Promotional Email Guide: How to Write, Best Practices And 11 Examples

ByNupur Mittal


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Promotional emails are a great way to communicate your product’s value and generate buzz. Not only do these emails get you more engagement, but they also increase your average order value and drive more revenue. But, aligning your product’s marketing efforts with your audience's needs requires a creative marketing strategy.

To help you out, we cover how to write an engaging promotional email that your audience can’t resist opening and share 11 promotional email examples for inspiration.

Table of contents

What are promotional emails?

Promotional emails notify potential and existing customers about invitations, offers, announcements, new campaigns, and lucrative deals. They aim to drive sales or sign-ups. The components of a successful promotional email are a clear call to action, a powerful subject line, superb copywriting, and personalization.

11 types of promotional email with examples

We have curated a list of 11 types of promotional emails to get you inspired for your next campaigns. Let's dive in:

1. Product sales emails

Customers will always be interested in sales and getting their favorite product/service at a discount. Product sales email works because recipients have already shown interest by signing up to receive such emails. So, you can get more conversions by positioning your offer enticingly.

This email by Mailmodo is a good example of a promotional email as the headline grabs the attention instantly by clarifying the 10% offer. Next comes the interactive quiz widget, inviting curiosity to play and see what they will win.

The images in the email give readers a glimpse into some of their summer collections, allowing recipients to choose to buy in case something catches their eye.

Check out our product sales template here

2. Special offers during holidays

Halloween, independence day, Diwali, or valentines holidays are best to connect with your receipt by sending them holiday promotional emails and driving sales through special deals, coupons, and offers.

Pulp & Press has beautifully presented their valentine's day offer using the right color combination and images. The entire email instantly gives the lovely-Dovey vibe with creative CTA buttons.

Valentine's day email template by Pulp & Press Source: Pulp & Press via Really Good Emails

3. Product launch emails

Product launches are exciting, be it an ebook, new feature, a product line, etc. With product launch email, you can generate awareness about your launch, bring traffic to your website, and drive more conversions.

This ebook promotion launch email by Mailmodo uses brand color consistency, making the email stand out. The headline points out that we are promoting our newly launched ebook and also gives a glimpse of what readers can expect if they download it.

The email also worked as we added social proof mentioning the position and number of downloads we got on the product hunt for our ebook.

Check out our product launch email templates

Write winning subject lines with our free ebook

Proven subject line framework to get higher opens

4. Exclusive offer for your subscribers

Who doesn't like to feel special? By giving exclusive or insider deals to your active subscribers, you can nurture them, build stronger bonds with them and make them your loyal customers.

There are many ways to use exclusive offers to build a brand reputation, such as offering a sample before the actual eBook comes out or giving a special offer only to those who have bought something from you.

In this email, Mailmodo offers exclusive deals by giving them special discounts on its pricing plan. Beginning from the headline to the CTA email catches attention by displaying the offer. Adding images showing each plan's features further builds trust and compels readers to check out the product.

Check out our exclusive offer email template

5. New stock and arrivals

New arrivals or stock emails are great for getting the word out and driving traffic to your site.

Root Houseplants announce their new arrivals using a minimalist email design while maintaining brand consistency throughout the email. The headline states that it's an email about new stock arrivals. They also add images that let the recipient see the product in real-time.

New stock email by Root Houseplant

Source: Root Houseplants via Really Good Emails

6. Back in stock emails

Back-in-stock email works like a charm if you know whom to send such email because these emails won't resonate with the audience who didn't check out the product that is now back in stock.

So, before you send these emails to identify which customers were looking for the product that is now back in stock, the chances of getting sales are higher as the customer had high intent of buying three products.

We loved this email by Tech Will Save Us as the whole email is divided into 5 different compartments - footer, header, and three sections stating the product's benefits with CTAs. The headline is simple and states that dough kits are back, the main product they are selling in the email.

Since this product is for children, they've used playful colors and imagery showing their product in action letting recipients engage more.

Back in stock email by Tech Will Save Us

Source: Tech Will Save Us Via Really Good Emails

7. Event promotion emails

Promoting them via email is a great way to get more people to join and generate leads, be it a webinar, workshop, seminar, conference, or any other type of event. Email marketing works best in promoting both virtual and offline events by giving people relevant reasons to join.

At Mailmodo, we host a weekly webinar where we speak to industry experts and share valuable insights to educate and inform our audience.

