What Are the Best Email Campaigns for Online Businesses?

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Email can be a crucial part of your online business' marketing strategy. The possibilities for promoting your brand via email are nearly limitless. However, staring at a blank screen while trying to come up with a brilliant campaign can be a bit discouraging.

Fortunately, there are several types of email campaigns that tend to work extremely well. These techniques can earn you extra money, new subscribers, and even generate positive buzz around your business.

In this post, we'll explore the benefits an email marketing campaign can bring to your business. Then we'll share five of the best email campaigns you can use in your strategy. Let's get started!

Why Use Email Marketing for Your Business?

Any email you send out to current or prospective customers falls under the umbrella of email marketing. Since subscribers must opt-in to your list, any campaigns you send will reach an audience that's already interested in what you have to offer. Your readers may even forward your emails within their own networks, resulting in more subscribers.

When running an email marketing campaign, you'll typically have access to reporting tools that allow you to see which of your campaigns are most effective. You can use these numbers to zero in on what resonates with your subscribers. Thoughtfully designed marketing emails can help build relationships with your customers, potentially translating into more revenue for you.

Top 5 Email Campaigns for Online Businesses

Now that you've learned a bit about how email marketing can help your business, let's look at some of the best email campaigns you can send to promote your brand. We've rounded up five popular types that you can try out with your subscribers.

1. Welcome New Subscribers

When someone signs up for your email list, it's beneficial to send them something right away. A series of welcome emails can help a new subscriber know what to expect from you. You might even offer a first order discount to encourage an initial sale:

A welcome email from Modkat - best email campaigns

Subscribers are likely interested in what you have to say when they first sign up, so it's a smart move to take advantage of this opportunity and create a strong first impression. You can design a series of emails to send out automatically to each new subscriber. You may want to include your social media information as well as other ways to get in contact with your business.

2. Promote an Upcoming Sale

People are busy, and while an upcoming sale may be at the top of your mind, your customers might forget about it. Sending a reminder or two by email can help generate excitement for your sale and complement your social media efforts:

A sale promotion email from Urban Betty - best email campaigns

You might highlight some exceptional deals or include a coupon code subscribers can share with their friends. When your readers recommend your brand to others, you have a chance to gain new subscribers and customers.

3. Remind Shoppers of Abandoned Carts

About 88% of shopping carts are abandoned, which can be discouraging for online business owners. There are a lot of reasons why someone browsing your site may decide against placing their order, but there's a chance you can salvage the sale with a well-timed email:

An abandoned cart email from 12andMe - best email campaigns

If you're in the position to offer free shipping or a discount, it might encourage shoppers to complete the checkout process. Otherwise, you might reach out to see if they have any questions or feedback as to why they abandoned their cart. Their answers may help you prevent lost sales in the future.

4. Ask for Reviews or Referrals

Shoppers tend to read online reviews before purchasing, making testimonials a valuable source of social proof. You might ask your more frequent customers to share their opinions and experiences after their purchases.

You could also set up a referral program and offer discounts to customers who send more business your way:

A referral request from Naked Wines - best email campaigns

You can use a tool such as Pretty Links and integrate it with Google Analytics to help track the campaign's success.

5. Follow Up After Customers' Orders

Once a customer places an order, you have the opportunity to continue building your relationship with them and possibly sell additional products. While you can send a simple order confirmation, you might also try to include other information such as expected shipping time.

Customers may also appreciate the inclusion of an email address they can contact to ask questions about their orders:

An order confirmation from GoldieBlox - best email campaigns

You might also attempt to upsell or cross-sell at this point. Upselling is when you offer a customer an upgrade or add-on for a product they've bought or shown interest in. Cross-selling is encouraging the purchase of a complimentary item. Both of these tactics can result in shoppers spending a bit more on your business.


A solid email campaign can do a lot for your online business. Whether your goal is to grow your audience, spread the word about a sale, or just make more money, this channel can be a powerful marketing tool.

These five email campaigns are a solid place to start building your strategy:

  1. Welcome new subscribers.
  2. Promote an upcoming sale.
  3. Remind shoppers of abandoned carts.
  4. Ask for reviews or referrals.
  5. Follow up after customers' orders.

Do you have questions about how to use email for your online business? Ask us in the comments section below!

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Categories: Marketing Advice
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, WordPress fanatic, and staff writer.