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Variety Is the Spice of Inbox Life: Four Nonpromotional Email Message Types

by Karen Talavera  |  
August 9, 2011

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Four email message types to include in your email marketing
  • Five reasons you need variety in your email campaigns
  • How promotional emails can be dangerous to your brand

One of my email seminar students recently asked, "I feel like the only emails my company ever sends are sales messages—like we're always asking people to buy, buy, buy. Should we supplement these with other types of email? And if so, what?"

Don't feel bad. Lack of variety in email marketing is a common dilemma for marketers. Businesses newer to email marketing or with fewer resources tend to gravitate first and only to promotional messaging, but there is plenty more you can and should communicate to your list.

Here are just four of many greetings to include in your message stream.

1. Email Newsletter

Whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly (I don't recommend less often than monthly), your e-newsletter is a fantastic email catch-all for many different types of content and messaging.

Include articles, useful tips, recommendations, testimonials, event information—and, yes, product offers and specials, too. It's a newsletter after all, so be sure you're weaving together not only what's new with your business but also what's new in your industry.

If you have an above-average perspective on developing practices, breaking news or trends, and legislation or inventions in your market, share that helpful information in the form of feature articles.

2. Personal and Holiday Greetings

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Karen Talavera heads Synchronicity Marketing and writes about how to successfully use email, social, and content marketing on the Enlightened Emarketing blog. You can also follow Karen on Twitter (@SyncMarketing) and Facebook for daily tips and links to emerging email and social media marketing trends, facts, and research.

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  • by Michelle Tue Aug 9, 2011 via web

    Great suggestions on a much needed subject. We are always evaluating how we can improve customer interactions. Thank you for the tips!

  • by Fifth Gear Tue Aug 9, 2011 via web

    These are all great suggestions. One of the most important things in email marketing is building and maintaining a quality email distribution list - which is something that a lot of companies struggle with.

    Fifth Gear is hosting a webinar on 8/17 featuring list growth strategies that can help grow sales, too. Anyone is welcome to attend - you can register here:

  • by Carlo Goco Tue Aug 9, 2011 via mobile

    Thank you for this informative article. This is definitely something companies today should apply to boost production.

  • by SpencerBroome Wed Aug 10, 2011 via web

    "You can send only so many promotional "buy" messages before you alienate list members to the point of unsubscribing."


  • by HenGz Wed Aug 17, 2011 via web

    Great suggestion. But it's hard to find companies that'll send entertaining emails tat unrelated to them

  • by Michelle Mon Oct 24, 2011 via web

    @SpencerBroome & HenGz

    I agree with you both. Zig Ziglar, Dave Ramsey, and Dan Miller do an excellent job of sending engaging, informative emails that I actually WANT to read...But they always relate to their products. Dave sends stories on how people are saving money, getting out of debt and living their dreams. Dan Miller sends info on pursuing passion, paying your dues, etc. Zig's emails inspire hard work and personal development.

    They work because they are well done and touch areas I'm interested in, so I appreciate them. I sometimes forward the emails or tell others about what I read and where I got it. As a matter of fact, I share the links on our company website! And when I need to make a purchase related to those topics, guess who comes to mind first?

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