Mastering Different Types of Email Marketing For Higher Conversions

types of email marketing cover image with a stack of books on the side

Email marketing is an effective mode of digital communication for businesses, but it can become complicated as a strategic art form. 

Imagine having to eat porridge for breakfast every day. Boring, right?

That’s probably how subscribers would feel if they kept receiving identical emails from you. Tailoring each email to suit your audience segments is not easy, especially if you’re not aware of the different types of email marketing and email campaigns.

Which is exactly what we’ll learn in this comprehensive guide. 

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a direct communication channel between a business and its customers or potential clients. You can choose to send a marketing newsletter, a promotional offer, or simply a message to your subscribers. 

Yet, not all types of email communication are the same. There are different email categories, each with a distinct purpose and tone. 

At its core, email marketing can be divided into two streams and each of them contains various email campaigns. Let’s unpack this further. 

The Two Main Types of Email Marketing

There are two main ways to categorize email marketing:

  1. Inbound email marketing, 
  2. Outbound email marketing.

Here’s a breakdown of those approaches.

Category PurposePermissionGoal
Inbound email marketing Communication with subscribers who have opted-in to receive your emailsPermission-basedNurture leads, drive engagement, and ultimately conversions
Outbound email marketingCommunication sent to people who haven’t opted-in to your email list (Cold emails)Not permission-basedCold sales pitches
Types of email marketing

Let’s review each of these types in detail below.

Inbound Email Marketing

Inbound email marketing is a strategy for sending targeted emails to people who have already shown interest in your company. They have opted-in to receive regular communication regarding brand updates or promotions.

These people could subscribe to your email newsletter, sign up for a webinar, or download a resource to show explicit interest in your brand. Inbound email marketing heavily relies on organic customer interest, which means, unlike in advertisements or direct mail, you don’t usually pay to generate signups.

Inbound marketing emails typically provide valuable content such as industry insights, helpful tips, or exclusive promotions.

Outbound Email Marketing

Outbound email marketing refers to sending emails to a larger audience outside of your email list. Often known as “cold emailing”, outbound marketing can be less effective due to lower open rates and the potential for higher spam complaints. Common examples of outbound marketing are cold emails or unsolicited promotional offers.

Note: Campaign Refinery has a strict process of removing user accounts that do cold emailing or have bad email marketing practices. Our platform is a pool of responsible and safe senders with clean email lists and good sending practices.

With inbound email marketing, you can design many types of email marketing campaigns to nurture subscribers.

What Are Email Marketing Campaigns?

An email marketing campaign is a series of emails sent to a group with a specific goal, such as a product promotion, event invite, or a nurture email.

To solve audience pain points and personalize email campaigns, you need to master the email customer journey. More importantly, you must know the different email campaign types to figure out when and how to send relevant emails.

If you’re just starting out, you may feel forced to embrace outbound email campaign strategies since you don’t already have an email list. While it sounds like the easiest approach, sending unsolicited emails can alert ISPs of spammy content. This practice can potentially damage your sender reputation and email deliverability eventually.

Build a quality email list first. This gives you complete ownership over valuable customer data, which you might not find in social media platforms or ad campaigns. Your email list is an opportunity to collect data, tailor email campaigns, acquire new customers, and retain existing ones.

If your end goal is more sales, you can send promotional messages with discounts and deals. To demonstrate your business experience and build a loyal following, send informational email campaigns with educational content.

Some marketers prefer a mix of both to achieve better brand credibility and higher revenue.

The Basic Email Marketing Classification 

Complex as is, email marketing poses a classification challenge. We must look at it through email campaigns and they are usually classified into informational and promotional. Choosing a campaign type will depend on your goals and subscriber preferences.

The table below breaks down the basic classification of email marketing and its campaigns.

Category PurposePermissionContent
Informational email campaignsEmails focused on providing valuable information to recipients without containing promotionsPermission-based (Maybe part of an inbound email marketing strategy)Webinar invitations, blog content digests, industry news updates
Promotional email campaigns Emails sent to promote a product or service directlyPermission-based (Maybe part of an inbound and outbound email marketing strategy)Discount codes, flash sales, new product announcements
Email marketing campaign classification

Informational Email Campaigns

Informational email campaigns provide value without focusing on the sole promotion of a product or service. One value-driven email is all it takes to turn a prospect into a paying customer. People likely receive tons of promotional offers every day which can lead to email fatigue. When they notice an email that solves their pain points, they eventually become your brand advocates. 

The following are a few examples of informational emails:

  • Email newsletters,
  • Educational resources,
  • Industry updates,
  • Brand stories, 
  • Thought-leadership pieces,
  • Event invitations.

