50+ Email Marketing Ideas For Driving Action & Engaging Leads

Take a look at 50 of the best ideas you can use to take your email marketing to the next level.

In today's digital world, marketers have more opportunities than ever to reach out and connect with their target audience. With an unprecedented amount of marketing channels to work with it can be challenging to figure out which approaches will allow you to successfully connect with your market, cultivate strong audience relationships and ultimately drive sales.

Amongst the vast array of marketing communication options one still stands tall above the rest, and that's email marketing.

Email marketing is the single best tool you have at your disposal for marketing your brand and driving conversions. In fact, it's been found to have an enormous 300% ROI advantage over social media marketing.

Topman welcome email

To help you kick your email marketing strategy into high gear we're going to take you through 50+ awesome ideas for effective emails you can send today.

General Email Marketing Ideas

If you want to form a solid relationship with your mailing list and maximise your chances of driving first-time and ongoing sales then you need to be putting out engaging email content several times per week.

This will maximise your emails' chances of getting read, allow you to drive consistent engagement, and help you earn and keep a spot at the top of your audience's mind.

And remember, every email you send should include a call to action which encourages users to take the next step. This can be clicking through to your onsite content, viewing a product or offer, or claiming a coupon code.

Sending out emails with this level of frequency is highly effective, but it can be tough to find something valuable to say all the time. To help you keep your emails constantly flowing and consistently engaging here are some of our favourite ideas for emails you can send anytime:

1. Welcome Emails

Anytime someone new signs up to your mailing list it's important that you immediately reach out and welcome them to your mailing list.

You don't have to do anything too fancy here. You can simply welcome users to you mailing list and give them an introduction to what they can expect from your emails. A welcome email is also a great opportunity to give users a proper introduction to your business, and present them with a clear call to action to try to drive some instant activity.

Jane welcome email

If you really want to sweeten the deal you can even throw in an introductory coupon to encourage instant action, but we'll talk more about that later.

2. News Emails

Sending out relevant news about your niche is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your subscribers, provide them with value, and drive engagement.

If all you do is send out advertisements and sales pitches, people will tune out pretty quickly. You need to mix it up with interesting, valuable content and sharing relevant news is a great way to do just that.

This is a great strategy for developing relationships with your audience and positioning yourself as a trusted and helpful authority within your niche. This goes a long way when it comes to driving long-term customer acquisition and retention.

Property news email

Bonus points if you can direct users to your own blog posts covering relevant news updates.

3. Update Emails

Direct email is a fantastic way to keep your users and customers posted about any important updates to your products or procedures. Update emails aren't inherently the most exciting emails, but if you're looping users in on changes to your products and services these emails can serve as a great way to show off what you've got and promote your offering that's constantly improving.

Update emails can even serve as a simple way to touch base with your customers and keep yourself fresh in their mind.

Email announcing changes to terms of service

Wahanda were able to cleverly use a standard update email to incentivise customers to subscribe to their newsletter which will give their future promotional efforts a meaningful boost.

4. Sharing Valuable Content

When people sign up for your mailing list it will generally be because they like and trust your brand, and want to gain value from your communications. This value will often take the form of product news and special offers, or it can be the insightful and valuable content that you share.

Just about every business has something to gain to by producing valuable content about their niche, but it can be particularly effective for B2B and SaaS businesses. Whatever it is you're writing about, your content needs to strike a balance between promoting your own offering, and providing readers with meaningful value.

Using email to share valuable content

If you regularly publish blog posts it's always a good move to share them with your list, but also producing some exclusive email content is an awesome way to incentivise sign-ups and make your subscribers feel valued.

5. Curated Content

A great way to bulk up your email content is by sharing a curated collection of new, high-value, and relevant articles and videos from around the web.

Taking this approach will allow you to send out more emails and engage your audience more often. Just remember to prioritise your own content, and try not to direct your subscribers towards any of your competitors.

