Resources Hub » Blog » The Best Types of Email for Every Type of Subscriber

Do you send a one-size-fits-all email to every subscriber? Are your customers responding in the way you hoped?

No matter what, email marketing success comes down to sending the right message to the appropriate group of people. You will benefit from segmenting your email list to cater to every type of subscriber, according to whatever stage of their customer journey they’re in.

Studies indicate that triggered campaigns generate 75% of email revenue compared to one-size-fits-all campaigns.

Using five different types of email, you can ensure you’re providing your subscribers with the content they need and when they need it. And when paired with automation, this is something you can easily implement.

Below, we’ll discuss these email types, how you can incorporate them into your campaigns, and how they’ll enhance your users’ journeys.

The 5 subscribers you should target

Tailoring your emails to each type of subscriber involves the use of behavioral marketing. This means you’ll collect information about your users’ interests before using this data to personalize your emails.

Here are the 5 best types of email you can employ based on your subscribers’ behaviors. These emails will provide them with more relevant content while also working to increase your customer retention rates at the same time.

1. The new email subscriber

The first (and perhaps most important!) email you’ll send to your subscribers is the welcome email. This is key to getting the conversation flowing, whether the customer is new to your brand or has just made their first purchase from you.

Customers who receive welcome emails are 33% more engaged on a long-term basis than those who don’t. This is primarily due to the fact that these customers have shown an interest in your brand and are, therefore, looking to hear more from you. Taking advantage of this engagement is imperative to getting your email campaigns off to a good start.

There are a number of different styles of welcome emails you may choose to send, including:

  • The thank-you email: You may choose to thank your subscribers for joining your mailing list, and give them some more information about what they can expect from your emails. This helps build trust and makes them feel valued.
  • The showcase email: If you want to try and drive more transactions from your welcome email, you may choose to showcase your brand. It needs to grab attention and really show off why you stand out from the crowd. This is great if you know your subscribers are keen to see the benefits of adding themselves to your mailing list.
  • The offer: This email incentivizes your customers to make a purchase from you. You’ve already got their attention (They’ve just signed up to hear more!), so now’s the perfect time to try and convert them into a customer. Coupon codes help make them feel valued and are incredibly enticing.

Suiteness - you're a travel hero!

Image Source: Really Good Emails

The type of email you send will depend on your subscribers and the kind of information they’re looking for. You can establish this with some simple A/B testing. Tweaking each campaign will enable you to maximize the impact of your emails so you’re giving your new subscribers exactly what they want.

2. The inactive subscriber

It’s important not to segment all your inactive subscribers into one group, as there are three different types of inactivity—initial, partial, and complete inactivity.

Initially inactive subscribers:

This is a subscriber who hasn’t continued with the onboarding process or hasn’t filled out their email preference profile. Here, it’s important to try to build this momentum back up, because, if you lose it, it’ll be hard to pick it back up.

You’ve piqued the subscriber’s interest enough to get them to sign up, so now you need to try to move your brand back to the forefront of their mind.

Email’s an effective way to do this.

Send a gentle reminder that encourages your subscriber to take the next step in their customer journey. For example, this email from Rdio reminds subscribers to complete their account registration.

Rdio reminds subscribers to complete their account registration.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Partially Inactive Subscribers:

These are subscribers who aren’t enjoying the full potential of your brand. For example, they may only be using a single area of your services or might not have downloaded the app that goes with your website.

To get them fully engaged, you may want to send an email that showcases what else they can enjoy from you. This email from Asana shows users all of the different ways the tool fits in with their work.

Asana shows users all of the different ways the tool fits in with their work.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Completely Inactive Subscribers:

If a subscriber isn’t engaging with you at all, what have you got to lose in trying to win them back?

Try once more to remind these subscribers exactly why they signed up to your mailing list. You might want to go all out with your email design, really putting your heart and soul into it to show subscribers exactly what they’re missing.

For example, this email from Teespring reminds this user exactly how successful their campaigns have been with them.

Teespring reminds this user exactly how successful their campaigns have been with them

Image Source: Really Good Emails

3. The transactional subscriber

This is an often-overlooked email when it comes to boosting engagement. Notifications, invoices, order confirmations, reports, and so on simply feature basic information—they aren’t seen as a potential marketing strategy.

However, when someone signs up to receive your emails, they also expect to receive transactional emails. These emails are prime engagement emails for your website because you’ve got their undivided attention.

Transaction emails have 8 times the open rate of promotional emails.

Consider how you can add an engaging feature and call-to-action to these transactional emails. Take this email from Huckberry, for example. It confirms the user’s order but also encourages them to share their purchase to earn credit. And it shows them other relevant trending products that they may like.

Huckberry shows other relevant trending products that customers may like.

Image Source: Pinterest

Furthermore, these triggered emails help ensure your customers are receiving the best user experience. And you can put them to good use when getting to know your customer base.

Look at how they’re interacting with your products or services. Then, tweak your campaigns so they’re even more relevant and engaging.

4. The active subscriber

Alongside customers who are purchasing from you, you may have some who are still active and using your services. It’s important to prevent these from becoming inactive by sending life cycle emails.

As we saw with the inactive subscriber, encouraging engagement gives value to your emails and your customers. It also helps continue the momentum you’ve started with your welcome and transactional emails.

Some examples of the types of emails you could send include milestone emails, browsing history emails, and personalized recommendations.

First, you can trigger a milestone email when the user engages in a particular way with your site. This encourages repeat behavior.

This email from Premier Agent congratulates users on their 50th review, encouraging them to get more.

Premier Agent congratulates users on their 50th review, encouraging them to get more.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Second, a browsing history email puts that data you’ve been gathering about your subscribers to good use. So, when a customer browses a particular category on your site, they may receive an email that’s relevant to this recent search. Like a salesperson in a store may ask if you need help when you’re looking at something, this email helps you do exactly the same.

This email from Ralph Lauren is a great example of this.

Ralp Lauren sends emails relevant to users recent search

Image Source: Pinterest

Finally, personalized recommendations also use the data you’ve collected in order to send relevant content to your subscribers. This may be based on a previous purchase, download, or inquiry.

Alvor email based on a previous purchase, download, or inquiry.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

All of these emails help keep your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds. They also make them feel valued because the content they’re receiving is entirely relevant to them.

5. The loyal subscriber

The final set of subscribers might not be buying from you and they might not be interacting with your site. However, they may be opening your emails and reading them. You need to reward this behavior and try to get them to convert into a sale.

Make these subscribers feel special by offering them a VIP special. This also helps build brand loyalty because you promised such perks when they signed up to your emails, and now they know you’re true to your word.

On a regular (but occasional, i.e. monthly) basis, send them exclusive offers. This could be a discount, free sample, download, webinar, podcast, course—the possibilities are endless. Just make sure you are being strategic in your approach. Make subscribers feel as though this really is a one-time offer that’s not available to everyone.

This email from Flywheel is particularly clever.  It not only makes recipients feel special but also educates them about why they need Flywheel’s services.

Flywheel makes recipients feel special but also educates them about why they need Flywheel’s services.

Image Source: Really Good Emails

You could also opt to try and find out exactly what these customers are looking for. You can do this by sending out surveys. Just make sure it’s easy for them to fill in their feedback, and perhaps unite this with the VIP offer to entice them into performing this action.

Wrap up

Any effective customer retention strategy includes emails that continually encourage customers to take the next step with your brand.

Covering all of these different subscribers with these types of email helps ensure you aren’t losing anyone along the way. You’ll create customer loyalty which is key to generating more business and sales.

For more ideas on how to personalize your emails to perfection, check out our handy marketing personalization checklist.

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This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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