The Four Types of Email Marketing Messages

by | Oct 22, 2019

Email Marketing SeriesEmail marketing continuously outperforms all other digital marketing channels with the highest ROI.  Moreover, 72% of consumers prefer companies to use email for communication. That being said, there are four types of email marketing messages. It is important that you decide which type you’re sending and make that the primary focus of the message.

The four types of email marketing messages are:

  • Read Me
  • Join Me
  • Buy Me
  • Transactional

‘Read Me’ Emails

The goal of a “Read Me” email is to get your message read.  You want to build your brand, promote your expertise, create goodwill, etc.

These types of emails generally have pieces of the Buy Me and Join Me emails, but that should be kept to a minimum. Most people don’t make a purchase or like your Facebook page on the first or second interaction with your business.  Your goal with these emails is to build a relationship with your subscribers so they come to trust you.  Once you build that trust, the Join Me and Buy Me emails will convert more often.

There is nothing wrong with asking for that Facebook like or mentioning a special promotion. However, if you go overboard, the message may come off with an unwanted infomercial feel to it.

Build trust, promote your expertise, create goodwill.

‘Join Me’ Emails

The intent of a “Join Me” email is to get your recipient to follow you on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, like your Facebook Page, forward your message to others and anything else where you’re hoping they become part of your group (or Tribe, as Seth Godin calls it).

For these messages, tell them the benefits of connecting with you and how to do it.  Leave the sales pitch for another email — after they’ve joined your tribe and trust you.

Grow your Tribe.

‘Buy Me’ Emails

The intent of a “Buy Me” email is to get your recipient to make a purchase, plain and simple.  We all get these emails on a daily basis. If you’ve done everything correctly with the Join Me and Read Me emails, your subscribers will look forward to these emails and look forward to learning about the next sale.

Don’t ask for too much or throw everything you have on sale in the email.  Give them one or two great offers, something that entices them to click the link (or get in the car) and visit your store. It has been proven in countless studies that if you offer too many options, you can overwhelm your customers and they just walk away out of confusion or fear of making the wrong choice.

Keep these emails simple.

Transactional Emails

The purpose of the transactional email is to say thanks — for making a purchase, for subscribing, etc.

Generally speaking, keep these messages short and to the point. If you want to offer a coupon code for a future purchase, go ahead.  You could ask them to follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn.  Asking them to like your Facebook page or subscribe to your newsletter is okay as well.  What you don’t want to do is make the email about the next purchase, ask them for feedback they can’t yet provide or expect them to read a lengthy review on another item in your store.

Just say thanks.


Before you sit down to create that next email, decide what type it is first.  That will determine the goal of the email.  Once you know those two things, composing a concise and effective message will be much easier.

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