Beyond Offers: 6 Types of Emails Customers Love Getting

Last week, we talked about how retailers can get started with email marketing. We discussed the best ways to collect email addresses and what you can do to stay relevant and keep your subscribers happy.

This time, we’re taking you deeper into the email marketing rabbit hole and tackle the different types of messages you can send to your subscribers.

While emails containing coupons and offers are common—even recommended—for retailers, sending promotional messages is just scratching the surface. You also need to explore other “breeds” of emails to see what works best for your audience.

Doing so won’t just spice up your messages and give you new material; but as you’ll learn below, certain messages can also pave the way for more insights and conversations with your customers.

Ready to get started? Here are 6 types of emails you may want to send to subscribers:


“Your item is back in stock.”

It’s estimated that retailers lose about $93 billion in sales due to out-of-stock inventory each year. That’s a lot of dough, but there is one way that you could get some of it back. Whenever a customer tries to purchase an item that isn’t in stock (whether online or in person), ask for their email address so you can notify them once the product is back in your shelves. That way, if they haven’t bought it from somewhere else yet, they can head back to your store and complete the purchase.

A great example of this in action can be seen in ModCloth. The e-tailer asks people for their email when they try to purchase an out-of-stock item, and it notifies shoppers the moment it becomes available.


Vend Tip

While “back in stock” emails can help you reel users back in, the best way to make sure you don’t lose a sale is avoid out-of-stocks in the first place. Vend can help you do this through our inventory management features. Learn more here.

“We’d love your feedback.”

Want to re-engage inactive subscribers? If sweet discounts won’t work, consider asking them to talk to you instead. This shows that you care about getting their input and improving their experience.

Additionally, a lot of customers appreciate being asked for their opinion, so this not only gives you more insights into why they haven’t been very actively lately, it also gives you the chance to re-connect with shoppers.

As an example, have a look at what Little Black Bag is doing. When a customer hasn’t stopped by the site in a while, it sends an email inviting them to take a survey about their experience on the site.



“Happy Birthday!”

Show off your thoughtful side by sending customers an email on their birthday. And if you’re feeling generous, throw in a special offer as well. Rent the Runway for instance, sends its subscribers a generous $50 coupon on their big day.



“Thanks for visiting!”

Send people a thank you email just for stopping by—it’s a great way to make them feel appreciated. Nissan, for example, sends an email to customers after they get their car serviced. The automaker even throws in a couple of coupons, thus increasing the chances of repeat visits.



“Review your recent purchase.”

Invite shoppers to review their recent purchases. On top of giving you more insights into what customers think about your products, customer reviews add more user-generated content and social proof to your site, which as we all know, are two important ingredients in conversion.

Just look at what Walmart is doing. Whenever a customer buys something from, the company sends them a quick email asking them to leave a review.

Also remember that this strategy isn’t limited to product reviews. Consider sending customers an invite to share their feedback on customer service, in-store or online experience, and more.



“Happy Shopper-versary!”

Do you track the date when someone first becomes a customer? Then consider sending them a happy shopper-versary email. Let them know that you’re grateful for their business. Maybe you can even take the opportunity to gather feedback.

Again, this is a great way to make customers feel valued. It could also re-engage subscribers, boost awareness, and drive sales.

Plus, not a lot of businesses are doing it so you’ll definitely stand out!

Check out this great example from Laura Roeder’s The Dash newsletter:



Final take

You don’t always have to go for the hard sell when emailing customers. Sometimes a thoughtful message could be just as effective as an offer or discount. Play around with these suggestions and see how your subscribers respond.

Do you have other email types in mind? Let us know in the comments!

About Francesca Nicasio

Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.