14 Types of Emails to Use in Your Marketing

Not sure what types of emails to send your audience? Here are 14 common types of email marketing to inspire your own messages.

You’ve heard the advice — send personalized, targeted emails, welcome subscribers to your list, recognize customer milestones and celebrations, and so on. But did you know there are different types of emails to help you do each of those things?

In fact, there are 14 different types of emails to send your subscribers. And while you don’t have to send every type of email, let this list help you figure out the types of email that works for you and your business.


14 types of email marketing:

  1. Transactional emails
  2. Welcome emails
  3. Nurture emails
  4. Promotional emails
  5. Digest emails and newsletters
  6. Re-engagement emails
  7. Storytelling emails
  8. Broadcast emails
  9. Targeted emails
  10. Challenge or course emails
  11. Cart abandonment emails
  12. Launch email
  13. Milestone email
  14. Survey email

Transactional emails

A transactional email is a type of email that includes information about a transaction between a customer, client or user and the sender. The purpose of these emails is not to market to prospects or customers, but to provide a receipt of an action taken or request submitted.

Examples of transactional emails include order confirmations and receipts, shipping notifications, subscription confirmations, password reset emails, account creation and update emails and more. 

But that doesn’t mean transactional emails have to be boring. Take, for example, this transactional email from the sneaker company Allbirds. Not only does this email infuse the brand’s personality, it reminds customers about its animal welfare and sustainability mission.

Transactional email example
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Welcome emails

A welcome email is a type of email that automatically welcomes new subscribers when they join your list. The purpose of a welcome email is to kick off a strong relationship with your new subscriber. 

Welcome emails are the first email in a larger welcome campaign — which is simply a series of automated emails that get delivered to your new subscribers over the first few days of their subscription. 

These emails should warmly welcome new subscribers and thank them for joining your list, set expectations around the type of content you will send, deliver your incentive if you offered one and send any information they need to know about your or your business. 

Bonus points if you reaffirm the value your new subscribers will receive from joining your list or purchasing your product, like the mattress company Casper.

Welcome email example
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Related: Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love

Nurture emails

A nurture email is a one that helps a prospect move through the marketing funnel — from initial engagement to conversion and advocateship. 

Nurture emails are automated and generally tied to a lead magnet — something you give to people when they subscribe to your email list. Nurture emails include targeted content based on the lead magnet they downloaded. The goal is to encourage prospects to convert to customers.

Nurture emails should include valuable content or exclusive offers like discounts. 

Related: Email Automation 101: How to Use Email Marketing Automation

Promotional emails

Promotional emails are one-off emails — or broadcasts — sent to an audience of prospects or previous customers to promote a product, service or limited-time sale. The goal of this type of email is to make it easy for subscribers to convert to customers. Promotional emails can also be used to invite subscribers to an event or webinar. 

Check out this promotional email from Freshly, promoting their End of Summer sale. They did a great job showcasing how much money customers save up to their fourth order.

Digest emails and newsletters

Newsletters are a type of email that any type of business, including creators, bloggers, small business owners and more, send to subscribers with regular frequency. 

Newsletters can include company updates, new blog posts or podcast episodes, relevant articles or curated news from reputable sources. They can help you establish thought leadership as well as build a relationship with subscribers through sending valuable content. 

Plus, if you have a blog or a podcast, chances are you have an RSS feed. With a tool like AWeber, you can automatically put your content in an email without replicating your efforts.

Watch how:

Here’s an example of AWeber’s blog digest newsletter. Each week, we send 3 blog articles, event invitations, bonus tips, motivational quotes and more. 

AWeber newsletter example

Re-engagement emails

Sometimes, subscribers stop opening and reading your emails. That’s okay — it happens to everyone. But that doesn’t mean that those subscribers are a lost cause.

Re-engagement emails can help you remind your inactive subscribers about the value that you offer them and encourage them to give your emails another chance. 

Restaurant reservation app Resy sent their inactive users a re-engagement email reminding them how to use the app to find restaurants to dine at.

re-engagement email
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Pro tip: Are subscribers still not engaging with your messages after sending a re-engagement email? It may be time to unsubscribe them from your list (which is a good thing for your email marketing). 

Storytelling email

Storytelling emails are a different type of email — while the goal of many emails thus far has been to drive sales or re-engagement, the storytelling email helps build your brand story and build deeper relationships with your subscribers.

That’s because stories help people connect with each other. Stories build emotional connections and let readers find similarities between themselves and you. 

Author and entrepreneur Ramit Sethi frequently incorporates stories into his daily emails — both his own stories and those of his successful customers. Check it out:

storytelling email type

Targeted emails

Targeted emails involve segmentation — the process of breaking your subscriber list into categories based on demographics, prior purchases, interests, or recent engagement with your emails. 

For instance, if you sell apparel, you can send a targeted email promoting a sale on hats to a segment of customers who recently purchased a hat. 

Related: 23 Ways to Tag and Segment Your Subscribers in AWeber

Challenge or course emails

Want to grow your email list? Have knowledge that you want to share with your audience? Then running a challenge or email course may be the way to go. 

Email challenges and email courses can be used as a lead magnet or even a paid digital product. The idea is to deliver a lesson daily, weekly, monthly, etc..

See below for a course campaign template that you can upload right into your AWeber account to use as a starting point for your own email course.

email course campaign

Get the campaign

Cart abandonment emails

Have you ever added something to your shopping cart and then not followed through on a purchase? That’s called cart abandonment. And smart email marketers send cart abandonment emails to remind their customers that they left something behind. 

Cart abandonment emails optimize sales. Take abandoned cart emails to the next level by offering a discount on the product that your subscriber was looking at. That can lower the barrier to purchase and your subscriber will likely feel good about your brand after receiving that kind of personalized offer.

See how Food52 called attention to a subscribers’ abandoned cart in this email. 

cart abandonment email
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Launch email

Launch emails are used for a very specific purpose: to announce the launch of a new product, service, feature or offering. 

This type of email is one of the best ways to let interested subscribers know about things that could help them achieve their goals. Plus, tease your launch ahead of time on your website or landing page and let visitors sign up for early updates. 

Milestone email

Celebrate your subscribers’ successes, birthdays, and anniversaries with a milestone email. This type of email builds brand affinity by recognizing customer loyalty and major accomplishments.

For instance, at AWeber, we like to recognize our customers’ subscriber growth — we know it takes a lot of hard work to build your subscriber base and we want to help our customers celebrate those milestones.

To do that, we send milestone badges recognizing subscriber growth milestones that customers can share on their social media profiles.

milestone email

Survey email

Finally, survey emails can give you insights into your subscribers so you can create content that resonates with them. Gathering feedback via a survey email is one of the best ways to get genuine feedback, round up testimonials to use as social proof and engage your subscribers.

See how Ritual uses a survey email to ask subscribers to fill out a short survey. 

survey email
Photo courtesy of Really Good Emails

Grow your business with email marketing

No matter what types of emails you send to your audience, any of them can help you accomplish your goals.

Ready to start sending with AWeber? Get AWeber for free today!