5 Key Emails You Should Be Sending to Your List

As marketers and business owners, when it comes to email marketing, there is one phrase you are sure to read over and over again:

“The money is in the list.”

And while the phrase tends to lose its impact over time, a closer look at why everyone says this is enough to perk our ears up a bit.

The DMA Nation Client Report found that email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.

In fact, for every dollar spent, email marketing tends to generate close to $40 in return.

Those margins are huge.

This type of ROI can build a business into a well-oiled, money-generating machine.

But you can’t just send a random email every so often and expect to see results.

Email Marketing is a strategy for business, and strategies all require planning to be measurable and effective.

Businesses that have a high ROI from their email marketing efforts tend to use email sequences that are set up and ready to go – thanks to automation tools (like the ones we have at Sendlane) and a bit of time and effort.

So, here are five key emails that the big boys use to get the biggest return on their email lists.

1. Hey! Welcome!

This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

A welcome email is set up with automation to trigger one or, a series of, emails welcoming newcomers to a list.

It may seem like an unnecessary step, but these emails are vital to building relationships with potential customers.

The reason for this is that when people hand over their email, they usually expect instant gratification for it.

Even if they submit their email address as part of a content upgrade, these welcome emails are great for humanizing your marketing.

There are a few things to cover in an initial email to new subscribers:

  • A bit about you or your business
  • What they can expect from you for being on your list
  • A direction for what they need to do next


Depending on your business, the tone and flow of this email will be case-by-case, but this is a good framework to get you started.

At Sendlane, we make it easy to set up autoresponder emails that go out as soon as someone opts in to your list.

2. Engagement


Don’t you just hate that word?

Engagement is so widely talked about that’s become more of a buzzword than anything else, which (let’s face it) we all hate.

Today, we use the term “engage” so much that we tend to forget its meaning which causes us to lose sight of the purpose of our efforts.

To engage someone simply means to elicit a response.

When you say hi to someone, you’re “engaging” them in hopes of getting a response like a returned hello or smile.

But in marketing, getting a response from those who sometimes hide behind their screen is easier said than done.

While everything you send out in your emails should engage your audience in one way or another, an engagement series is made specifically to keep your conversation going and then turn this person into a paying customer.

One great example of an engagement email would be this one I received from Ebates.

This is an abandoned cart email.

I was on Ebates, thought of buying something but forgot to make the purchase.

Later that day, this email was triggered to remind me that my Old Navy cart was waiting for me.

As a marketer, you likely run into these types of emails all the time.

The most impressive example of this sort of email series is the one created by Bastian of Wild Audience.

His entire email funnel framework and copy is focused on building a real relationship with the person on the receiving end of his emails.

Instead of just telling someone what they’re getting, he asks for a response.

Each email contains a CTA, and then at the end there is a hard sell for his product.

But his attention to details and personality throughout the emails leave you awestruck and ready to shell out cash.

It’s a prime example of how to take email marketing and do something a bit different with it to skyrocket your results.

From there, the series may have a hard sell of a product like a book or digital training.

3. Thank You, You Wonderful Person You

Okay, that’s probably a bit over the top, but the idea behind this key email is super simple and very important when building customer loyalty.

After someone purchases your product or service, do you just send them a receipt and be on your merry way?

If that’s all, you’re really missing out on a great opportunity to get even more sales out of them.

Instead of letting this opportunity slip by, here’s what you can do with this type of message.

After a purchase online, trigger a thank you email to them.

Call them amazing, wonderful, awesome or something to that effect and thank them for their purchase.

Why do this?

Well, if you’ve ever read How to Win Friends and Influence People, then you’ll know that one human necessity that often goes unfulfilled is the “craving to be appreciated.”

Yes, people crave this feeling of importance.

Give them that in this email.

They will love that, you and your brand for the hugely meaningful gesture, but don’t stop there.

Instead, after you gratify this need, you can follow up with a discount on something else you offer.

Giving them a deal on top of showing your genuine appreciation for their initial purchase can lead to more purchases and long term loyalty.

How’s that for an email hack?

4. Win ’em Back

Even the best email marketers will find themselves in a rut when it comes to open and click-through rates.

When people stop opening and clicking through to your content, this starts to send some red flags.

Not just to you, but to email marketing services which may start to mark your emails as SPAM if your messages are consistently low on engagement.

Win back emails are the saving grace for all email marketers and businesses looking to keep their email list fresh and interested in them.

These emails are created to trigger, usually after a certain amount of time has gone by where little to no engagement has taken place.

And they usually stand out in an inbox and have an offer too good for a business’ perfect buyer to pass on.

Take this re-engagement email from Animoto.

This is for a customer who tried the service but left for one reason or another.

By sending a simple update with info about newly released features, Animoto is upping their chances of gaining back a customer (i.e. winning them back).

5. Level Up

When I was a kid, I loved putting food and seed out for the birds and squirrels that came through my back yard.

I started with putting out peanuts for one squirrel in particular that always seemed to hang around.

Slowly, I’d move that pile of nuts closer and closer to my back door and the squirrel would be there everyday until one day I finally managed to start feeding this little furry friend from my hand.

So why am I talking about my old pet squirrel?

Because he was a lot like potential customers today.

They’re cautious, but they want what you have to offer.

No matter who easy you make buying a product or service, customers will always have obstacles in their way with the biggest one being a matter of trust.

But, once you gain their trust, they’ll keep coming back for more in effect, leveling up your relationship.

In this case, a level up email would be for someone who has already purchased something from you, maybe a low cost product.

If they were willing to buy something from you once, then chances are that they are willing to buy something from you again — and they’re probably willing to spend more, especially if your previous product helped them.

It could be as simple as setting up an email to send a week or two after someone makes their first purchase.

This message could contain a coupon code that encourages them to buy more.

Whatever the case, the goal of these emails would be to get the customers you’ve acquired to keep coming back for more, just like my squirrel.

5 Key Emails For The Win

These are five key emails that help bring in more business and really get the best results from your email list.

Most of them are very simple and if you use our built-in automation features, executing these ideas will be a breeze.

There are so many strategies out there that you could use to grow your list, click-throughs and engagement rate, but this is a great place to start.

Why not bookmark this page for future reference so that you don’t get stuck along the way?

And, as always, please take a moment to like, share and comment below!

Let us know what key email is your favorite and how it helps you with your email marketing efforts.

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!