to. That will help your list segmentation but also create opportunities for you instead of errors;
  • The Hype: Create hype before the main event by announcing it early;
  • The Countdown: This is part of the hype and serves to remind your potential customers of the big sale event you’re preparing;
  • The Theme: Seasonal campaigns are visual campaigns, so be sure to use the appropriate color palette and optics;
  • The Sale: Give discounts, and offer deals. Generously. 
  • Urgency: Create a sense of urgency by limiting the duration of the sale or stating that you have limited stocks. 

While these campaigns must be colorful and fun, the messaging should be clear, direct, tagline-rich, and the offers appealing. Using casual messaging, humor, cheer, and emotions are encouraged, although in moderation. 

Triggered Email Campaigns

Triggered email campaigns are a subcategory of automated email campaigns, and they come into action when a contact engages in a specific way. 

For example, a subscriber may read the links you share in a newsletter, download an eBook, or even fill up a shopping cart and leave. Any of these actions can trigger a unique campaign explicitly meant for that potential customer. 

Triggered campaigns are targeted and diverse: abandoned cart emails, reminders of all sorts, thank-yous, and personal greetings all fall under this category. 

Announcement Emails

Yes, this would be a promotional email, but serving only to announce the news to a broad audience. You can announce anything new: new content, fresh product, webinars, upcoming sales, special events, and company updates. Announcement campaigns can be just a single email or a short series of up to 3 messages. 

Announcements should:

  • Promote one single offer or event, 
  • Boil down to one Call-to-action.

Your copy should be brief with value clearly stated, targeting as large an audience as possible. 

The Newsletter

How many newsletters do you get? Many people get a lot because businesses, organizations, entrepreneurs, or entities use this type of promotion to engage with their contacts. 

Imagined as periodical content-rich messages, newsletters are hardly a “campaign.” They inform subscribers of your company’s latest news and happenings, offering your star products or content to a broad audience. Newsletters are the second most widely used type of email after promotional emails. 

Your loyal contacts are the most likely to open your message because they already enjoy your content. However, you have to keep it fresh and engaging, which makes it impossible to automate, even though some segmentation is possible. Still, the newsletter can serve as a trigger for other email campaign types. 

Type of content your newsletter subscribers appreciate:

  • Behind the scenes: Inside stories from your organization are a great chance to open up to people;
  • Special offers: Any reason will do;
  • Learnings: Facts, stats, and news about your organization;
  • Unique insights: Blog, product previews, and never-seen-before content can make your readers feel special.

The good thing about newsletters is that they let you get creative, as you can share text, images, and videos wrapped up in a beautiful design of your choice. Use newsletters to nurture customer relationships, drive traffic to certain pages, thoughtfully promote your product and monitor click-through rates closely. Brand awareness should be your goal; always mind the value you need to deliver. Otherwise, your newsletter will only clog people’s inboxes. And you want them to click

Event Invitations

Say you’re hosting a company event and want to invite many people to attend. Email has been the perfect instrument for such event campaigning for years. 

The event email campaign should be highly targeted and carefully crafted to include the following:

  • Event description,
  • Event agenda,
  • Cost of participation, if there is any,
  • CTA to RSVP.

The copy should be short; you can go wild with visuals if you include all the crucial information. And always ask the subscriber to RSVP. That is how you will monitor your campaign and your event’s success. 

Co-marketing Emails

If you partnered with another company to produce a product or an event, you must craft a co-marketing email campaign. When two or more collaborating companies work together, it’s a good idea to do joint promotion, benefiting both. 

In essence, you will create a promotional email with two (or more) brands in mind. So, focus on the mutual product. Combined audiences should enable better reach and more new leads, as you will gain exposure to your partner’s email list

Vital elements of co-marketing emails are:

  • Product: Explain what it is you do together clearly; 
  • Nature of partnership: Clarify who is doing what in the partnership;
  • Agenda: If there is a time sensitivity to your joint work, state it;
  • CTA: Ask people to participate, purchase, and follow your partner. 

You and your partnering company should create co-marketing campaigns to balance both joint vision and exposure. 

Social Email Campaigns

They connect your email marketing and social media channels through cross-promotion, invitations, and engagement. Because they are essentially cross-platform, you can’t rely on visuals, and copy must stay in focus. Before blasting a social email campaign, think about the customer journey and your social media goal. 

Most of the social campaigns are:

  1. Social media sends,
  2. Connect-via-social emails.

Social media sends

This type of email is sent from your social media profile directly into your follower’s inbox. For example, if you’re crafting a mass message on LinkedIn Groups, you should know that this platform has direct access to the members’ inboxes and that they will get a notification when you broadcast. 

That is your unique opportunity to expand your following and add more subscribers to your mailing list. 

Connect-Via-Social Campaign

The journey in this type of campaign is slightly different, somewhat backward, than in a social send. Connect-via-social is a campaign in which you invite your subscribers to follow you on social media to share or pin your content, thus promoting your product further as your follower base grows. 

Visually, this campaign has more freedom, but the copy should be clear and CTAs on point. You must have functional links to your social channels and have a hashtag ready. Finally, you can integrate this type of campaign with your newsletter or an announcement to make the most out of both.

Survey Emails

A method of data collection, survey emails will allow you to get feedback and quantify the information you get from your audience. You can interview your customers and leads to learn about their intentions and behavior, for example – what’s stopping them from buying. 

Surveys provide a way to control the visibility of negative feedback while you can still benefit from honest insights. 

Motivating subscribers to fill out a form or write feedback takes work. You can help them by offering freebies, discounts, or other goodies proportionate to the amount of time they are required to spend. Try not to send overly detailed and long forms, and thank them for participating in yet another email. 

Survey emails help you build credibility, nurture customer relationships and gain precious insights you can use to improve further and develop your product. 

Benefits of email marketing campaigns

Due to its high ROI, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective promotion channels. It allows senders to constantly contact their audience, learn more about them, and create personalized content that performs. 

We have explored various types of email campaigns, and it’s essential to highlight the benefits of incorporating email marketing into your overall marketing strategy:

  1. Increased brand awareness,
  2. Increased number of leads,
  3. Improved sales,
  4. Better customer retention,
  5. Time-saving,
  6. Measurability,
  7. Excellent results,
  8. More website traffic,
  9. More followers on social media,
  10. Smooth data collection.

Whether you are a small business or a high-volume sender, you could benefit significantly from building a new or have an existing email list and employing different types of email campaigns. 

How to Get Your Email Marketing Campaigns into People’s Primary Inboxes

We’ve shared 16 types of email campaigns you will ever need. Still, neither your product’s originality and quality nor the creative genius of your email campaign will bring any results if people don’t open your emails. Open rate lies at the foundation of email marketing, driving metrics and conversions. 

But how do you get people to see your fantastic emails if they constantly end up in Spam or, worse, blocked?

Fanfare, please! Enter Campaign Refinery – here to help! 

After years of experimenting with email delivery and sending millions of emails every month, we’ve figured out how to make the most of your email list and dramatically improve deliverability. 

And we’re happy to share this knowledge with you, free of charge!

If you want your email marketing results to soar and you’re either new on the market or need a bit of reputation rehab, we invite you to drink from our fountain of knowledge called “The Inbox Formula“!

The Inbox Formula” is a comprehensive email marketing guide of proven email practices, with concrete insights into the industry secrets from our expert email delivery team processing extremely high volumes of messages daily. 

Interested? 🙂

Get the “Inbox Formula” here: click to download.

We hope our guide will get you where you and your business need to be, and we wish you happy emailing!

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