One of the emails we sent in the event promotional series is this announcement email where we introduce the guest and the topics we cover. The header catches attention as it summarizes all the vital details, including the date, timing, and guest speakers.

If someone can’t join the event, we encourage registration by telling them about the recording session of the event.

Check out more such event promotional email templates

Learn how Kodo, a fintech company boosted their event registrations using Mailmodo.

8 . Seasonal campaigns

Be it scorching summer heat or ice-cold winters, seasonal email campaigns are a great opportunity to get more sales and engagement.

Each season has the uniqueness that sets it apart from other seasons, and by creating that uniqueness in your email, you can stand out and engage your audience.

This summer season email by Mialmodo catches attention and gives us a summer vibe with its all-bright yellow color theme. The headline states the email promotes a summer sale, and the layout takes an inverted shape directing readers toward the bottom CTA.

Check out our seasonal offer email template

9. Upsell emails

Upselling increases customer lifetime value and drives more revenue from your existing customers. If a customer is using your basic plan, you can showcase the benefits and features of your premium plan and even offer a discount to convert them.

This upsell email by Medium ticks all the right boxes. The headline is personalized and poses a question, while the subheading summarizes the benefits of upgrading.

The email body is further divided into explaining the benefit in detail and visuals. Though the email is text-heavy, it still greatly impacts the readers and nurtures them towards the CTA.

Upsell email by Medium

Source: Medium via Really Good Emails

10. Giveaway emails

Giveaways are best to attract more leads and drive traffic and engagement. To get the best result on your giveaway emails, you need to focus not only on the price but also on the presentation of that offer.

Misfit did the giveaway email perfectly by visually representing the offer with a clear CTA. Furthermore, they briefly gave an overview of what people can expect if they win the giveaway giving more reasons to enter.

They also ask recipients to connect with them on Instagram, which is a good way to let them see others entering the giveaway and encourage them to participate.

Giveaway email by Misfit

Source: Misfit via Really Good Emails

11. Birthday and anniversary emails

Birthdays and anniversaries are special, whether your subscribers or your brand. These occasions are perfect for building trust, showing appreciation, and driving sales by offering fantastic deals to your subscribers.

We loved this dark-themed birthday email by Pizza Hut wishing subscribers with a cupcake and candle, asking them to make a wish. The whole email creates perfect birthday vibes by bringing fun and excitement into play. The email seems highly personalized, making it look like it is coming from a friend rather than a brand.

Birthday email template by Pizza Hut

Source: Pizza Hut via Really Good Emails

When should you send promotional emails?

Getting the frequency of your promotional email right is your ticket to getting more sales and reducing annoyance due to sending too frequent or irrelevant emails.

The timings and frequency of your marketing emails will vary depending upon your industry, type of product/services, customer lifecycle stage, occasion, and goals you're trying to achieve.

For instance, a study by Omnisend reveals that Thursdays followed by Tuesdays are the best days to send promotional emails. But, these timings might not work for seasonal email campaigns. Besides, if you offer a free trial, it would be best to send an upsell email to those on your free plan instead of customers who haven't signed up for it yet.

So, giving definite timings or cadence to send promotional emails is difficult. But, here are a few tips to help you find the best timings:

  • Understand your audience: You need to know your target audience's behavior, interaction patterns, and lifecycle stage.

  • Analyze your past email metrics: Collect email metrics data from past promotional campaigns and draw insights on which timings worked best before.

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How to create a compelling promotional email

Here we will discuss different steps to help you start creating your promotional emails:

1. Decide the goal of your promotional email campaign

Before you start writing your email, decide the goal of sending that email. You should answer these two questions:

  • What will I promote in the email? - Is it an ebook promotion, a discount, giveaways, etc.

  • What's the one action I want recipients to take? Is it to download the ebook, enter the contest, or redeem the coupon code and make a transaction?

Once you have a clear goal, you can frame the copy and design that serve that goal and entice recipients to move in the direction you want.

2. Segment your email list

Your promotional offer won't resonate with everyone on your email list as they might be in different lifecycle stages and might not be ready to buy. So, segmenting the email list becomes crucial here.

3. State your offer clearly in the subject line

In the recipient's already crowded inbox, your subject line will help you stand out. But, to do that, you need to clarify your offer in your subject line to let users know what's in it for them.

Here are a few good examples of clear and compelling subject lines that show this email is about an offer.