Promotional Email Campaigns

This type of email campaign aims to drive conversions by promoting a product or a service. It usually contains a CTA and uses persuasive language to make the recipients take the desired action.

Promotional emails can be one of the following:

  • Abandoned cart recovery emails,
  • Flash sales,
  • New product announcements,
  • Email coupons as part of promotional email strategies.

Sometimes, these categories can overlap. For example, a welcome email can provide valuable information and contain a discount code. It’s important to strike the right balance and tailor the email content as per the campaign goals.

Inbound Email Marketing Campaigns: An Overview 

In case you already own a permission-based email list, you can start sending proper campaigns right away. But the real question is: what should you write in these emails? 

Here’s an all-inclusive look at the campaigns you can send out.

S.NoType of Campaign Type of Email MarketingCharacteristics
1Welcome email seriesInbound marketingAutomated emails sent to new subscribers to introduce your brand and build relationship
2Promotional offersInbound and outbound marketing Emails with discounts, coupons, and deals to encourage purchases
3NewslettersInbound marketing Regular email updates sent to subscribers with curated content, industry news, etc
4Abandoned cart emails Inbound marketing Reminders sent to users who left items in the shopping carts to complete the purchase
5Re-engagement emailsInbound marketingCampaigns targeting inactive subscribers to rekindle their interest and encourage engagement
6Transactional emailsInbound marketingEmail updates sent to recipients based on their action such as order updates, account verification, password reset, etc
7Event invitationsInbound and outbound marketing Invites sent to recipients to encourage participation in webinar, business events, or brand events
8Announcement emailsInbound marketingEmails that showcase recent product release or brand updates and are sent to all subscribers
9Onboarding emailsInbound marketingA single email or a series of emails that introduces the brand and guides customers towards the next steps
Types of inbound email campaigns

We will be covering a gist of the major types of inbound email marketing campaigns. We have detailed guides on each campaign type in the links.

Types of Inbound Email Marketing Campaigns 

Inbound email marketing campaigns can majorly be classified into the following 5 types.

1. Welcome Email Campaign

A welcome email campaign introduces your brand values and mission to new subscribers. They show what subscribers can expect with future emails, including frequency of newsletters and type of email content.

MailCharts Welcome Campaign Example
MailCharts Welcome Campaign Example

2. Promotional Email Campaign

If your main focus is increasing sales, promotional emails are the right approach. These emails usually highlight the benefits of using a particular product or service and contain deals, coupons, and discounts to encourage purchases. 

Modernica Promotional Email Example
Modernica Promotional Email Example

3. Email Newsletters

Think of an email marketing newsletter as a curator’s exhibit at a museum — it brings together a collection of interesting and informative pieces based on your subscriber interests. Sending periodic newsletters helps keep your brand top of mind with subscribers.

Sauna House Newsletter Example
Sauna House Newsletter Example

4. Abandoned Cart Email Campaigns

Cart abandonment emails are reminders to get subscribers to complete a purchase. Maybe they added their favorite items to the cart and got distracted midway. It’s a golden opportunity to re-ignite interest and give them additional discounts and deals for the sale.

Rudy's Barbershop Abandoned Cart Email Example
Rudy’s Barbershop Abandoned Cart Email Example

5. Onboarding Email Campaigns

Sending an onboarding email is like welcoming a new guest to a party — introduce your brand and make them feel comfortable. The email content must explain your brand values, highlight important features, and show ways to get customers started.

Readdle Onboarding Email
Readdle Onboarding Email

The above email campaign types make up a large part of email marketing and can be majorly categorized into informational and promotional content. Of course, other small-scale emails, such as surveys and milestones, are sent manually based on the requirements.

Types of Outbound Emails

Outbound emails are less diverse than inbound emails. They help you connect with potential customers who have not opted-in to your email list. 

Cold Emails

Cold emails are introductory messages sent to potential customers who have never heard of your brand before. The goal is to grab their attention, increase interest, and, ultimately, convert them. 

These emails do not rely on aesthetic designs but work on strong email copywriting techniques. Cold emails, because of their unsolicited nature, require some level of personalization to be effective. 

Successful cold emails follow a pattern similar to this:

  • Show that you know the recipient and start with an honest appreciation.
  • Immediately introduce your proposal or reason for getting in touch.
  • Show them the proof for your claims.
  • Link to internal resources or company profiles such as social media handles.

Most cold emails don’t receive a response, and even if they do, you might need to send repeated follow-up emails to close the deal. 

Follow-up Emails

If you’re lucky enough to receive a response, you probably won’t need to follow up with your prospects. However, the likelihood of receiving a response on the first attempt is low. 

