All the Different Types of Emails You Need to Know About

All the Different Types of Emails You Need to Know About

Emails are one of the best ways to communicate directly with your audience—both prospective and existing customers. This direct link to your subscribers gives you a chance to offer a great promo code, remind customers about upcoming seasonal sales, or tell someone how much you appreciate their business in an anniversary email.

There are many different types of emails and formatting options, and the best option for each case depends on your goals. 

You have to ensure you’re sending high-quality content that contains relevant information. Otherwise, your subscribers will stop opening and responding to your marketing emails.

This is why it’s important to make quality text letters even if the chat GPT unblocked in your country and you can easily generate the templates.

The solution is to ensure your email strategy is on point. A big part of that is picking the best type of email to send a particular message… in fact, it can mean the difference between a successful communication and a message that falls flat!

That’s why we’ve gathered the most important of all the different types of emails that you can use to communicate with your email subscribers in this handy guide. 

Let’s get right into it!

Marketing emails by format

Before you start writing your next business email, think about whether you want to use a plain-text email or include more complicated formatting like images and custom fonts.

1. Plain-text emails

Plain-text emails are exactly what they sound like: an email marketing campaign that’s written in plain black text on a white background. 

Some audiences prefer getting straight to the point, and dislike anything that can be seen as “fluff” or “filler,” like unnecessary animations or too many pictures. Plus, a plain-text email seems more like a casual message between friends, rather than something a marketing team worked on for a long time.

When you’re writing a plain-text email, there’s no need to do any kind of fancy formatting. Just write what you want and send it out! It’s fine to add links, but avoid anything else.

Plain-text emails might help your email campaign land straight in the primary inbox (rather than Gmail’s promotions tab), which will skyrocket your open rate,  especially if you use cold email software to target relevant prospects.

Here’s an example of a plain-text email:

A plain text email, one of the different types of emails

2. Formatted emails

Most marketing emails today use detailed formatting to stand out and make their point. This is true for both promotional emails and regular email campaigns like a weekly newsletter.

You can experiment with different options to get the best click-through rates. Colors, layouts, and many other elements can all make a crucial difference.

Just make sure the format fits the content of your email and doesn’t distract from key information. Remember that your end goal is to convince your subscribers to respond to your call to action, not get lost in an arcade of colors.

Here’s an example of a formatted email:

A formatted email, one of the different types of emails

Notification email types

Notification emails exist to tell the recipient something, and that’s it. In many cases, there’s no CTA… you just want to make sure that they receive your message.

1. Welcome emails

A welcome email is your chance to make a great first impression on your new subscribers. Hopefully, it represents the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

This doesn’t mean you should try to pack as much as possible into your welcome email.

Instead, keep it simple and only add relevant content that fits into a welcome email.

You might choose to gather some of the questions you get asked most frequently, or give your recipient a few links so they know where to go for help. Or you could simply ask them how they’re doing and why they chose to subscribe—you can learn a lot, and you won’t take up more of their time than necessary.

The best way to think of welcome emails is as lead nurturing emails, which means you want to provoke interest in your future communications.

A welcome email from Jet, one of the different types of emails

Source: Really Good Emails

2. Transactional emails

Unlike most other types of emails in this list that are meant for a wider audience, transactional emails are sent “one-to-one.” They usually contain important information that the customer expects to receive like order confirmations, receipts, invoices, and similar notifications.

These are usually standalone emails that aren’t part of a wider email marketing campaign, so you don’t need to go overboard with your marketing efforts. Instead, just deliver the necessary information. For example, in an order confirmation email, you’ll want to include the standard info, a tracking link, and a warm thank you to your customer for their purchase.

3. Reminders

Reminders are one-to-one emails, just like transactional emails. Their goal is simple: to remind the recipient about something crucial. This can be an upcoming event, an unpaid invoice, or an unfinished payment. Some financial management solutions help with invoice and payment reminders.

Free trial expirations also fit into this category, and they’re important for SaaS companies. In this case, your goal is to get a customer to subscribe to your paid service.

A reminder email from Dropbox, one of the different types of emails

Informational and announcement emails

Informational and announcement emails exist to share new pieces of information with readers. Since the format is one-to-many, you should be careful about the formatting, content, and even the subject line to avoid getting lost in the inboxes of your many recipients.