Promotional email subject line example

4. Use preview text to give an extra glimpse of your offer.

Apart from the subject line, use the preview text to give more details about the offer. In the image shown above, the preview text adds more value by letting users know the benefits they will get after they open the email.

Promotional email preview text example

Your subject line and preview text should complement each other and encourage readers to open your email so they can view the offer you have sent them.

5. Write relevant and valuable content

Giving readers an enticing offer isn't getting them to click the CTA button. You need to write a copy that offers value and resonates with your recipient so that they take the desired action. Here are a few tips we recommend while writing your email copy:

  • Make your headline the most prominent and eye-catching part of your email.

  • Use a conversational tone to connect with your readers.

  • Mention the benefits of your product/services.

  • Add a bit of curiosity and playfulness to your copy.

Besides, use social proof in your promo emails to build trust and credibility and make your emails more valuable and less salesy.

Although these tips work, we still advise you to review your audience database and determine which tone and writing style resonates most with them. That way, you can write a copy that talks specifically to them and do not sound generic.

6. Choose an attractive design

The design and structure of your email also matter as you need to take recipients through a smooth flow and compel them to take action. The typography, color contrast, white spacing, visuals, layout, etc., play a major part in making the email more engaging.

Here are a few tips we recommend for designing a great promotional email:

  • Choose the right email layout without making the email look cluttered and confusing.

  • Make the header clear and eye-catching as REI Co-op did. The header clearly shows customers will get up to 40% on sleeping bags. The background image visually represents the offer and how one can enjoy a comfortable sleep in their sleeping bags.

Promotional email header example by REI Co.op

  • Be consistent with your color but don't shy away from using a set of colors if that's what your audience prefers.

  • Use adequate white spacing to make the email look less intimidating and more inviting.

  • Make your CTA buttons stand out using adequate color contrast while maintaining color consistency.

  • Make sure your fonts are legible.

Designing a perfect promotional email can be difficult, but with Mailmodo's pre-made email blocks, you can create emails in no time. We have a collection of the various header, footer, and layout formats ready to use without any coding skill requirement. Just add your email copy and images, make a few changes here and there, and get an engaging promotional email in no time.

Mailmodo't email pre-build blocks

Promotional email best practices

To get the most out of your promotional email campaign, we recommend you the following best practices:

Promotional email best practices

• Do not send unsolicited promotional emails

No matter how compelling the subject line is, sending emails without the recipient's permission will do more harm than good. Mailjets' 2021 Email Engagement Report reveals that 57.1% of people unsubscribe or mark a message as spam when they receive an unsolicited promotional email from a company, while 40.5% ignore it.

• A/B test your emails

You might think you know what your audience wants, but here's a harsh truth. You don't. And guessing what recipients might like is nothing less than throwing a net in no particular way, hoping you'll get the big fish. You might lose in the end. So, A/B test your email by making a few variations and measuring each version's performance to get better insights. Use these insights to determine which version resonates most with your audience and use that going forward.

You can read our guide on how to perform email A/B testing to know the process in detail.

• Avoid exaggerating your promotional offer

Ensure you use clear and non-spammy language in your promotional emails to avoid exaggerating your offer. Using a friendly and personal tone will get you higher engagements. Besides, exaggerated claims and language can put you in your audience’s spam folder, affecting your email deliverability.

• Be transparent about terms and conditions

Be transparent with the terms and conditions of the offer to build trust. Also, add all the information, such as the last day to avail offers, discount range, etc., within the email before you direct them to the landing page. It will save their time as they can decide whether to accept the offer or not without leaving their inbox.

Send promotional emails with Mailmodo

Put into practice the examples and tips discussed in the article to get higher clicks and opens on your promotional emails. Seeking more inspiration? Check out our email template library. We've over 200+ beautiful templates you can customize in our no-code email template editor for running an effective promotional campaign.

What you should do next

Hey there, thanks for reading till the end. Here are 3 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Talk to an email expert. Need someone to take your email marketing to the next level? Mailmodo’s experts are here for you. Schedule a 30-minute email consultation. Don’t worry, it’s on the house. Book a meet here.

  2. Send emails that bring higher conversions. Mailmodo is an ESP that helps you to create and send app-like interactive emails with forms, carts, calendars, games, and other widgets for higher conversions. Get started for free.

  3. Get smarter with our email resources. Explore all our knowledge base here and learn about email marketing, marketing strategies, best practices, growth hacks, case studies, templates, and more. Access guides here.

What should you do next?

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