Weekly email blast with curated content

Helm Boots does this expertly by sending out a weekly roundup of engaging content from around the web, including content and deals from their own store.

6. Happy Holidays

Sending out emails around holidays is a great way to instantly make your emails more captivating and capitalise on people's festive spirits. Whether you're running a holiday sale, sharing some holiday-themed content or even just wishing people a happy holiday, this tactic is a surefire way to give your messages an easy boost in engagement.

Holiday email promoting seasonal gift cards

And with the absurd amount of holidays floating around you'll never run out of reasons to celebrate.

7. Ask Questions

The key to success in any industry is understanding your customers, and there's no better way to gain this understanding than simply going out and asking for it.

If you want to get valuable audience insights then you should try sending your subscribers emails with targeted questions relevant to their stage in the customer journey.

Here's how Vueling Airlines used a quick question to gauge customer preferences and tried to drive some instant conversions:

Using email to run quick surveys

As well as helping you gauge preferences and drive conversions, this type of email also serves as a nice way to engage users and make them feel involved with your brand.

8. Send Invitations

If you're hosting any sort of event then sending out personal, thought-out invitations is a powerful way to make leads feel appreciated and valued.

If you're selling high-value tickets and have a relatively short lead list, get your team to email as many of them as possible from their own e-mail addresses to add a personal touch.

Event invitation email

9. Webinar Invitations

If you're running an online webinar then sending out invites and sign-up forms to all of your subscribers is a must.

Webinar invitation email

You should use emails to announce your webinar, highlight everything users will gain from it, and provide a clear, easy to follow prompt to sign up.

10. Important Dates

Key dates for your business are a great excuse for celebrating with your audience. You can celebrate your organisation's birthday, the day you first broke even, or any other important date.

Promoting anniversary sale with email

Can you lay out the key dates in your business calendar and see how many email opportunities you have?

11. Contest & Giveaway Announcement Emails

One of the most powerful types of promotional campaigns you can run is a giveaway, and reaching out to your evangelists through email is a great way to get the ball rolling on your giveaway and start driving entries.

All you need to do is send out an email which announces your giveaway, highlights the prize, and lets users know what they can do to enter. This is particularly powerful if your giveaway incentivises users to share your campaign with their own social circles, as it will allow you to harness the power of your list to build awareness and attract new subscribers.

Email announcing giveaway

12. Winner Announcement Emails

Every time you run a contest a giveaway you need to publicly announce the winner of your campaign. This will give people closure, boost transparency, and provide you with a solid reason to reach out to your audience and try to drive some engagement.

Announce giveaway winners via email

You can use you winner announcement emails to thank users for participating, hint at future contests to keep them interested, encourage them to shop the products they missed out on winning, and even offer them an exclusive discount to help drive sales.

13. Offer Consolation Prizes

The single best thing you can do to drive action from participants in the aftermath of a contest or giveaway is offer up consolation prizes in the form of exclusive discounts to be used at your store.

Reengage contest entrants with discounts

This is a truly outstanding way to capitalise on the excitement of your giveaway and drive immediate action from all your fresh leads.

Promotional Emails

So far we've gone over some of our favourite ideas for using email to engage your audience and develop a relationship with potential customers. This is an undeniably critical component of email marketing, but alongside offering up authentic value and boosting engagement it's also important that you're using this channel to promote your offering and drive sales.

Here are some of the most engaging and effective ways you can use email marketing to promote your offering:

14. New Release Emails

Whenever you've got a new release hitting your store you should make sure your subscribers are aware. After all, they're more likely than anyone be keen to check out your latest offering.

Promote new release with email

You can even offer some subsciber-exclusive discounts if you want to boost interest even more.

15. Start of Season Announcements

If your business has a peak season or different seasonal offers you should always try to send out a reminder at the start of the season.

This is a tactic often used by clothing retailers to promote new seasonal lines and businesses in the travel industry showcasing the season's best destinations, but it's a highly effective approach that can be utilised by just about anyone.

