30 Email Ideas for When You’re Not Sure What to Send

  • February 25, 2015

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    You know it’s important to regularly communicate with your email audience.

    You see the positive impact of email marketing each time you hit send, and work hard to stick to a schedule.

    But even with all the hard work you’re putting in, there are still times when you’re unsure what to send out.

    Email makes it possible to reach your audience more directly than many other marketing channels. And while it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to send, once you have a better understanding of the types of emails you can use, you’ll be able to put together a plan to get the results you’re looking for.

    In this post, we’ll take a look at 30 email ideas all small businesses can try out when using email marketing.

    1. Offseason check-in

    Off Season - Cape Playhouse

    Even if it’s not your busiest season, you should still take the time to reach out to your audience so that you can stay connected and top-of-mind.

    For an organization like Cape Playhouse — which hosts events during the summer months — sending regular emails during the offseason, gives them a chance to keep supporters engaged and bring people back year after year.

    2. Breaking news

    Big News - Wekiva Falls Resort

    You’re constantly growing and improving your business, and probably have a lot of news to share. If there’s something customers need to know about, make sure to reach out and share the good news.

    3. Digest

    Digest - Bridge Cape Ann2

    Make sure your audience doesn’t miss out on the great content you’re creating by putting together a regularly-scheduled email digest.

    If you have a blog for example, you can give readers the option to sign up to receive a weekly roundup of your latest posts.

    4. Best of

    Best Of - Bicycle Adventures

    If you’re a business like Bicycle Adventures — which offers travel excursions around the globe — it can be helpful to pick a few favorite items to highlight in the emails you send out. Rather than simply trying to “sell, sell, sell” you’ll have the chance to inform your audience in a way that’s interesting and not overwhelming.

    5. Anniversary

    Anniversary - Tasty Burger

    Your customers play an important role in the success of your business and will be happy to celebrate when you reach a new milestone.

    6. End of season

    End of Season - Orange Cycle

    Do you have a particular product or service that you’re trying to push as you head into a new season? Email makes it easy to showcase a selection of items, and even include special offers to encourage your customers to take action.

    7. Invitation

    Event Invitation - Fairy DogParents

    Invitations are important for big events and fundraisers, but can also be used to get the word out about some of the smaller activities you have going on.

    Make sure your invitations have important details like date, location, and cost. When appropriate, include a link for people to register in advance.

    8. Weather

    Boloco - Weather

    If weather conditions are impacting your regular business hours, customers will want to know about it.

    Tip: If you’re a Constant Contact customer, our mobile app makes it easy to create quick email messages right from your mobile device.

    9. Holiday

    Holiday - Sugarees

    There’s no shortage of holidays that you can celebrate with your staff and customers. In addition to the major holidays, there are also some less-serious holidays that customers may like to celebrate with your business like International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day (February 23) or Take a Walk in the Park Day (March 30).

    Find other fun days here.

    10. Outreach

    Outreach - Work it Out

    Have you ever had a decision to make and wish you could ask your customers for input?

    While you don’t want to clog up your audience’s inbox with too many messages, you can occasionally check in to ask people to share their ideas.

    11. Seasonal

    Seasonal - Ipswich Ale

    Even if you don’t have “seasonal” products or services, you can still use the changing seasons to add some personality to your messages.

    This is a great way to make a more personal connection with your audience and will increase the chance of your message getting noticed.

    12. Newsletter

    Newsletter - Gorilla Doctors

    If you’re already sending an email newsletter, you’re on the right path. An email newsletter is effective because it provides a way for you to give people the information they need in a way that’s reliable and convenient for them.

    If you’ve been sending an email newsletter for a while, make sure that you’re thinking about the different ways people are receiving your messages and the different devices they may be using.

    13. Reminder

    Reminder - Bisque Imports

    Even if you’ve sent announcements and posted about something on social media, that doesn’t mean people will be ready to act. A lot of people wait until the last minute, and a last minute reminder could be exactly what they need.

