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In Email Marketing, How Do I Know What Kind of Email to Send?

You’re ready to start email marketing. You’ve read our to guide and you think you’ve got the basics. But once you sign up for Mailchimp, or MailerLite, or Constant Contact, you find yourself feeling, well, frozen.

What email am I supposed to be sending again?

When it comes to email marketing, it seems like it should be something you can just jump into: you have a list, you write an email, you send it. Results, right? Well, maybe not so fast.

Email marketing requires a lot of planning. In this blog post, we’ll talk about email list segmentation and the different kind of emails you send to each segment.

Start With Your List

Almost every business has some kind of database of customers. And hopefully, you’ve been collecting email addresses, either through customers making purchases, a leads form on your website, or a newsletter sign up form on your website.

(And don’t forget, if your business is international, you should know about the GDPR guidelines for consumer data. Read our blog post

So you have this list, right? It’s time to segment it. To start, you’d want to segment it into the follow segments: newsletter sign-ups, existing customers, and potential customers (leads). Segmenting lists is easy in almost every single email platform you choose. Here’s a great rundown on segmenting lists from Constant Contact.

Other ways to segment lists can include:
  • Type of business
  • Location
  • Interest
  • Source (where they signed up from)

If you have one large master list, it’s much easier to segment into multiple areas; you can segment by location, but also by lead source, interests, and what they signed up to receive (newsletter or sales emails).

Once you have all your segments in place, it’s time to talk about the different emails you want to send.

Newsletter or Bust?

I’m of the opinion that every business should have a newsletter if they have a list of customers. Start with an opt-in, if anyone on your list hasn’t previously signed up for a newsletter, and then, once a month, send a newsletter.

A newsletter is a simple way to keep your existing customers thinking about you and your product or service and to give them new information regarding your industry. We’ll have a blog post next week all about picking topics for newsletters, to watch this space. As well, a newsletter is a great way to keep those who are interested in your niche thinking about you in particular.

I receive tons of newsletters every day—from beauty blogs, clothing retailers, marketing experts, my friends who have transitioned from blogging to newsletters, and the digital marketing tools that I use every single day. I never consider it a burden to sign up for and read newsletters. I learn something new every day from them!

But that being said, newsletters should offer something of value to your list. Sending out a newsletter that provides no new information is going to be met with a big wah-wah. It’s a letdown. Your newsletter needs to have substance, just like your blog content and website content.

Your newsletter should be sent to as much of your list as you can. (Like I said, start with an opt-in to everyone you have an email address for.) It is a more broad topic and is probably applicable to nearly every type of email you have, whether they’re a friend of the company, interested in your niche, a customer, or a lead.

Beyond the Newsletter

Now, beyond a newsletter, what else is there to send?

If you’re like Lunar Logic, your business is constantly changing, adjusting to demand, and finding ways to be better. You’re introducing new products, volunteering in your community, sponsoring important events, and doing important work.

For Existing Customers

A great series of emails to send to your existing customers are short, sweet promotional emails about events you’re sponsoring and new products you’re launching. These emails should be no more than a paragraph long with details of the product or event (and if it’s a new product, including a coupon code is a great idea).

You might start with an email that introduces a new product; then a week later, send a second email with a coupon code for that product; and then, a week later, send a third email that includes a link to a blog post about that product. This keeps your customers continually thinking about a new product or service that you offer—and makes them more likely to see themselves buying it and using it.

For Leads

Now, for leads, a great email series would be to help work leads through the sales funnel. This is commonly called drip marketing because you lead them through a series of emails—those who aren’t interested get removed from the list and those who are interested receive emails that get progressively more interesting, more focused on their specific needs.

Drip campaigns take a lot of effort and a lot of information about your leads. If you’re not quite ready for that year, don’t worry. There are other ways to get started.
Leads, just like existing customers, benefit from emails that highlight your products and services. Just like with your existing customers, you might design a campaign with three emails that promotes a service you want them to sign up for. You start with a short, sweet email that promotes that service. And that’s it: no hard sell, no sign up now, just the benefits, and an “if you’d like to learn more, click here” button. The second email would include a coupon code or incentive and be a little stronger. The third email would again promote the service, offer the coupon code, and be a little stronger.

Those who are truly interested in your company will make it to the end (we promise). It takes time and patience to get to that point. And sometimes, it takes multiple campaigns (like our example) over a series of months for some leads.

But the important thing is to keep your business in their mind. And email marketing does that.

Related Blog Posts

Want more about email marketing? Check out these blog posts.

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