Fashion retailer anouncing new season wioth email

16. End of Season Reminders

Just as it's important to announce the start of a season, it's also important to remind people of it's end. At the end of a particular season you're likely to be trying to move excess stock and squeeze every last sale you can from your list.

End of season reminder email for e-commerce

A great way to maximise sales at the tail end of a season is to offer special deals and discounts which give your subscribers a final opportunity to get their hands on a seasonal offer.

17. Best Sellers

A simple but effective way to use email marketing to drive sales is to put your best products on full display and encourage your subscribers to check them out, and hopefully make a purchase.

Showcasing your top selling products is an easy way to put your most popular products front and center and give your promotion solid mass appeal.

Use email to promote your best selling items

18. Utilise Social Proof

When you set out to drive sales via email, it's important that you're doing everything you can to highlight the value of your offering and encourage users to take action and make a purchase.

There's arguably no better way to do this than by showcasing customer testimonials, success stories, and user-generated content in your emails. This is the perfect way to highlight the benefits of your offering in an authentic, trustworthy, and highly engaging way that will resonate with your audience far more than traditional marketing material.

You can do this by providing customer testimonials:

Sending emails with customer testimonials

Or just by including some customer photos in your emails:

Showcasing customer photos via email

19. Show Off Your Results

Similarly to showing off user-generated content that highlights the value you provide, if it makes sense for your business it can be a good move to show off some real, tangible results.

This could be case studies, write-ups about your product from trusted sources, or data that highlights the value of your offering and shows prospects that you can solve their problems and fulfill their needs.

Include social proof in emails

20. Limited Edition Products

If you've got some limited edition products or limited time deals, promptly alerting your email list is an outstanding way to make them feel valued and help strengthen your relationship, regardless of whether or not they ultimately make a purchase.

After all, they subscribed because they want to be the first to know.

The 5th promoting limited edition watch

21. Teaser Emails

If you're about to launch a new product, promotion or marketing campaign then it's a good move to build hype early on and send out some teaser emails to get people excited before you launch.

This is a great way to get people talking about your new offer or promotion so when you do go live, you're launching to an excited audience that's primed and ready to take action.

Email teasing new releases

22. Preview and Pre-Sale

Teasers are a great way to get people excited about an upcoming release, but as the release draws nearer you may want to give people an in-depth look at what's coming, and even give them a chance to pre-order it.

People love to be at the forefront of exciting new products and innovations, so if you give your loyal subscribers the chance to get your new release before anyone else they're more than likely to jump at the opportunity.

Kate Spade pre-order email

This will help you further strengthen your subscriber relationships, drive sales, and get your new product into the hands of early adopters who will kickstart the cycle of peer-to-peer sharing and help your new release gain traction.

23. Product Education

Just because someone's on your mailing list it doesn't mean they will necessarily know how to use your product.

Sending out emails which give people the option of learning how to use your product is a great way to boost product familiarity and encourage trial.

You don't just have to focus on the basics either. Giving people some in-depth insight and inspiration on using your product is a fantastic way to get prospects excited to get their hands on your product, and help existing customers get even more out of your offering.

Using email for product education

Special Offers & Deals

The tactics we went over above are all outstanding ways to use email marketing to promote your offering and drive sales. As effective as they can all be, there still isn't anything you can do that will drive immediate sales as effectively as offering up coupons and discounts.

Here are some of the best ways you can use your email list to offer discounts and drive sales:

24. Welcome Offer

A great way to incentivise email subscriptions and drive some quick sales is sending out a special welcome offer to everyone who signs up to your mailing list. This could be a 10% discount on their first purchase, a 2-week free trial, or anything else you think will help get your foot in the door.

Adore Me emails new signups enticing welcome deals

If you want to start giving out welcome offers, make sure that you're using your opt-in forms to promote this special offer to encourage as many people as you can to sign up to your list.

25. Host a Sales Promotion

There's a reason why sales promotions are so universally popular in the world of E-commerce. They work.

