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9 Promotional Emails Your Contacts Will Love

Everyone loves a good deal, right? And guess what? Your contacts are no different!

Email is often cited as the single most effective digital channel for scoring sales.

That’s because email contacts are notoriously hungry for deals.

Here’s some food for thought: 96% of consumers redeem digital coupons on a regular basis. Combine that with the oft-cited 3,800% ROI for marketing emails and the message to businesses is crystal clear.

If somebody has signed up for your list, chances are they’re ready to be sold to.

And so businesses shouldn’t be shy about sending offers and deals to their fans. The key is to craft promotional emails that not only entice clicks from your readers, but also keep them wanting more.

In this quick guide, we’ll teach you how to do both!

9 Types of Promotional Emails That Work Like a Charm

First thing’s first: you need to figure out which types of deals and offers to send your contacts.

The good news? There’s no shortage of options out there. Rather than bore readers with the same promotions over and over, it literally pays to have fresh ideas on deck for future campaigns.

Also, consider that not all of your customers are created equal. The more options you have in terms of your promotional strategy, the more sales you can potentially score. Below we’ve outlined nine time-tested promotional email types that your list will eat up! What’s truly awesome is that you can adapt these to any type of business without fail.

So let’s dive in!

1. Discount and Coupons

No surprises here! Like we said, people are more than happy to receive and redeem deals. They’re the bread and butter of email marketers across all industries.

Whether you decide to hook your contacts up with free cash or slash a percentage off, either approach is fair game. The beauty of discounts is that you have tons of creative freedom and can send them year-round. They’re likewise a great way to clear inventory or re-engage your list.

Toms Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: People love a good bargain. As soon we see numbers or a percentage off, we’re immediately interested. Perhaps that’s why subject lines that contain numbers and offer mentions typically perform so well.

Here’s a quick tip, though. Beyond a bargain, readers also want that sort of warm-and-fuzzy feeling that they’re getting a deal that’s tailor-made just for them. That’s why giving your offer emails a personal touch is a major plus. Tools such as personalization tags in your subject line (“Hey John! How does 50% off sound?”) is a simple way to make your offers seem more human. For brands running frequent deals, personalization is a must-do.

2. Time-Sensitive Sales

Flash sales are an effective way to surprise your list and encourage them to take action. Perfect for a steep sale, running time-sensitive from time to time can keep your contacts on their toes.

Why They Work: Time-sensitive offers tap into your readers’ sense of urgency. That is, they’re encouraged to act sooner rather than later so they don’t sleep on your offers. Flash sales are hard to ignore by nature, again serving as a smart way to engage your list at a moment’s notice. They’re also perfect for clearing out old inventory or re-engaging people who haven’t heard from you in a while. Not all flash sales necessarily need to be super urgent, though. Anywhere between 24 and 72 hours is fair for tapping into someone’s sense of urgency without stressing them out.

3. Holiday Deals

Holidays and sales just seem to go hand-in-hand, don’t they? From Black Friday to Memorial Day or the traditional holiday season, there’s arguably no better time to blast a deal to your list.

Glasses USA Promotional Emails - Sendlane.png

Why They Work: If you’re worried about bugging your list, bear in mind that holidays are arguably your safest bet in terms of timing. After all, it’s well-documented that people spend the most money during the holiday season. Timely and topical, holiday deals are yet another good excuse to come up with offers throughout the year. When planning out your promotions, make room for the most popular holiday sales events like Labor Day, Memorial Day and, of course, the Christmas season. If you’re struggling to come up with a creative idea for any given deal, tacking it onto a holiday is a brilliant backup plan.

4. Early Bird Offers

Anything you can do to make your deals feel like they’re “for your eyes only” is good news. Early bird offers do exactly that by providing early or limited access to select contacts for select promotions.

Harry's Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: At a glance, early bird offers immediately feel more exclusive and compelling to your contacts than typical deal emails. Giving certain members of your list special treatment makes them feel rewarded simply by being part of your list. For businesses offering digital products like courses or webinars, early access or sign-ups can also help you gauge interest or conduct a “trial run” prior to your actual launch. This can help you fine-tune any kinks and ensure that your actual launch goes smoothly with your whole list.

5. Exclusive Offers

Ideal for long-term contacts, exclusive offers give certain segments of your list the aforementioned VIP treatment.

