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Writing Email Tips: Understand Two Types of Business Emails

When it comes to writing email tips, here's an important one: you can save a lot of time and aggravation when you understand the simple fact that all emails are not created equally.

Back in 1965, email was considered to be a novelty when the first email message was posted in a file from one user to another on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s mainframe computer.

Times have changed! Today, email is a widely-accepted form of communication in business across niches.  

I’m talking about both the one-on-one email you dash off to your cubicle partner along with automated emails that are constructed and loaded into an email list manager and scheduled to send. 

First, a Few Writing Email Tips for Automated Emails

Writing Email Tips: use these tips for writing 2 types of automated business emails - marketing emails and notification emails. With Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips

For the moment, let’s set aside the personal, one-on-one email you write to a specific person and talk about these automated emails sent to a large group of people. You may hear them called email blasts, bulk email, or mass email. These automated email marketing messages save time, reduce costs, increase productivity, provide a written record, and make marketing easier.

If you’re a blogger, freelance writer, ministry leader, or small business owner, you need to understand what makes these business emails unique and how to write them. (It’s also helpful to know how to load them into your email list manager. But I digress.)

Automated emails – as discussed here – have a few elements in common. 

  • They are written, loaded, and scheduled ahead of time (versus in real time)
  • They are sent to an email list or a segment of a list
  • They are managed in email list software like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp

These emails fall into two large categories.

Two Types of Business Emails

1. Marketing Emails

What it is: you initiate and schedule marketing emails to a particular group of readers.

2 types of automated business emails you need to know how to write. #WritingTips with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

These readers have given you permission to communicate with them as a customer or in an opt-in. You may also send marketing emails to a purchased list of qualified readers.

A marketing email contains content that valuable to this group of qualified readers, such as special deals, information, and incentives.

You use the marketing email content to cultivate prospects, build loyalty, trust, and brand awareness, obtain sales or donations – or any combination of these.

Examples of Marketing Emails

Ezines Online appeals Campaign series Special sales or promotions
Industry news Product announcements Invitations Event registrations

2. Notification Emails

What it is: you set up notification emails to be sent automatically when a reader takes a particular action. 

Sometimes called an autoresponder or trigger email, a notification email is written, loaded, and preprogrammed to be sent automatically after a trigger. The purpose is to respond to the reader with a confirmation or follow up.

Examples of Notification Emails

New account confirmation Registration confirmation Order confirmation Payment confirmation
Subscription confirmation Account termination Shipment tracking and order status Invoice
Birthday Greetings Holiday Greetings Greetings after a purchase Shopping Cart update
Stock availability notification Discounts on additional products Purchase follow up and upsell Feedback request


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