Do less, but do it best.

Email marketing can be overwhelming when you first start out because there are so many types of emails you could be sending. Promotional? Transactional? Curated newsletters?

In fact, we compiled a list of the most common types of emails that often form the cornerstone of small businesses’ email marketing strategy:

Welcome email Message from the founder Year in review VIP or loyalty
Testimonial email Product announcement Email newsletter Re-engagement or win-back
Survey email Renewal email Promotional email Tips and training
Birthday email Reminder email Transactional emails Product recommendation

And these are just the main types of emails. There are plenty of other emails out there and all of them have a place within a digital marketing strategy.

So how do you decide which ones are right for your goals and your brand?


Don’t try to do it all.

First, a warning: Trying to do too much at one time is a mistake. You’ll spend way too much time and money trying to craft, send, and maintain this many emails, only to see a weak ROI.

Instead, focus on one or two in the beginning, and allow yourself time to perfect the design and strategy that resonates with your audience. Then expand your email repertoire when you understand what drives the results you want to see.


Not sure where to start? Go back to your goals.


Goal: Customer retention and creating brand ambassadors

A strong welcome email—or better yet, a series of welcome emails—helps onboard your subscribers, familiarizing them with your branding, your mission, and what they can expect from your small business as well as your products or services. If you want to retain customers and create a loyal following, a strong welcome series will help new subscribers fall in love with your brand.

Notice how the welcome email below embraces the brand’s specific style and provides an easy way to begin shopping.

Studio DIY Welcome email - Small business welcome email ideas

Source: Studio DIY

Goal: Increase sales

On the other hand, if you want to increase your sales and the average order size of customers’ purchases, promotional emails and VIP or loyalty emails will deliver the results you want to see. Include customer reviews and testimonials to encourage potential customers to convert. It’s important to remember to keep promotional emails away from the hard sell and instead focus on the value you bring to your subscribers’ lives.

Keep reading about how your small business can drive revenue with email.


Goal: Stay top-of-mind and establish your authority

There are few emails that can multitask the way a successful email newsletter can. An email newsletter can:

  1. Foster loyalty from your subscribers.
  2. Reiterate that your small business views your customers as people and not just dollar signs.
  3. Establish your authority by making your small business a go-to source for relevant information.
  4. Promote your own products and services as well as your resources.

Whether you curate your newsletter—gather information, articles, and/or resources from across the web into one place—or you write your own articles and resources, your newsletter establishes you as a trusted source.

Subscribers trust you because you’re taking the time to deliver value to your contacts even when it doesn’t immediately benefit you. Instead you’re putting their needs and desires above your small business’ desire to turn a profit.


Final notes

  • No one likes the hard sell.
  • Keep your messaging focused on the value to your subscribers.
  • Maintain consistent branding across your emails and website.
  • Find the whitespace: What are your competitors doing? What are they omitting?
  • Include reviews and testimonials to encourage subscribers to convert as well as keep them involved with your brand.


Today’s Challenge

Tell us—and other small businesses—which emails you love to receive and what motivates you to open, read, and finally click through.

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #SmallBusinessBigResults and we’ll share some of our favorite responses!

[Tweet “I love seeing these types of emails: — Sharing for #SmallBusinessBigResults with @Campaign.Monitor” “Tweet it here.”]

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Keep that personal touch with your customers as your business grows. That’s the power of unforgettable email marketing.