Why They Work: Beyond feeling like a reward, exclusive emails breed brand loyalty. By acknowledging your best customers or most dedicated fans, they’ll return the favor in the form of clicks and sales.These types of offers speak the importance of segmenting your email list given where your contacts are in your business’ lifecycle. For example, some might are new to you and might need an extra “push” to make that initial purchase. And in the case of exclusive offers, you might want to show your most dedicates emails some serious love. Segmenting your email list ensures that the appropriate offers are being sent to the right people. This makes your offers seem much less “one-size-fits-all,” and also allows you to create campaigns that speak to specific members of your audience.

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6. Anniversary Offers

Anniversary offers provide your business a sense of much-needed personality. Whether celebrating customer anniversaries or how long you’ve been in business, such offers are great “just because” deals that allow your brand’s human side to shine.

Tattly Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: These offers typically feel like a “thank you” versus a sales pitch. “Happy Anniversary” subject lines can likewise pique your readers’ interest to encourage opens and clicks. And since anniversaries only happen once a year, these are prime messages to save for your biggest, steepest offers. Whether it’s a buy-one-get-one deal or a high percentage-off, hyping up your anniversary special can help build some buzz prior to your big day.

7. Welcome Offers

Setting the right first impression is what welcome emails are all about. Introductory offers can get you off on the right foot by encouraging new contacts to become long-term buyers.

Thrive Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: In addition to encouraging action from the word “go,” welcome offers are a brilliant branding tool. That is, they highlight that you value your readers and set the expectation that you’ll be hooking them up with deals in the future. Starting things off with a discount is a smart move for encouraging that ever-so-important first purchase. While there are plenty of options when it comes to your welcome series, a deal or discount is a solid choice. Demonstrating the value of being on your list ASAP reinforces that your contacts have made the right choice via signing up.

8. Freebie Promos

There are few words in any language that are more powerful than the word “free,” right? Whether it’s free shipping or a small giveaway bonus, tacking on “free” to any sort of offer is a surefire attention grabber that makes you look like a helping hand.

Williams Sonoma Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: There’s no two ways about it: people love free stuff! Freebies are time-tested motivators to get people to take action and encourage purchases that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. If you’re looking to engage contacts who’ve been sleeping on your emails, the occasional freebie is a safe bet. Such emails are also great to send “just because” to get more eyes on whatever you’re selling. As a side note, strive to offer freebies that aren’t going to totally put you in the red. For example, not all businesses can afford to promote free shipping. However, a free gift or access to an older digital product (course, e-book, etc) will cost you next to nothing while still providing some serious value.

9. Cart Abandonment Discounts

Shoppers leaving their potential purchases beyond is a striking problem that plagues just about every email marketer. In fact, nearly three-fourths of all shopping carts are abandoned.Yikes! For the sake of winning these would-be customers back, cart abandonment discounts can work wonders.

Surf Stitch Promotional Emails - Sendlane

Why They Work: Cart abandonment is inevitable, but consider the reason why people drop out of a purchase. Maybe it’s an expected shipping cost. Perhaps they totally logged off by accident. A cart abandonment offer gets their attention and sweetens the deal for shopping skeptics. Rather than let potential business slip through the cracks, these offers work to seal deals that would otherwise get away from you. These emails are a shining example of how automation can be a life-saver, scoring sales from people who might otherwise drop out of your funnel altogether.

Wrapping Up Your Promotional Email Strategy

Right now we bet you’re buzzing with ideas for future sales campaigns, aren’t you? Good! Before you send any promo email, one big point to keep in mind is frequency. That is, how often you’re sending deals to your list. On one hand, marketers want to maximize their earnings through their promotions. But on the flip side, pushing too hard could result in an unsubscribe or the spam folder. In fact, recent data shows that the number one reason consumers unsubscribe from promotional lists is because they’re receiving too many emails.

Unsubscribe Stats Promotional Emails - Sendlane

The reality? There is no “right” answer in terms of frequency. Anywhere between two and four deals per month is standard for most industries. This range allows you ample time to craft unique campaigns instead of blindly blasting deal after deal. With some experimenting and tools such as Sendlane’s optimized timing, you can tap into a schedule that results in more opens and cash over time. And on that note, don’t forget to keep a close eye on your metrics! From assessing what types of offers are getting the most clicks to the financial ROI of individual emails, there’s plenty of actionable advice in your dashboard. And the more familiar you are with your top-performing campaigns, the easier it is to roll out similar deals in the future. Rinse, repeat and score sales!

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Ready to Run Some Campaigns?

Promotional emails do double duty of keeping your list engaged while scoring sales at the same time.Hopefully this list was a much-needed dose of inspiration for your future sales campaigns! Just remember: variety and consistency count so much when it comes to email promotions. And if you want to see how Sendlane can help you step up your sales emails and craft more compelling campaigns through automation, don’t hesitate to give us a spin today!

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