Sales promotions are a brilliant way to make your offer that little bit more appealing and drive a serious amount of purchases. No one is more likely to get involved with your sales promotions than your subscribers, so sending out an email devoted to your sale every time you run one is a must.

ASOS announce 50% off sale

Announce your sales promotion, showcase what you're offering and give users a clear call to action that takes them right to your sales page.

26. Last Chance Sales Reminders

If you have a sales or special promotion that is drawing to a close, you should send your subscribers a final reminder and give them one last chance to capitalise on your discount.

The psychology of scarcity will invoke a sense of urgency that is sure to prompt users to take immediate action and help you drive some sales. A great way to really instill a sense of urgency is by including a countdown timer inside your email.

Use sale countdown emails to build urgency

27. Flash Sales & One-Time Offers

Another effective way to drive instant action by creating a sense of urgency is running flash sales and offering limited-time only deals that give users a weekend or even a single day to capitalise on some awesome deals.

The scarcity this creates is incredibly effective for driving sales.

Animated Flash Sale email

When you take this approach it's a good move to announce the upcoming promotion in advance. You don't want potential customers to miss out because they didn't check their email in time.

28. Offer Exclusive Discounts

Another brilliant way to encourage sales from your list is offering up exclusive subscriber discounts in the form of coupon codes.

This is not only a sure-fire way to drive sales, but also a terrific opportunity to make your subscribers feel valued. This will greatly enhance your ability to retain customers and promote brand loyalty.

Thirdly, you can track coupon usage, get some advanced analytics on customers’ purchasing habits and the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.

Offering email list exclusive discounts

29. Free Shipping

Another type of special offering you can share to drive sales is Free Shipping. Free shipping allows you to offer up a discount without actually having to mark down prices.

This can be helpful if you're offering up luxury goods and don't want its perceived value to be tarnished by price reductions.

Email with free shipping code

30. A Special Gift

Offering your subscibers a free gift is an outstanding way to introduce them to your product and give them a taste of exactly what your product can do for them.

If people like the product you give them as a gift there's a good chance they'll start purchasing it on their own.

Email loyal users a special gift

31. A Complimentary Service

If you're a service provider then offering your subscribers a free service or a free trial can be a great way to re-engage them, help get your foot in the door, and start working towards converting subscribers into regular customers.

Promote your service with a complementary offer

The exact service you offer is completely dependent on the nature of your business, but it's always a good move.

Customer Retention Emails

We've spent some time talking about highly effective email strategies for acquiring customers and driving sales, and while these ideas are all outstanding for driving sales from new and existing customers alike there are some extra tactics you can implement to help engage existing customers and boost retention.

32. Loyalty Discounts

A nice way to show loyal subscribers that they're valued is giving them special discount codes when they reach certain milestones. This could be 6 months as an email subscriber, 1 year since their first purchase or anything else.

Loyalty emails help drive retention

As well as showing your fans how much you value them this is also a solid tactic for re-activating former customers and encouraging them to take action once more.

33. Surveys

If you collect your customers' email addresses then reaching out to them with a survey can be a great way to collect highly valuable customer feedback which you can use to improve your offering and figure out how to best connect with your audience.

You can also try offering up a coupon to everyone who completes the survey. This will help you collect more survey responses and drive some sales.

Use email to promote survey

34. Product Recommendations

A brilliant way to re-engage customers and prompt them to make additional purchases is by giving them product recommendations based on their previous purchases.

You can recommend similar products or complimentary products that pair perfectly with purchases they've already made.

Email users tailored product recommendations

35. Reminders to Re-Up

If you sell consumable goods then hopefully your customers will be wanting to re-stock at some point.

A highly effective way to remind them that they need to re-up is sending out a friendly reminder email.

Reminder emails can help boost retention

Digital Receipts

Chances are every time someone purchases one of your products you're instantly sending them a digital receipt. These receipts are surprisingly powerful, and are more than likely to have a higher open rate than any other email you send.

