5 Email Template Design Types to Send to Your Customers

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July 29, 2020
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5 Email Template Design Types to Send to Your Customers
KDCI Outsourcing
September 6, 2023

There are numerous email types that you can use to target a specific goal or customer type. By knowing what content to send and with the right email template design to back it up, you’ll have a high-converting email strategy at every point in the marketing-sales funnel.

5 Types of Emails to Send to Your Customers and How to Design Them

In this article, we’ll show you five of the most effective emails you can send, when to send them, and some tips on creating a proper email template design for each one.

1. Welcome Email

Ideal sending time: immediately or the same day they sign up or purchaseIf you only had one email to send, send a welcome email.According to the Email Marketing Benchmarks published by an email marketing platform called GetResponse, welcome emails have an average open rate of 82%. It’s a huge number compared to the average open rate for all industries, which is between 15% to 20%!Moreover, welcome emails boast an average click-through rate (CTR) of 26.76% — another win over an overall industry average of 2.5%. However, the CTR of your welcome email will depend on your content. That is if you add anything clickable inside the email.So, to take advantage of these high numbers, you should know what needs to be in your welcome email template design.

What Should Be in Your Welcome Email Template

While your open rate entirely relies on how engaging a subject line is, your CTR depends on both content and email template design. To show you what an excellent welcome email looks like, here are some samples from Trello, SEMrush, and LastPass:Trello

Trello welcome email template design



LastPass welcome email template design

With these examples, there are five common elements you should use:

  • Incorporate Company Branding

Even before your customer reads the content of your email, integrating your branding into your welcome email template design will immediately show your readers who it’s from.Like Trello and SEMrush did, adding something as simple as a logo or incorporating your brand colors should be alright.

  • Add a Greeting and Write Personalized Content

Since this is your first interaction with your customer, greeting content is a must. You can use a large header as LastPass and SEMrush did, or something personal yet straightforward like Trello’s.If you don’t have an email marketing tool yet, you can always write content that sounds like you’re talking to your reader. Using “you” and “your” can come a long way. In fact, personalized emails are 5.7 times more likely to drive revenue.For online businesses that don’t have a newsletter signup strategy, you can still use a welcome email for first-time purchases. You can also automate your email to mention what they purchased and add recommendations to your content.

  • Tell Them What to Do Next

While your welcome email can only be a simple greeting, you can take it to the next level by telling your customers what to do next. It can be something like confirming their email, reading your article, following your social media, adding you to their contact list, and more.The number of things you can make them do is limitless, but it should always cater to your overall email strategy. You can only make them confirm their email address like what SEMrush did, or help them get started, like what Trello and LastPass did.

  • Use a Distinct Call-to-action (CTA) Button for the Main Goal

While you can make your customers do a lot of things using your welcome email, always use a CTA button that coincides with the primary goal of your welcome email. Trello, for example, used “Go To My Boards” as their CTA text because their main goal is for the user to open their tool.In terms of CTA button placement, it will depend on your priority action. For LastPass, their priority is for their customers to download their browser extension or mobile app.On the other hand, Trello placed theirs on top of links to their “getting started” articles because most of their users probably already know how to use a project management tool. Hence, their goal is to make the user visit their Trello board and use the tool immediately.

  • Add an Unsubscribe Button or Link Text

An unsubscribe button or link text is a mandatory addition to any email you send according to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

2. Email Newsletters

Ideal sending time: Tuesday-Friday at 10 AM-1 PM (may vary), 1-5 times a weekNewsletters are a great way to keep your customers updated with whatever they want them to know. It could be for articles you recently posted or updates on some products they might be interested in.However, aside from sending relevant information, the time and day you submit your newsletters are crucial factors.According to the same study by GetResponse, there are two general time slots you can target: 10 AM and 1 PM.Although, as you grow your subscribers’ list and email strategy, we recommend you to optimize your sending time and day based on your own data. You can use surveys, A/B testing, or preference centers to find the best one.Now for frequency per week, GetResponse found that one newsletter per week is the best choice — with an average of 33.40% open rate and 4.65% CTR.You can get away with five newsletters per week — with an average of 20.39% open rate and 2.84% CTR — but it goes downhill from there.

Now that you know about the ideal time, day, and frequency for your newsletters, let’s move on to email template design.

Best Practices of a Good Newsletter Design

For starters, image-based newsletters perform better than text-based emails. Newsletters with graphics had an average 24.64% open rate and 3.74% CTR, while text-based types had a 16.28% open rate and 2.74% CTR.These numbers show that it’s essential to use images or graphics in your newsletter design to keep your customers interested. Here are some examples of good newsletter designs from Starbucks, PayPal, and Canva.Starbucks



Canva newsletter email template design

Now, there are four best practices you can follow for your newsletter template design:

  • Direct Focus

The best newsletters know how to direct the focus of their readers using leading elements and other graphic design techniques.Starbucks did a pretty good job of leading their subscribers to read further with a subtle arrow pointing downwards after every section of their content.

  • Use GIFs or Videos

If there’s anything that can catch your attention more than great graphic design, it’s animation. Luckily, you can easily embed GIFs and videos to any email as long as you can create a custom HTML or have an email marketing tool.You can place it anywhere you like. Starbucks used its GIF at the very end of the message and paired it with a prominent CTA button to lead-in readers who still had questions about their update.

