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3 Types of Email Campaigns & How They Can Help Your Marketing Strategy

Holly Pels
Holly Pels , Digital Content Manager , Emarsys

One of the most appealing qualities of email marketing is its versatility. There are many different types of email campaigns that can be leveraged as fundamental components of any digital marketing strategy to drive results. The key is finding the campaigns that work best for your brand and the specific business goals at hand.

For example, email marketing can be used to gain brand awareness and visibility, boost engagement, acquire new customers, retain existing ones, and more. While email marketing is an umbrella term that covers a variety of unique strategies and campaigns, there are certain benefits and challenges that come with each campaign type.

3 Types of Email Campaigns: Benefits & Challenges

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Here we’ll identify three common types of email marketing campaigns, and explain how they can help boost your overall digital marketing strategy. 

1. Ad Hoc Emails

An ad hoc email campaign is a batch campaign that is often unsegmented and unautomated, meaning that your brand will use one standard template and send it to a large group of recipients. These emails are sent at a fixed time and only get sent out once.

A brand may utilize an ad hoc email campaign as a way to send out updates like recent news or an upcoming industry event that falls outside of your typical email marketing strategy. This type of campaign could also come in handy to push out information on a new product release or a special offer.

Compared to other campaign types, ad hoc emails are more straightforward and can be put together quickly for a specific purpose. They can be launched immediately, existing outside of your usual strategy, or they can be scheduled to send at a future date.

In the example below, Hydro Flask sent out an email highlighting new color options for their products and invited recipients to create their own unique water bottle.

Source: Hydro Flask

Depending on the amount of emails you are already sending and which emails customers are opted into, you have to be careful to not overwhelm an inbox with one-off recurring emails. When planning a campaign like this, make sure you’re still using the customer data you have to make sure you’re sending these updates to customers who really want them. The content in these campaigns is often standard for all recipients, but depending on your goals for this campaign, you may choose to add other features including personalization, conditional text, and block targeting for better engagement.

Emarsys Pro Tip: Already a client? Ad hoc campaigns can be triggered as part of an Automation Center campaign, via the API, or launched directly from the Email Campaigns module. 

2. Recurring Emails 

Recurring campaigns are also batch campaigns but unlike ad hoc emails, these emails are set up at regular intervals and can be automated.

Brands that use recurring emails can find ways to seamlessly fit them into their digital strategy. Such campaigns provide a brand with an idea of what they can build around in the upcoming months, or even years.

For many brands, these emails come in the form of personalized updates for customers – reward point updates, cell phone data usage, home energy updates, and more. Recurring email campaigns offer a way for brands to regularly interact with consumers by providing them with tailored content on a regular basis.

In the example below, Duke Home Energy sends out a recurring email to its customers giving them an update on their home’s energy usage. Customers get information about their individual home and information on how they compare with homes around them. In addition, Duke provides them with additional content related to their efficiency level that customers can continue to engage with them on.

Source: Duke Home Energy

When using these emails in your marketing strategy, it’s important to make sure you are able to create a steady and rhythmic flow of emails. Customers who receive an email with their loyalty reward points update every few months are less likely to be engaged (and purchase products to earn more points) than if they were to receive a monthly update. But by using marketing automation tools to drive your email marketing, your brand can target the right people, at the right time, with the right message and keep them engaged with your brand.

Emarsys Pro Tip: Already a client? Recurring emails can be set up by adding content manually or automatically via RSS feeds. A preview campaign is generated 30 minutes before launch so you have time to check the content and make last-minute changes. 

3. On-Event Emails

Unlike the aforementioned email campaign types, on-event emails are triggered by recipient action. These emails usually focus on continuing the customer journey, by incentivizing existing customers to keep interacting with your brand. On-event emails can be some of the most lucrative for marketers as they focus on the behavior of the customer and offer a more personalized experience.

Potential triggers for this campaign type include:

  • On Birthday: Delivery of this email is linked to the “date of birth” field in the contact database. Typically, email systems will scan for available date-of-birth entries and automatically send “on birthday” emails as appropriate.
  • On Abandoned Shopping Cart: This email is launched if a customer adds items to a shopping cart but doesn’t complete the purchase. In those circumstances, a reminder email can automatically be sent.
  • On Change Profile: This type of email is launched when a change is made in a contact profile, and sent to that particular contact following the change.
  • On Referral: The email is sent after a designated email has been forwarded via the prompt on a referral page. The addressee will appear as the forwarding contact.
  • On Contact Us: This email is sent after a contact submits a Contact Us form, usually to confirm and set expectations for a response.
  • On Date: This type of email is sent on a specific date. This could come in handy for any other noteworthy dates besides a birthday. For example, you might want to send an email centered on a holiday or anniversary.
  • On Import: This email is sent after an import has been performed. For example, you might want to send a welcome or confirmation email to contacts who registered for your newsletter from an offline campaign or your own database.
  • On Registration: The email is sent after a recipient registered through a form of your choice. For example, this could be an email confirming registration.

These are just a few examples of how a brand can use on-event email campaigns to extend the dialogue with customers and personalize their experience. When using on-event emails, it’s easy to “set and forget” them. But because these emails offer a tremendous amount of opportunity for additional sales, it’s important to review their performance among your customer base on a regular basis. If certain emails aren’t doing well, make sure to revisit them and refine their content.

Emarsys Pro Tip: Already a client? On-event emails can be triggered from the Email Campaigns module.  

Final Thoughts

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There are numerous ways you can leverage email marketing campaigns and the different types that we have outlined above as part of your overall digital marketing strategy. These campaign types provide your brand with the ability to elevate personalization, and improve the customer experience.

Learn more about how Emarsys can help you create powerful, one-to-one email campaigns.

Additional Email Marketing Resources: