The Four Highest-Performing Marketing Emails

Which types of emails do best and why?

Today I want to briefly go over the four highest-performing types of Email when it comes to Marketing. Each type has its own unique purpose and is very effective at fulfilling that purpose. If you do any Email Marketing (which you should be), this list is a must-know!

1. Fulfilment Email

Fulfillment emails are often overlooked by marketers and seen as not important, which is why I want to cover them first.

Fulfillment emails fulfill your end of an agreement with a client. This may sound complex, but it actually isn’t.

If you have a data capture form on your website, for example, the chances are you are offering something in return for the contact’s data. One of the most effective ways of delivering what you promised is via email — this is what’s known as a fulfilment email.

Order confirmations are another example of fulfilment emails, although they are mainly used to acknowledge a purchase if it is a physical product or service.

Why is this email type important?

This type of email is often overlooked is because it’s seen as just a cost — just a delivery email, just a common courtesy.

But the truth is the fulfilment email is a perfect opportunity to:

  • Upsell: sell something else to somebody who’s already taken steps with you — whether that’s signing up for a free give away or purchasing their first or subsequent product/service from you.
  • Cement their decision to buy or give you their information: refunds may be a fact of life, but it’s amazing how you can reduce the number of refunds you have to pay out if you just follow up well.
  • Capitalise on another touch: this email is another opportunity for you to get your message across, give value, and warm the contact to your brand that bit further.

These outcomes are only achievable by putting the time and love into your fulfilment emails: optimise them to increase conversions.

2. Value Email – free stuff, recent news

What is a value email?

This type of email is becoming widely used as a way of generating awareness and stand out over competitors. Value emails should be sent more often than any other type of email, as they supplement the success of all of the others.

A value email has the following characteristics:

  • Links to free, valuable videos which offer advice, etc., which are not easily accessible elsewhere or copied directly from competitors
  • Free downloads of eBooks and other literature, which are not easily accessible elsewhere or copied directly from competitors
  • A friendly, warmly written email with no pushes towards anything other than giving them something
  • No promotions, no links to sales or products
  • Not more often than once every two days and only if you have no other type of email to send
  • Don’t repeat the same content too often. Compile 50+ valuable pieces of content — and set them up as a series across 100 days. Then you can rinse and repeat.

Why is this email type important?

Due to the very nature of this type of email, you’re unlikely to see any direct or short-term benefit to your conversions for optimising this email. However, there are many other benefits!

Because its purpose is to increase brand awareness, build trust, build relationships, etc., you can increase all of these by optimising the emails. Think back again to the compound effect. The more people who open this email, who take the value out of them — the more return you’ll end up with in the long term.

How much more likely is somebody to open a sales email (covered next) a few days after receiving some valuable content? More sales email opens=more clicks=more conversions — you know the story by now!

3. Sales Email

What is a Sales email?

This is perhaps the most commonly sent and received email ever. The main purpose of this email is to (surprise, surprise) sell! But the sales email is not limited to the promotion and call to action towards a purchase. It can be used to promote and call the recipient to action on any conversion you value.

The main uses are:

  • Direct sale of a particular product or service or collection of products/services
  • Promotion of a webinar or event which can be both free or chargeable
  • Promotion of a newsletter subscription, or to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Promotion of something new — a website, product range, etc.
  • Speaking to a smaller audience of people who have already bought or converted for something — now you can upsell them to something relevant to just that audience
  • A combination of several of these. For example, direct selling a product, with testimonials anda 10% offer if they buy today and follow you on Facebook.

The combinations and uses are endless but the main purpose is to call your audience to action.

Why is this email type important?

It goes without saying that there is clear value in spending the time and money testing and optimising to maximise the results from sales emails.

The more people you can get to notice your email, the more will open it, the more will read through, the more will take the action you call for, the more will convert.

Also, the more who convert and buy product W or take action Y, the more you can upsell via another email to product X or take action Z.

4. Abandon Cart

What is an Abandon Cart email?

Abandon Cart emails are for exactly that — people who abandon their online shopping carts. People who add products into the cart, maybe getting all the way to the order form to make payment, only to back out.

The purpose of this email, often used in a short series after a cart abandonment, is to convince the person to go back to their order and complete it. Normally, as part of the email, you have an automated link which if clicked, takes the person back not just to your website, but to the exact order form they abandoned, with all of the products they were close to buying.

All major marketing campaign and automated email service providers allow you to set up emails like this, so they are automated and bespoke to the person and the products they were buying.

It’s also worth noting that abandoned cart emails are not only used for products. Other conversion events, such as signing up to a webinar, can also benefit from abandon cart emails.

Why is this email type important?

Why would you invest further money in finding brand-new contacts to hopefully sell to, when you can invest in helping existing contacts cross the line? The answer is that you have already done the majority of the work you need in order to get them to convert or buy — you just need to go back and give a little bit more encouragement!

Your rate of success, of course, varies depending on your optimisation, but typically you could expect between 15–20% of your abandoned carts to be completed as a direct result of these emails.

These emails are perfect to complete a sale or conversion — get the customer over the edge, remove their doubts, cement the benefits they were looking to invest in.

Don’t forget, however, your customers are busy people . Maybe they didn’t intentionally abandon the cart, maybe their internet was disconnected, they got a call and the page expired, or their cat jumped on the keyboard and closed the browser. Sending these emails can sometimes be seen as a professional and often appreciated courtesy.

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