1. Newsletters

Newsletters are a collection of new information. Usually, they fit into one of the following types of emails:

  • A digital newsletter with helpful advice about your products or educational resources for customers about the problem you’re solving
  • An announcement email, highlighting upcoming events or sales
  • A newsletter presenting new key features of your site or platform, plus online reviews of your upgrades
  • A promotional email with a special offer or other incentives for future purchases

Your email marketing newsletters should always offer valuable content that rewards your subscribers for opening them. If you don’t accomplish this, not only will your email campaigns fail to drive blog traffic or increase sales—they won’t even be opened.

You should make sure that your call to action is clear and noticeable. Too much information will distract from your CTA and lead to lower open rates and click-through rates. Keep it short and interesting!

2. Announcements

In an announcement email, you’re announcing something so vital that it’s worth sending in a standalone marketing email.

For instance, you might send out an announcement email when you’re launching a crowdfunding campaign or announcing a brand new product.

In these emails, the key information should be clear from your subject line: you want your subscribers to know what the email is about.

3. Promotional emails

Promotional emails are one of the most popular types of emails for ecommerce stores.

They can encompass upcoming seasonal sales, including announcements about discounts, special offers, early access, and exclusive content. Ideally, they both inform and excite your customers.

Since they’re so common, your subscribers will likely get dozens of promotional emails from different brands every single day, so it’s important to get creative with these kinds of emails to stand out from the crowd. Ensure you leverage the power of email signature generators to leave a lasting impression. Alternatively, create a digital business card and share it as your email signature. They can be personalized by adding referal code, discount coupons and more as clickable links or as QR codes.

4. Job offers

Hiring is easiest when you target people who are already following you. 

If you have a hard time finding new team members, sharing the job offer with your subscribers is usually a good idea. Even if they don’t apply themselves, they might recommend someone who will!

A job offer email from OptiMonk, one of the different types of emails

Emails with action items

This type of email focuses on the CTA, since you want the readers to do something specific.

1. Lead nurturing emails

Lead nurturing emails fit into your sales funnel by deepening the brand-customer relationship and finally converting your subscribers into customers. You can accomplish this by setting up email sequences based on a customer’s past behavior.

For example, if you send out emails to developers who are just getting started, you can check who clicked on articles about JavaScript in your past newsletters. Then, begin promoting your new “JavaScript for beginners” course only to them.

It’s important that you gather enough data about a new subscriber so you’ll be able to target them with the right kind of lead nurturing emails. 

2. Collecting feedback with email marketing

Not all automated email sequences need to end in a purchase.

Sometimes, gathering honest feedback from your customers is one of the most valuable results you can gain from an email campaign! 

When a customer offers helpful advice, you can use it to improve your product and/or your email marketing strategy. You can also use five-star reviews collected from a loyal existing customer to improve your ratings on platforms like Google or Facebook with a review request email.

A feedback email from Target, one of the different types of emails

Other types of emails

The email types above are the most common and important, but they’re not the only ones. 

Here are short explanations of some other types of emails that you can use to stay in regular contact with your email subscribers. Many of these are only useful in certain situations, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be part of your marketing strategy.

  • Progress emails: A progress email informs your subscribers about your business’ progress toward a goal, like a product launch or update.
  • Milestone emails: Stores with loyalty programs should spend time creating effective milestone emails. These emails inform customers when they reach a certain level of points, upgrade to a new tier, or become eligible for a reward.
  • Anniversary emails: By sending a customer an anniversary email once a year, you show them that you care about them and value their business.
  • Cart abandonment emails: You should always send an abandoned cart email to subscribers who placed items in their cart but didn’t complete their purchase. These simple reminders can lead to many extra sales.
  • Email validation: Email validation is a fundamental process that spans various types of email addresses, contributing to efficient communication, security, customer engagement, and compliance across personal, business, marketing, and other email contexts. It is a critical step for organizations and individuals alike to maintain the reliability and effectiveness of their email communication.


As you can see, picking the best format and type of email is crucial. This is true for every type of business, from fashion retailers to SaaS providers.

When you choose the format and the email type that’s best for your message, the results will be there—you’ll retain customers, gather valuable feedback, and boost sales. And when it all works together, you can deliver an exceptional customer experience directly to your email subscribers’ inboxes!

If you’d like to build your email subscriber list, check out OptiMonk’s award-winning lead generation software!

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