10 Essential Types of Marketing Emails You Should Be Sending in 2024

Email remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels, with an average ROI of $36 for every $1 spent according to Litmus‘s 2022 State of Email report. But to get the most out of email, you need to send the right types of messages to the right audience at the right time.

In this guide, we‘ll break down the 10 key types of marketing emails every business should have in their arsenal. For each one, we‘ll explain its purpose, share tips for creating effective versions, and provide real-world examples. Let‘s dive in!

1. Welcome Email


The welcome email is your chance to make a strong first impression on new subscribers. It sets expectations for what kind of content they‘ll receive from you and how often. A great welcome email can boost engagement with your future messages.

How to Create an Effective Welcome Email

– Send it immediately after someone joins your list
– Thank the reader for subscribing and welcome them to your community
– Introduce yourself/your brand and share your unique value proposition
– Set expectations for email frequency and content
– Include a clear CTA (like read your latest blog post or shop bestsellers)
– Consider offering a new subscriber discount code or free resource
– Write in a warm, friendly tone that reflects your brand voice


Clothing retailer Everlane sends a clean, on-brand welcome email that thanks the subscriber, highlights their values, and encourages shopping with "get started" CTAs:

[Insert Everlane welcome email screenshot]

2. Engagement Email


Engagement emails are designed to pique your subscribers‘ interest, get them excited about your brand, and encourage them to interact with your content. Common goals include driving blog traffic, social media follows, or app downloads.

How to Create an Effective Engagement Email

– Lead with an intriguing hook or story
– Share your most interesting, valuable content (blog posts, videos, guides, etc.)
– Ask a question or include a poll/survey to solicit responses
– Craft an enticing CTA that compels readers to click
– Use eye-catching visuals like GIFs or bold colors
– Segment your list and tailor content to each group‘s interests
– Test subject lines to improve open rates


This BuzzFeed email promotes their latest quizzes and articles with fun copy and images. The content is highly targeted to the subscriber‘s interests based on previous engagement:

[Insert BuzzFeed engagement email screenshot]

3. Newsletter


An email newsletter keeps your audience informed about your latest content, company news, product updates, and more on a regular basis (weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly). It‘s an opportunity to provide value, build trust, and stay top-of-mind.

How to Create an Effective Newsletter

– Stick to a consistent cadence so readers know when to expect it
– Curate your best, most recent content into a easy-to-scan format
– Share a mix of educational and promotional content
– Craft short, punchy blurbs that capture attention
– Organize content into logical sections with clear headlines
– Include a personal note from you or your team
– Make sure it‘s mobile-friendly, since many read email on smartphones


TheSkimm‘s daily newsletter delivers a curated roundup of need-to-know news stories in a digestible, witty format that their millennial audience loves:

[Insert TheSkimm newsletter screenshot]

4. Promotional Email


The goal of a promotional email is to drive sales by persuading readers to take advantage of a special offer, discount, or deal on your products or services. It creates a sense of urgency and makes subscribers feel like they‘re getting insider access.

How to Create an Effective Promotional Email

– Craft a compelling, benefits-focused headline
– Clearly convey the offer and its value right away
– Use action-oriented copy and eye-catching images
– Create urgency with a limited-time offer or low stock notice
– Repeat the CTA (promo code, Shop Now button, etc.) 2-3 times
– Segment list by past purchase behavior to maximize relevancy
– A/B test subject lines, CTAs, images, etc.


Sephora sent this promotional email with an attention-grabbing 20% off discount, large product photos, and clear Shop Now CTAs:

[Insert Sephora promotional email screenshot]

5. Announcement Email


An announcement email builds buzz and keeps subscribers in the loop about important company news, product launches, app updates, events, and major milestones. The goal is to make readers feel valued and excited to be part of your brand community.

How to Create an Effective Announcement Email

– Choose an engaging, direct headline (Now Available, Just Launched, etc.)
– Concisely explain what‘s new and why it matters to readers
– Use a celebratory, upbeat tone to drum up excitement
– Include high-quality product photos, videos, or GIFs
– Link to more info on website or sign-up page if applicable
– Consider offering subscribers an exclusive first-look or bonus


Adobe sent this sleek announcement email introducing new features in Photoshop. It leads with the news, follows with benefits, and invites readers to try it out:

[Insert Adobe announcement email screenshot]

6. Transactional Email


Transactional emails are triggered by a subscriber‘s action, like making a purchase, signing up for a webinar, or updating their preferences. These expected, one-to-one emails can provide customer service info as well as marketing messages.

