A Full Guide to Promotional Emails

What types of promotional emails are there, and how can you create content that meets the needs and interests of the audience, engages it in communication, and most importantly, works towards attracting customers? This article is a full guide to promotions emails. NinjaPromo team will explain the different types and which of ones are suitable for certain situations.
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There are four key email types for effective promotion by email marketing: sales, content, reactivation, and trigger. Let's look closer at each of them.

1. Sales (Discount)

Sales emails are one of the most popular and effective promotional email types. They include emails informing the reader about sales and discounts and the launches of new products. With these emails, you work with an audience that is as loyal as possible. The main task is to communicate with the customer and increase the number of targeted actions.

Sales emails are suitable for any kind of business, including online shops, software producers, and manufacturers. Depending on the marketing activity, emails can be regular or ad-hoc. For example, they can be built according to the following scheme:
scheme
2. Content

Content emails are not tied to specific actions but are part of a communication strategy. These emails may include a gift, a digest of events or news for the month, or a selection of popular or interesting articles and books. Non-commercial content is typical for content emails, and these emails are used to regularly inform users about things that may be of interest to them.

Basically, this type of emails is suitable for information resources, advertising agencies and forums. However, they can be integrated into sales emails and receive a good response from the target audience because you can not only sell goods but also share useful content by using such emails.

Content emails can be built according to the following scheme:
scheme
3. Reactivation

Reactivation emails aimed at resuming or terminating interaction with the subscriber. It is rather difficult to single out a certain category of audience that this type suits best. There is always an audience that needs to be reminded about your brand. Brand coverage strategies should be singled out for mention when you use reactivation emails to attract the attention of as many people as possible.

Reactivation emails are usually sent in two cases:

1. To bring the subscribers' attention back to your company — for example, during promotions or limited-time activities. Reactivation emails keep the audience active during the whole period of communication. For example, in the first stage, you bring the user to the landing page, where they leave contact details. After two weeks, you reactivate them during the second stage of the promotion.

2. To realize the need for further interaction with users who haven't communicated with the company for a long time — for example, when a customer hasn't bought anything or opened emails. Send a reactivation email to determine whether it is worth "returning" the inactive subscribers or if it is better to remove them from the database and not waste time on them because they are just not the target audience.

To reactivate users, you can use various informational reasons:
scheme
4. Trigger

Trigger emails are sent automatically based on certain conditions — the so-called triggers. Almost any event or user action can serve as a trigger — for example, 48 hours since the user entered the database, the subscriber's birthday, the subscribed added goods to a shopping cart but did not buy them, etc.

Let's see the options for sending trigger emails in more details:
scheme
As you may have already realized, the content of such emails varies because it depends on the trigger involved in a message. Let's look at two examples:

1. A customer bought an inflatable boat. In the email, you can invite the user to purchase accessories for the boat, as well as offer premium client programs. The purpose of the email is to thank the client for the purchase, as well as sell additional goods.

2. The user looked at certain products but didn't buy anything. You can show the user these products again or offer similar products. The goal is to keep in the user's attention and stimulate the purchase.

Trigger emails work great as part of e-commerce projects and sales and service sites because they contain a set of actions on the way to the final goal and additional options for actions that can serve as the basis for triggers.

Transaction Emails

Trigger emails also include transaction emails because they are automatically sent based on certain conditions. They are unique emails from the rules point of view — they do not fall under advertising because they don't contain a call to buy something. They only inform the client that the order has been received, the payment has been processed, the payment has been completed, and so on. The company can send them even to those users who didn't give consent for commercial emails.

Such emails have slightly different headers, and mail services treat them more leniently, sending them spam folders less often. The main thing to remember is to resist the temptation to place any sales banners in these emails. Doing so would immediately turn it into a promotional email. A user who did not subscribe to receive advertisements may complain about such an email.

The lack of advertising and calls to buy something significantly reduces marketers' interest in this type of email. Many of them believed that if you can't sell anything in them, then they're not needed. Therefore, many companies let the IT department write and send transaction messages, resulting in boring, simple messages.

According to an internal Sendsay study, more than 70% of recipients open and read transaction emails, which is much higher than the number of recipients who open any other types of promotional emails. They are opened even by those who are not subscribed to other kinds of messages. Don't miss the unique opportunity to communicate with customers, even if you can't offer them something directly. With the right approach, such emails can significantly increase the number of sales.

How to Involve Subscribers in Communication Using Transaction Emails

Let's look at a few techniques.

1. Create interesting content and add sharing buttons for posting in social media.

All professional platforms can embed sharing buttons in emails. If there is a web version of the email, it can be shared on Facebook and other sites in the same way as regular text.

Instead of the expected "Thank you for the order," send something creative to the client. Then, the client will be more likely to share his purchase with his friends, and you can get a fairly large coverage of new audience from social networks.

2. Implement referral marketing.

Referral marketing is similar to word of mouth — customers give recommendations and leave feedback about the goods and services that they have used. Telling the customer can she can give a discount on the company's products to her friends and receive a bonus herself doesn't directly call on the customer to buy something, so it's allowed in transaction emails.

3. Create content that allows you to return a customer to the website.

Such a technique is suitable for those who provide online services, especially those that offer a free trial or subscription. If you send customers a description of the possibilities of those services they have already purchased (or to which they have subscribed), or instructions for further steps (without insisting on buying anything), then such emails completely fit into the rigid framework of transaction messages and can be sent even to those who are not subscribed to sales emails.

Even though you can't directly sell goods or services in transaction emails, you can significantly increase user loyalty with a competent approach. As a result, the likelihood that they will buy something from you again increases dramatically. Do not miss the opportunity to repeatedly interest subscribers and communicate with them.

Correctly configured trigger emails do not land in spam folders and have a very high opening percentage. How can you understand when and what kind of triggers to use? You can learn about it from the book Email Marketing for Business: From Idea to Sales. We will also tell you the advantages of promotional emails, the role they play in marketing strategies, how to build a database of email addresses, segment the audience, evaluate the effectiveness of emails, and more!
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