These receipts usually just provide the details of a customer's order, but there are a few great ways you can use them as powerful marketing tools to build engagement and drive future sales.

36. “You Made The Right Choice”

Making sure customers are satisfied plays a huge role in boosting retention. If you want to get repeat business then you need to make sure your customers are happy with their purchase.

Alongside offering a great product, a simple way you can help achieve this is using your digital receipt to assure customers that they made the right decision.

You can easily do this by highlighting the benefits of your product, incorporating social proof from other satisfied customers and assuring them that you're always there for any product support they need.

Reinforce purchases with follow-up emails

37. Post-Checkout Discount Codes

You can use your digital receipts to immediately start driving future purchases from existing customers by including an exclusive discount code with every post-checkout email.

This is an awesome way to start driving more value from users who have already shown a definitive interest in your brand.

Drive retention with post-checkout discount emails

38. Complementary Product Promotions

We already spoke about sending customers emails promoting similar or complementary products, but have you considered doing this in your digital receipt or order confirmation emails?

This can be a great way to remind customers of something else they might need and get them to take action whilst they're still in a purchasing mindset. An example of how this can work is recommending Airpods to someone who just bought an iPhone, or some games to someone who just bought a console.

You can even offer special discounts on complementary products to make a follow up purchase even harder to resist.

Product recommendation email after purchase

39. Incentivise Referrals

When people enjoy something, they like to share it with their friends. This can be hugely valuable to your business, as with the right approach you can turn your satisfied customers into a powerful promotional force.

You can use referral links to offer valuable discounts to customers who successfully share the link with friends, and the friends who capitalise on the offer.

Use email to incentivise referrals

This is an incredibly effective way to not only attract new customers, but also boost retention. You can send out this type of promotion to all of your customers, or you can attach a referral link to your digital receipts and drive social sharing on a consistent basis.

40. Ask For Positive Feedback

Online reviews can play a decisive role in customers' purchase decision, so you want to make sure they're going to tip in you favour.

Try asking customers to leave you a review and link them to the review platforms that you think are most effective for your business.

Email asking for good reviews

You can do this in your digital receipts, but you might want to give customers a chance to enjoy your product first. You can easily allow for this by sending a follow up email a few days after the customer receives your product.

Personalised Emails

Every customer you attract and every lead you generate is going to be different, so finding ways to send emails that connect with your audience on a more personal level can go a long way when it comes to building meaningful relationships.

Let's take a look at a few ways you can make your emails more personalised:

41. Segmented Emails

Segmenting your email list is a fantastic way to ensure that you're sending messages that resonate with the recipients.

You can segment your list based on any information you have that you feel will help you send more targeted emails that are likely to land.

Targetted email promoting discounts

This can include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Previous Purchases
  • Industry (if you're a B2B or SaaS)

Take a look at this email TripAdvisor sent out to a segment of users that had interacted with restaurants and eateries on their site:

TripAdvisor promotional email

You can even use past interactions with your emails to determine what types of email content certain users are likely to engage with, and send them emails based on those behaviours.

For example, you could create a segment of users who have previously clicked through to links in certain emails, and target them with similar offers or messages.

42. Cohort Follow-Ups

A cohort is a group of leads or customers that signed up or bought from you in the same period of time. Tailoring a message to a particular cohort can be an easy way to deliver targeted, time-relevant messages that feel personal.

With this approach you could reach out to customers who made a purchase during your last sale and notify them of an upcoming sale, send exclusive holiday coupons to people who shopped with you last Christmas, or even just reach out and try to re-activate a cohort of customers who haven't shopped with you in a while.

Use email to reach lapsed customers

43. Personalised Birthday Emails

If you've been able to capture your leads or customer's date of birth then sending them an awesome birthday voucher is a great way to make your subscribers feel really valued and establish the foundations of a solid customer relationship.

ASOS offers birthday discounts

44. Geographic Area Targeting

Another way you can effectively send out personalised emails is implementing geographic segmentation and sending out relevant emails to people in different geographic areas.