How to Create an Effective Transactional Email

– Include key information like order/shipment details or login instructions
– Reinforce your branding to build credibility and recognition
– Add marketing content like related product recs or referral CTAs
– Keep copy concise and actionable
– Optimize for mobile, as many are opened on phones
– Personalize based on user behavior and attributes


Dollar Shave Club makes great use of their order confirmation emails. In addition to summarizing the order, they show off their cheeky brand voice and cross-sell other products:

[Insert DSC transactional email screenshot]

7. Abandoned Cart Email


Abandoned cart emails nudge shoppers to complete the checkout process after they‘ve left items in their online cart. They recover potentially lost revenue and provide great ROI—the average order value of purchases from abandoned cart emails is 14.2% higher than usual.

How to Create an Effective Abandoned Cart Email

– Send first message within an hour after shopper leaves
– Remind them of what they left behind with product photos
– Provide a convenient link back to their cart
– Overcome objections with FAQs, reviews, or guarantees
– Create urgency with a limited-time discount or low stock alert
– Send a series of 2-3 emails for best results
– Personalize with shopper name and product recs


This abandoned cart email from women‘s clothing shop ADAY hits all the right notes. It has a clever, on-brand headline, shows the forgotten items, and offers help picking sizes:

[Insert ADAY abandoned cart email screenshot]

8. Customer Retention Email


Customer retention emails are designed to nurture existing customers and keep them engaged for the long term. Since retaining customers costs less than acquiring new ones, these emails can help boost your bottom line.

How to Create an Effective Retention Email

– Segment customers based on frequency/recency of purchases
– Offer personalized product suggestions based on past orders
– Invite them to join your loyalty or rewards program
– Celebrate customer anniversaries or birthdays with a special offer
– Provide exclusive content/perks to make them feel valued
– Ask for feedback or a review
– Reactivate lapsed customers with a winback offer or "we miss you" message


Grammarly sends weekly insights emails to their subscribers, showing them how they‘ve used the writing assistant and improved their skills. This provides ongoing value and reinforces product usage:

[Insert Grammarly retention email screenshot]

9. Social Proof Email


Social proof emails tap into the power of customer reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content to build trust and credibility. Seeing that others enjoy your products can be the extra push a prospect needs to convert.

How to Create an Effective Social Proof Email

– Showcase glowing reviews and 5-star ratings
– Feature customer success stories and transformations
– Share impressive data points about your product‘s impact
– Curate the best user-generated photos/videos
– Use relatable, conversational language
– Choose authentic customer quotes (with permission)
– Link to more reviews/proof on your site


Airbnb won kudos for this email celebrating their community‘s 10th anniversary. It leads with an impressive stat on total guest arrivals, then spotlights touching stories and photos from real hosts and guests:

[Insert Airbnb social proof email screenshot]

10. Re-Engagement Email


Re-engagement emails target inactive subscribers who haven‘t opened or clicked your emails in a while. The goal is to pique their interest, bring them back into the fold, and protect your sender reputation by cleaning your list.

How to Create an Effective Re-Engagement Email

– Identify inactives (60-90 days with no opens/clicks)
– Use an attention-grabbing headline like "We Miss You" or "Was It Something We Said?"
– Acknowledge their absence and convey their importance to your brand
– Incentivize with an exclusive offer, discount, or free gift
– Invite them to update their email preferences
– Include a prominent Unsubscribe link to remove uninterested contacts
– Test a sequence of 3-4 re-engagement emails
– Remove those who don‘t respond after your campaign


Duolingo sent this quirky re-engagement email from their mascot Duo. The guilt-trippy message and cute illustration grab attention, while the CTA buttons provide clear options to re-engage or opt out:

[Insert Duolingo re-engagement email screenshot]

Email Marketing Best Practices

Now that you know the main types of marketing emails, here are a few overarching best practices to keep in mind:

  • Segment your list to improve relevance and engagement
  • Craft compelling subject lines to boost open rates
  • Write clear, concise copy that puts the reader first
  • Make emails easy to scan with short paragraphs, bullets, and images
  • Always include a prominent, singular call-to-action
  • Optimize for mobile devices
  • Personalize with subscriber name, location, and behavior
  • Test subject lines, content, CTAs, images, and cadence
  • Monitor key metrics like opens, clicks, conversions, and unsubscribes
  • Regularly clean your list to protect deliverability

Final Thoughts

As you can see, each type of marketing email serves a distinct purpose and requires a thoughtful approach to engage subscribers and drive action. By understanding the goals and best practices behind each one, you can craft more impactful, revenue-generating email campaigns.

Building a robust email strategy that spans the customer lifecycle takes time, testing, and iteration. But with an audience-first approach and a commitment to providing value, email can be your most powerful owned marketing channel.

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