The 5 Email Types That Define Your Marketing Automation Strategy


Marketing automation is vastly more powerful than conventional email service providers’ tools because it elevates your email marketing efforts from simple logistics to a broader, top-down view. With it, you develop a strategic approach toward email marketing that produces consistent results. Each email you send should serve a larger strategic purpose; to reach that point, you need an understanding of these email types and how to deploy them.

Autoresponder Emails

Autorespond emails go out in response to actions a recipient has taken. They’re generally simple, but they’re fundamental to marketing automation because they come at critical points along a buyer’s trip through your marketing pipeline. These emails also have high engagement rates because they only go out when a lead takes action, such as filling out a newsletter subscription form or entering information into a form to download a white paper. They typically contain a URL to a download or confirmation page, and that URL is your marketing automation system’s cue to track engagement.


Even with behavioral data, it’s sometimes challenging to assess exactly where a lead is in the sales pipeline. Identifier emails help pinpoint their location so your marketing automation system can deliver custom content to them. With these emails, you offer a variety of options that lets customers sort themselves according to sales readiness. For example, an email might have two possibilities: “Subscribe Now” or “Learn More,” each of which tells your marketing team exactly where this recipient is. When making multiple offers, keep emails short and direct.

Content-Rich Emails

Content marketing is a powerful tool in email as well as on your blog and social media channels. Give your email recipients the content they need to make buying decisions, and you’re doing much of their work for them. Content emails should contain only a teaser of the actual content; the meat of the information is at a link the recipient clicks through to reach. These emails generally go out toward the middle of the sales cycle when potential customers are still assembling the facts they need to make choices but aren’t yet ready to move on to sales.


As email recipients narrow their focus to you and your product line, encourage that interest with invitations to download in-depth information or participate in webinars. Invitation emails appeal to customers who are farther along the sales pipeline and are ready to learn more about the details of what you have to offer them. These emails excel at driving attendance to an event, and attendance is highly correlated with sales.

Sales Nurturing Emails

One of marketing automation’s greatest strengths is its ability to support nurture campaigns for leads at every step of the sales qualification process. B2B sales cycles tend to be longer than in B2C sectors, so effective lead nurturing even late in the sales cycle is critical to keeping potential customers interested and moving ahead. Highly specific and goal-oriented, sales nurturing emails are brief messages from a seller to alert a customer who’s nearing the end of the sales funnel to information that could help make a buying decision easier. This email is not a direct ad for your product but a personalized message offering more information or following up on a recent conversation.

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