This is a great approach to take if you're running a regional sale or hosting an event somewhere.

Email promoting nearby concerts

If you also sell products in a physical location, you can use this approach to promote the openings of nearby stores, or any in-store sales that are being run. You don't even have to promote your own store, promoting a distributor who stocks your products is still an effective tactic for driving sales.

Writing Engaging Emails

We've gone over a whole lot of ideas for powerful marketing emails that will engage your subscribers and promote your offering. Whatever types of emails you decide to send it's crucial that you're effectively executing all of them.

Here are some tips for making sure you're making the most of the emails you send:

45. Write A Good Subject Line

Your email's subject line plays an important role in whether or not users open it.

A good subject line will spark curiosity, build urgency, and give users an indication of what they can expect from your email. You need to give people a solid reason to open your email, so try adding some incentive and highlighting why they should open your email. This can be valuable content or even a valuable discount.

Engaging email subject line

Adding in some emojis are another awesome way to stand out and get noticed.

Adore Me uses emojis in email subject

Whatever you ultimately decide on for your subject line you need to make sure that it's aligned with the actual content of your email.

Also, try sending your emails from a personal account instead of noreply@company.com. This will make your emails seem more authentic and make users a lot more inclined to open them.

46. Speak Your Audience's Language

If you want to connect with your audience in a meaningful way it's important that you're speaking to them in their language.

Treatwell friendly email

A lot of this comes down to understanding your audience, but as a general rule you should be friendly, personable and informal. Focus less on yourself and more on your prospect. Instead of talking about the features of your product, focus on the benefits and value it will provide them.

47. Keep It Short & Sharp

People have a limited attention span. This is especially true when they're reading marketing emails.

Focus on grabbing people's attention right from the get-go and channeling them towards your call to action.

Short and sharp email from The Iconic

You want your emails to be scannable. A lot of people will skim through your message and you want them to still get the key takeaways.

48. Use Engaging Imagery

Engaging visuals and imagery is a fantastic way to stimulate your readers and hold their attention.

Conveying information with images and infographics is far more engaging than a block of text.

Even if you're just throwing a few relevant pictures in to liven things up this is still an effective way to boost engagement.

Engaging imagery is vital to good emails

49. Use Video Content

There may be no better way to give your emails a serious engagement boost than adding in some video content. When people open up an email and a captivating video starts playing you can be pretty sure that they're going to stop and watch it.

Depending on what type of emails you're sending out you can use videos to explain and showcase your product, provide some valuable information or announce a sale or other special promotion.

If your email browser doesn't support embedding videos showing a thumbnail and redirecting users to a video can still be an effective tactic.

The 5th uses videos in email

Even just adding an eye-catching GIF to your email can be a great way to grab users' attention and make your email more interesting and engaging.

50. Provide A Clear Call To Action

Anytime you send a marketing email there's a very high chance that you want your audience to not only read the email, but also take further action. In fact, we would argue that any marketing email with no call to action is simply pointless.

Whatever action you want them to take, whether it's reading an article, visiting your store, or claiming a coupon code you need to provide them with a clear and engaging call to action that prompts them to take the action you're driving.

Clear call-to-action in email

How To Grow Your Mailing List

With this massive selection of email ideas and tips at your disposal you should be ready to get out there and nail your email marketing strategy.

Just remember, the bigger your mailing list is, the more effective your email marketing will be. There are a lot of fantastic strategies you can use to generate leads. That includes building attractive landing pages, creating targeted opt-in forms, and using valuable discounts to incentivise sign-ups.

If you want to learn all the best ways to effectively generate leads and grow your mailing list then you need to take a look at our expert guide:

Grow Your Email List Today

Take a look at all the best ways to generate leads or start creating your own opt-in forms today!

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Helena Ng

Helena is a Growth Marketer at Gleam. Leave her a nice comment below if you got something out of this post ☺