Types of Email Newsletters and What They are

Date: 2023-03-30 | Time of reading: 8 minutes (1603 words)

Email Newsletters: What are the Types and When to Use Them

Email newsletters are competing with messengers, Push, SMS and other communication channels, but they are holding their ground. The number of email users is projected to continue growing, reaching 4.6 billion by 2025.

Marketers are optimistic about email newsletters: 29% of experts believe email is the most powerful channel. A smaller percentage of respondents named social networks and content marketing as promising (25% each), 22% mentioned SEO. The average ROI of sending emails is 4200%.

Email newsletters only work when you have the right strategy. The company makes a plan: to whom, when and what types of emails they should send.

Let's look at some examples of newsletters.

What types of newsletters can be

There is no clear classification or strict definition for email campaigns. But there are usually selling, content, triggering, news and transactional emails.

Selling emails

Such an email is designed to get a conversion (sale) of a product or service. Usually these are limited offers, so that the client will be motivated to click on the link and purchase right away. Sales emails include discount emails, messages about sales, new products and referral programs, and individual product selections.

Discount emails

They tell you about the discounts and their expiration dates. The CTA of such letters is always targeted at sales. Here in the example below the American tea company offers a discount which is limited in time. The CTA is targeted at a right-away purchase.


Another option is a special verbal promo code that is written in the body of the letter. E.g., the newsletter supplements the promo code for a discount with a time-limited trigger and suggests that the user should hurry up with their purchases.


Some newsletters offer a discount on a certain item, but not on the entire assortment, as here:


Here personalization is implied via the offer to order a bracelet with custom design.

Order a custom bracelet

Sales newsletters

These letters are also about a discount, but usually the message informs customers about price reduction on a group of products.

Summer sale

Product launch newsletters

There is a category of customers who rush to be first to buy a new product. That’s why product launch newsletters promote as well, not just inform. You describe the benefits of the new item and attach a CTA to order it.


Personalized offers

They suggest buying a range of goods that are close to what a customer viewed or bought before.

Beauty Brand

Newsletters about referral programs

They also are of the kind of newsletters that sell. The purpose of the referral program is to attract new customers through current ones. Users come by recommendation and buy. Current customers get bonuses which they also spend on orders.

This is an example of a newsletter with an offer to get free Bombas socks for each friend to whom you recommend to buy something at their store.

Bombas socks

Сontent newsletter

These newsletters build up a relationship with the customer: they tell about the product, educate the user, prove the company's competence within their sphere and increase loyalty, because they are helpful for the customer.

The content newsletter doesn’t sell directly, but prepares a user to purchase. If the emails are personalized, the Open Rate increases up to 50%*. The examples of the content newsletters are helpful digests.

Helpful emails

These are emails with tips, secrets of using the product, and other information. They are useful when they contain all the content in the body of the email. Or they only announce materials and provide links to them.


These are kinds of letters gathering information within a certain period (a week, a month or whatever) or making a topical set. In the message the information is given briefly and a link to the whole article is attached. It is convenient for the customers who don’t manage to read all the letters. Another way is to send a review of the best articles.

An example of a topical digestAn example of a topical digest

DIY-newsletters and guide newsletters

They tell how to use the product or how to manage the service. For instance, Tattly offers to decorate eggs for Easter using the temporary tattoos from their store.

Easter DIY

Selection based on interest

These are letters with personalized content that increase user loyalty and prevent unsubscribes: less chance that a person would stop reading newsletters if they were customized to fit their interests.

Informational newsletters and news digests

They announce the upcoming events or cover the recently happened ones. Companies send their news or write about events in their industry. They come in the form of digests, where one letter collects information over a period of time.

The informational newsletters include those which notify about changes in working hours, moving to another office and so forth.

Product updates are also an occasion to send a message to the customer. That's how a letter with this information looks like:

New year

Announcing newsletters

They announce brand events of their own or those in which the company participates. Newsletters invite users to conferences, webinars, marketplaces and other events. If the event is paid, then the letter can also be considered a sales letter, as in the example.

New York Exhibition

And here is the example of the letter offering you to claim your free tickets.

london music fest

Congratulation letters

These are letters that are sent on occasions, e.g., congratulation on birthdays or professional holidays etc.

Also, companies give bonuses when they celebrate the brand’s important days. For example, the tea brand thanks a client for being with them and offers gifts for the anniversary of the brand.

David's tea

Trigger newsletters

These are letters that are sent automatically after the client performs certain actions on the site or app, or, vice versa, they stop reacting to the brand’s newsletter. They can be: greetings, abandoned cart, claim for a review, reactivating.

Greeting emails

These are sent to a person who has left their contact information via the site or via another resource. Sometimes a greeting series of letters starts with subscription confirmation if a company uses double opt-in. Then they that the customer and explain what to do next. Open Rate of such messages reaches up to 82%*.


Sometimes a customer is offered some bonus points to motivate them to buy right away. Such a way works well with fashion or beauty brands.


Abandoned cart

An email reminder is sent to a customer who added the items to the shopping cart but didn’t proceed with an order. There are different ways to remind about it varying from a direct offer to purchase to an offer to buy at a discount.

Asking for a review

Letters following the purchase suggest to leave a review of the product or the delivery service.


Reactivating letters

They are sent when the client doesn't respond to emails from the company for some time. The purpose of such emails is to return the client or make sure he is not interested and remove him from the database, so as not to waste extra resources.

The most popular reactivation way is to write to the client a "we-miss-you" letter or something of that kind. Also, offer a bonus. But there are other more creative solutions.


The reminders of the events and courses are activating as well. Write to the customer that the access is about to be over or it is high time to have the homework done.

Sometimes you can remind about yourself through a request for feedback. Such letters do not oblige the client to buy, but invite them to express their opinion.


Transactional letters

They are also called service notifications. They inform the client about the status of the order: payment, availability, delivery, and other processing. They also include letters confirming password changes or the beginning of a process (for example, registration for a flight).

Notification of payment

The bill or the information where to pick up the order is sent in this case.


Notification of delivery

It is usually sent when the order is ready to be picked up. The storage period is usually mentioned.


Service notifications

These usually inform of changes in work of the company, some technical problems, account changes and so on.

An example of the service notificationAn example of the service notification


Types of email newsletters are usually classified as selling, content, news, trigger and transactional ones.

Selling newsletters bring the customer to convert: they offer discounts, new products, and inform about sales. Content newsletters increase customer loyalty, build up trust and show the company's expertise. They include digests, letters with helpful information, selections based on interests, educational messages.

Newsletters are necessary to stay in touch with clients and tell them about changes or events in the company. Trigger letters come automatically to those clients who have left their email (greeting letters), forgot to complete an order on the website, or haven't responded to the brand's messages for a long time.

Transactional newsletters inform the customers about actions with their accounts (password change, etc.), order payment, delivery, and others.

Each type performs one or more tasks: to sell, to increase trust and loyalty, and to provide information to the customer on time.

*The statistics given is based on the open research data.







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Author: Lyudmila Kovalenko






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