    14. Social

    Social - Hendrick Hudson Free Library

    Make sure email subscribers know that they can connect with you outside of the inbox. You can add social media buttons to the emails you send out or create a special announcement, encouraging people to connect.

    15. Sneak preview

    Sneak Preview - La Provence

    Your email audience will appreciate any exclusive information you can share. If you’re adding a new line of products or planning some big improvements, send a sneak preview to let people know what you have going on.

    16. Reengagement

    Reengagement - Basil Tree Catering

    If you have a group of people who signed up for your email list but haven’t been opening your emails, take some time to reach out to see how things are going. Consider adding an engaging subject line to get their attention. Basil Tree Catering tried the subject line “Because We Miss You…” to reconnect with their disengaged audience.

    17. Follow up

    Follow Up - Camp Unleashed

    Don’t underestimate the power of a follow-up message. Whether your following up with pictures from a recent event or connecting with new customers who signed up for your email list — a follow up email can help turn a new visit into a repeat customer, and a repeat customer into one of your most vocal fans.

    18. Thank you

    Franklin - Thank You

    Never miss an opportunity to let customers know how much you appreciate them.

    For a business like Franklin Cape Ann — which won an award that was voted on by local customers — a thank you email with a special coupon is a great way to show customers some love.

    19. Sale

    Sale - Allegria Spa

    The power of email marketing is that it’s immediate. You can send an update out on the morning of a big sale and have people shopping at your store later that day.

    Take the opportunity whenever you can to let your email list know when you’re offering special discounts.

    20. Top sellers

    Top Sellers - Awesome Merchandise

    Choose your best-selling items and highlight them in an email to customers. This works especially well for businesses that sell products online.

    21. Free shipping

    Free Shipping - Taza

    If you’re not seeing the response you want from the marketing emails you send out, consider offering a special bonus for email subscribers. Offering free shipping is one of the simplest ways to reward loyal fans.

    22. Limited edition

    Product Announcement - Wine Station

    If you have a sought-after product that’s in limited supply, your email audience will appreciate being the first ones to hear about it. This will not only generate a positive response in the short term, but can also get people excited to open future emails you send out.

    23. Update

    Update - Rescued Pets Movement

    Your audience is invested in the success of your business. If you have an ongoing project that you’ve been working on, make sure to share regular updates to keep people involved and up-to-date.

    This is especially valuable for a nonprofit organization like Rescued Pets Movement, which shares updates about animals they have helped rescue to keep supporters informed.

    24. Coupon

    Sunset Hills Automative -- Coupon

    Offering a coupon is still one of the most effective ways to boost sales and bring new customers into your store. You can include a coupon in your next email and give people the option to redeem the offer right from their mobile device.

    25. Raffle

    Raffle - Floral & Hardy

    Have some fun with your audience and encourage them to get involved through a contest. You can use a raffle to increase foot traffic and encourage people to come in and enter to win. Or give people the option to enter online.

    26. Video

    Video - Rejuvenate Therapeutic

    When used correctly, video has the power to improve your email marketing results and make a more meaningful impact on your audience. You can make video the focus of your message, or add a video to support the action you want people to take.

    27. Feedback

    Survey - Johnson

    Let customers share their feedback by including an online survey in your next email campaign. Keep your surveys short and choose just a few key questions for best results.

    28. Featured

    Weekly Feature - Minglewood

    You may think customers know everything you offer, but there are probably a lot of products and services people are unaware of. Highlight different areas of your business with a “featured” email.

    29. Welcome

    Welcome - DCC

    If you’re a Constant Contact customer, you can set up an automatic welcome email that goes out to new contacts when they join your email.

    But you can also create an email to send to new customers after they make a purchase or sign up for a service.

    30. Back in stock

    Back in Stock - All Backyard Fun

    Have customers been waiting for any new items to come back in stock? Give them the chance to sign up to be the first to know, and send out an update when the product is available.

    Which of these email ideas will you try first?

    Keep these examples in mind as you start to put together your email marketing plans.

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