You may need to send follow-up emails recapping your prior interaction and offering prospects additional reasons to connect with your business. There’s no definitive number of follow-up emails you need, but sending 2 to 3 messages is optimal. 

Sending unsolicited emails can have hidden risks such as spam, reputation damage, and security threats. You must be careful who you send these emails to and ensure you follow email marketing regulations.

At Campaign Refinery, we don’t encourage or allow the practice of sending outbound emails. We are all about clean email lists with opted-in contacts and good email-sending practices.

Whether it’s an abandoned cart email or a sales email, you must send them on time to maximize reach and engagement. Let’s examine the two ways you can send email campaigns.

How to Send Email Marketing Campaigns

Regardless of the type of email campaign, sending them on time is critical to maintaining subscriber trust. You can manually schedule each email, which could take a few hours. Or you could use a reliable email service provider to automate them.

‘Manual’ and ‘automated’ terms have different meanings in email marketing. It’s important to understand how to send emails effectively to maximize their impact.

Let’s take a closer look.

Sending Messages on Time: Manual vs. Automated Email Campaigns

The flexibility of email marketing allows you to create and send email campaigns using two distinct methods: 

  1. Manual mode,
  2. Automated mode.

Manual Email Campaigns

While manual in ordinary terms means “worked by the hand”, it has a different connotation in email marketing. Manual email campaigns are not triggered by a user’s actions but are scheduled manually to a segment or list.

It’s when you send emails to your audience based on specific circumstances instead of a trigger action by the subscribers, such as time-sensitive promotions, announcement emails, or event invites.

Automated Email Campaigns

Automated email campaigns are triggered by subscriber actions such as signing up to your email list or purchasing a product. In essence, they cannot be sent manually, and you are required to use an automation platform to deliver them on time after a trigger action.

Despite their use cases, both manual and automated email campaigns have their bit of flaws.

Here’s a table illustrating their pros and cons.

AspectManual CampaignsAutomated Campaigns
Benefits ‣ Customization,
‣ Flexibility,
‣ Brand consistency.
‣ Ease of use,
‣ Automation features,
‣ Scalability,
‣ Analytics and reporting.
Limitations ‣ Time-consuming,
‣ Requires technical skills,
‣ Scalability issues.
‣ Limited customization,
‣ Cost,
‣ Platform dependence.
Manual vs. Automated campaigns

If you’re a solo creator or a freelancer with a small email list, you could afford to send emails manually. However, if you run a large business and want to reach more recipients on time, automation is the best road to take.

At this juncture, it’s critical to use a reliable ESP. Let’s review the reasons.

Why Work With an Email Service Provider?

A good ESP helps you segment your audience, maintain clean email lists, and automate campaigns for better conversion rates. As you start sending emails at the right time and intervals, your sender reputation score naturally increases, leading to better email deliverability. 

In rare situations, you may notice a slump in the inbox placement rates even after following proper email-sending methods.

This is where Campaign Refinery can help you increase email deliverability rates to achieve better email marketing results. As soon as they join us, our clients notice a 600% increase in inbox placement rates.

Send Any Type of Email Campaign With Campaign Refinery 

Campaign Refinery equips you with the right email marketing tool sets to make the most of your email campaigns. It acts as your email marketing guardian to help you avoid common mistakes and increase the impact of email campaigns.

Campaign Refinery enhances and protects your email marketing campaigns using:

  1. Spam filter checker: The platform analyzes all email campaigns for spam-triggers, ensuring your valuable content reaches the audience.
  2. Smart segmentation and targeting: With smart goal triggers and a tag system, you can have as many segments as you need. This also helps you hyper-personalize emails for increased engagement.
  3. Pre-built campaign templates: Not sure where to start? Pick from dozens of pre-built email campaign templates and customize them as you go.
  4. Drag-and-drop editor: No coding experience? No worries! Campaign Refinery has a WYSIWYG email editor with simple drag-and-drop options.
  5. Automation tools: Build powerful automation workflows to engage the right subscribers at the right time. 
  6. Detailed analytics: Compare email campaign metrics from the past to refine your future campaigns, with a single-view dashboard.

Campaign Refinery is a comprehensive email marketing solution with the highest email deliverability on the market. While all other email elements are important, your subscribers cannot act if they never receive your emails. That’s why we prioritize inbox placement to ensure your marketing campaigns reach the right people.

Get Your Email Marketing Campaigns Delivered to Inboxes

A high email deliverability rate is proof that your campaigns are gaining traction. As a provider of the highest email deliverability rate on the market, we have helped many clients surpass their revenue targets.

Cale Own Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
Troy Ericson Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial
Campaign Refinery Client Testimonial

Maximize email marketing results and become a top sender — apply as a client and access premium email marketing tools for higher conversions!

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