Many people think that emails don’t work, so you shouldn’t invest time and energy on it. However, I think that email marketing is the most efficient way to communicate with your audience and to sell products.  In this article, I’ll try to explain how to build an effective email strategy. So, let’s go!

Marketing uses three type of emails: transactional, emails in follow-up sequences, broadcasts (newsletters).

You can use the presentation for better understanding materials in this article.

Transactional/Notification emails (triggered emails)

Any email that is triggered by a user’s interaction with a website. For example, when you register on a site – you receive a letter with your registration information; when you buy a product – you receive an email of purchase confirmation. You can set up as many triggers as you want; however, be careful to not overwhelm your clients with such emails.

 Transactional emails – content that client should check or confirm.

  • Email Address Confirmation
  • Registration Confirmation
  • Order Confirmation
  • Order refund
  • Payment confirmation
  • Account termination
  • Shipping update
  • Shipping notification
  • Delivery notification
  • Password resets

Notification emails – allow the user to be notified each time when a particular event happens

  • Changes in your account
  • Birthday email
  • Back in stock
  • Feedback email
  • Thank you email
  • Shopping cart abandonment email
  • Others

Separate part of Transactional emails is Reactivation emails. They are sent to subscribers who have previously interacted with brand, but haven’t continued to engage

Emails in sequences

It is a list of emails that follow each other in arranged order.  When you create such a list, you should know the segments of the audience that will be interacting with your emails. If it’s hard to determinate all segments, you can always divide your subscribers in groups: (leads) prospects, clients, lost clients.

Follow-up sequence for prospects

The primary purpose of a follow-up sequence is to convert leads into clients. They have several variations that depend on what product is sold.

The first variant is common for online courses and products. The primary tactic of such a sequence is you send several educational letters or letters that provide extra value for your leads. It helps to form loyalty and increases trust for your products. When people begin to be confident in you as a specialist, begin sending them sales letters.

For instance, when a person is registered for a free white paper, he begins to receive such letters:

  • “Thank you letter” with a link to a white paper
  • A letter with the most interesting materials on your blog
  • A letter with a link that provides free access to your educational video
  • A letter that has a checklist or how-to list
  • Other educational or informational letters
  • A sales letter that describes how your product (e-zine, course, tutorial, etc.) can solve a person’s problem
  • A sales letter that with a proposal a discount etc..

It is evident, that in spite of the fact that such a sequence has an educational component, the main goal is selling your product.

The second variant is more popular among e-commerce products. This sequence starts to sell a product immediately. As an example, you can see a list of such emails below:

  • “Thank you letter” for subscribing and representing the account manager who can help to answer all questions about a product (A Call-To-Action button is “Contact to the manager”)
  • A letter that describes the benefits of using the product with a CTA to buy it
  • A letter with testimonials about a product with a CTA – read more on our website or buy it now
  • A letter with case studies and recommendations about how a person can use this product
  • A letter with an exclusive offer to purchase the product with a discount
  • Other Sales letters.

As was mentioned before, the sequence for prospects must convert leads into clients and nothing else.

Follow-up sequence for clients

When a person buys your product, he becomes a client and starts to receive a sequence for the clients. This sequence has several goals:

  • Stimulate the customer to buy more products from your company (up-sales)
  • Encourage the customer to use this product more often or longer (the main aim is to increase the lifetime value of each customer)
  • Encourage the client to share information about a product among his friends and get positive public feedback about the product.

For this reason, the letters in such sequences can be very versatile, for example:

  • A letter with a proposition to leave feedback about a product and get a discount on the next purchase ( a CTA button: “Leave your feedback”)
  • A letter with a review of stuff that people often buy with the main product (a CTA button:
    “Buy them now”)
  • A letter with a description of a VIP program or a Loyalty program that exists in your company (a CTA button: “Join Now”)
  • A letter that promote your referral or affiliate program
  • Others

The length of such a sequence depends on how many products and services you have. Please, remember that a letter must consist at one primary topic and CTA. The average number of letters in such list is 10-15.

Lost client Follow-up sequence

The next sequence is for people who have stopped using your product or service. It must stimulate feedback about why they left your service or show them good reasons to become your client again.

Clearly, if your product has problems, a dissatisfied customer is unlikely to return. So the first letter should have a topic like: “Provide feedback and Get something Valuable” (sometimes we only send on letter). Use this information as a cornerstone when you create a “Lost client sequence.” The letters in this list must propose solutions that help fight against customers’ disappointment or consist of discounts for the next service.

Example Letters in such sequence:

  • A letter such as: “Give us your feedback and get free usage of something.”
  • A letter that describes how we can help solve any issues with your account. Just write to us.
  • A letter: Don’t you like to manage your account? Spend $100 more and become our VIP client, we will manage your account instead of you.
  • A letter that provides a 30% discount to clients who stopped using your service. Limited Time Offer.
  • The letter that proposes a PRO account at the price of a Basic account
  • Other letters that stimulate a client to come back.

Other popular follow-up sequences:

  • Reactivation sequence
  • Abandoned shopping cart follow-up emails
  • Shoppers browse or search on a site but don’t buy follow-up
  • Time to repurchase or replenishment emails

We only described three common segments, though you can have as many segments as you wish and each of them has a customized sequence of letters.



  • Don’t spam your audience – make a scheme that accounts for how many each client receives (not more than one email per day)
  • Be sure that emails are interesting and engaging
  • 1-3 rule: One email – one topic – one primary CTA
  • Test all your emails. Use service that has a feature that does this. Click the link for more examples.

Broadcasts (Newsletters)

Are regular emails to your audience (often weekly.) Usually, a company sends news, special offers, links to interesting materials, etc in them. A newsletter is the most effective way to maintain regular communication with your clients. Also, letters with special offers are a popular method to increase your sales in a short period.

  Examples of letters’ subjects for your broadcast:

  • You will be stunned! Check out Women’s New Arrivals
  • Digest: 10 the most read articles in our blog
  • X-mass offer! 50% Discount! Hurry up!
  • Write a review about us and get a $50 Bonus in your account
  • We released a new version of our product. Now you can do more!

Hence, your main goal is to combine different types of email with the aim to achieve next goals:

  • Increase a conversion rate from leads to clients
  • Increase a lifetime value of each client (average check, time of service usage, return from lost to active clients)
  • Get a valuable feedback from your existing audience

How to do it you can read in our next article, where you will learn about priority of working with emails and get advice how to increase effectiveness of all your emails.