When it comes to email marketing, many small business owners rely on only a few emails to try to accomplish goals. While newsletters, event emails and offers are your email bread and butter, it’s important to have a variety of email types in the mix.

To keep you from getting in a routine of sending the same thing over and over, we’ve put together a list of less common email types that you can add to your email marketing plan. Give one of these emails a try to spice up your content.

1. New content email

When you write a new blog post, create a must-see infographic, or post a new video on your website, you should share it in an email.

It would be amazing if your target audience checked your website or blog on a daily basis, but that’s probably unrealistic. Your new post might go unnoticed, unless you tell people it exists. That’s where email comes in. Send an email that offers a brief summary of what’s new and share a link.

If your business is creating and sending a lot of content each week, each email could promote a few pieces of content. You want to encourage more website traffic, but you don’t want to overwhelm inboxes in the process.

Here’s an example of an email that entices readers to check out a new article:

What we like about this email:

  • It’s short. You don’t have to write a long description of the content. It’s okay to keep it short. A few sentences is fine.
  • A creative image. This article, which talks about learning from failure, isn’t an easy piece of content to find an image for. However, the author thought outside of the box and found a picture that fits.
  • Clear call to action. The reader should click on the red text link. The obvious call to action is an important component in this email. They could have also used a call to action button to make it even more obvious. You can create on using our free Button Builder.

2. Customer appreciation email

It’s common to send a newsletter that updates your clients about recent news, or emails that encourage sales, but sometimes it’s a good idea to just say thanks. Everyone appreciates a thank you, which is why you should take the time to express it.

Whether your non-profit just reached a campaign goal, or your business just hit a milestone anniversary, send an email thanking your donors or customers for being part of that success.

Here’s an example of a customer appreciation email from a non-profit:

What we like about this email:

  • Conversational tone. The text is inviting and talks to real people.
  • A way to engage. In this email, the reader can make another donation and continue to engage with the non-profit. (Businesses can include a link back to their website.)

You might also consider hosting a customer appreciation event. Retailers could host a customer appreciation sale with a discount offered to loyal customers. Service-based businesses can offer a discount via email for a popular service. Non-profits could host a thank you breakfast for key donors. Of course, you can invite guests via email.

3. Current event email

Consider creating an email that has a connection to a current event or trend. For example, you could send an email that has a holiday theme or is tied to another current event.

Here’s a quick list of reoccurring events that you can focus an email on:

  • Regular holidays
  • Sporting events (just abide by any usage rights)
  • Weather changes
  • Changing seasons
  • Election time
  • Back to School
  • Local events, community celebrations
  • Obscure holidays (Margarita Day, Bring Your Dog to Work Day, etc.)

Of course, timing is key. In most cases, you can plan ahead. Mark your calendar with email reminders to ensure you send an email out before St. Patrick’s Day or the Back to School season.

Consider offering some kind of promotion or deal that’s connected to the event. For example, a pizza shop can offer 20 percent off for orders placed during the Pennant Race. A heating repair company can offer a discounted maintenance check on the first official day of winter.

When the Polar Vortex swept through the country last winter, a car rental business in St. Croix sent out an email encouraging winter bound residents to take a vacation.

“The rough weather in the Northeast gave this client a big boost,” says Perry Sheraw, managing director of Sugarmill Media, who helped the company compose the email. Here’s a look at what recipients got in their inbox:

What we like about this email:

  • Humor. The connection between the snowstorm and mixed drinks is comical.
  • Great image. The image of a beach is a great lure for people who are tired of shoveling snow.
  • Creativity. The company took a current event and got creative with it, using it as a clever marketing tool.

Are there other emails that you can think of that are overlooked? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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