  • Break Text

One of the essential things in creating a newsletter is knowing how to make your content flow, so it’s more readable.Starbucks used typography and images to break their content. PayPal used graphics and variations in the face and size of the same font style. Hence, the easiest way to do this is by breaking your text into small chunks using graphics and other design elements.

  • Cut-down Text

While you might feel like cutting-down on words feels like it beats the purpose of sending out a newsletter, think again. Sometimes, the best way to sell something is to say less.Kind of like what Canva did on their newsletter. Simple content, “click on the template and start designing,” and the rest of the email pretty much just speaks for itself.If you’re an online retailer, you can use Canva’s example to sell some products using recommendations. Try to find out what your customers might be interested in, like the top 10 products of the week.

3. Announcement Emails

Ideal sending time: Tuesdays, between 10 AM to 2 PM (may vary)There are numerous types of announcement emails a business can send:

  • Business updates
  • Product launch or promotion
  • Service or subscription updates
  • Special offers
  • Limited-time offers (including seasonal promotions)
  • Product pre-order
  • Events

With these variations, the ideal time to send these emails may also vary. Business updates can be posted on the same day you made the change since your only goal is to inform.Meanwhile, promotions, special offers, or sales can still have good CTR even on “dead” email days like Friday and the weekends. This is because promotions can adapt to an event like Black Friday or the 4th of July, or a new season like the holidays.However, if you’re new to email marketing, you can always follow the overall industry standard of sending all your announcement emails on Tuesdays between 10 AM to 2 PM. As you grow, you can experiment on days and times to find your best fit.

Design Elements of a Good Announcement Email

The purpose of any type of announcement email is to catch the attention of its readers and compel them to take action. Be it to purchase, sign up, or attend an event. Your announcement email template design must have emphasis and urgency without being in-your-face.Here are some examples of excellent announcement email template designs:Reel Paper



Seeing these beautifully crafted email designs, you can see three elements that make an effective announcement email design:

  • Emphasize Time Sensitivity

The main KPI of every announcement email is the CTR. Therefore, you have to make sure that your time-sensitive content is clear.There are numerous ways to create urgency using design. You can use a prominent CTA, use larger text for deadlines, or simply use a bold font face.Avast!, for example, immediately points out the end of their sale in their header. Followed by even more emphasized content like, “Act fast and snag,” “For a limited time: 60% off!” and a clear depiction of their discount right at the end.

  • Eye-catching Hero Image or Graphic

The hero image is the first thing you see when you open an announcement email since humans perceive and process visual information better. In fact, 80% of what people remember are images, and only 20% are text.Therefore, your hero image or graphic must depict a clear picture of what the email is about. Spotify and Avast! are examples of the proper use of hero images.Spotify’s event announcement email is about Michelle Obama’s podcast, hence her photo is placed front and center. Meanwhile, Avast!’s graphic clearly shows a percent sign and an exclamation point, which you can immediately tell that it’s about a time-sensitive discount.Tip: use animations or GIFs for that extra flare.

  • Make Important Details Clear

Regardless of the type of announcement email, every critical detail must be precise. If anything, it should be that first thing customers see when they open the email.If you’re designing a promotional announcement, make sure you highlight discounts, promo codes, or free shipping.For seasonal or event emails like what Reel Paper did, make it clear that it is about this thing you’re doing for the season or occasion. See how they also used short content, showing only the essential details of their promotion so that they don’t overwhelm with too much information.

4. Abandoned Cart Email

Ideal sending time: after 1 hour from cart abandonmentCart abandonment is one of the main problems online stores have to deal with. In fact, the average industry abandonment rate is a staggering 69%! However, it’s also the easiest hurdle to cross because of abandoned cart emails.According to Moosend, one of the most cost-effective email marketing platforms, abandoned cart emails have an average open rate of 45%, 21% CTR, and 10.7% conversion rate.So, when’s the best time to send abandonment emails? After an hour.A study by SaleCycle, a sales solutions company, found that the average conversion rate of abandoned cart emails sent after an hour is 6.33%.

Salecycle infographic for abandoned cart email template design

Image credit: SaleCycleWith these numbers, you can rest assured an abandoned cart email campaign can improve conversions. It now all comes down to how you create your email template design.

How to Design an Actionable Abandoned Cart Email

Since abandoned cart emails fall under the intent stage of the sales funnel, it’s going to rely heavily on a persuasive copy. An email template design can come a long way if you know how to use it to make your content pop.Here are some examples of impressive abandoned cart email designs:Zalora



Tushy abandoned cart email template design

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  • Clear CTA Button

Your CTA buttons don’t have to be big, but they have to be seen immediately, so you always have to place them in the upper section of the email.In terms of content, you’ll notice that none of these examples used the words “buy” or “pay.” Remember that you’re still in the intent stage of the sales funnel, so these customers may not be ready to purchase your product.

  • Show Them What They're Missing

Since the goal of the campaign is to make your customers buy whatever’s in their cart, what better way to persuade them than showing them what they left.You have two options:1. Choose one product and use that as your hero image2. Use complete cart detailsFor option 1, choose the best-selling or highest-rated product in their cart, since it has already converted well from other customers. Meanwhile, option 2 can target other possible products they want better if option 1 doesn’t work.The best way to find out which of the two options work best is to A/B test your email.

  • Add Customer Reviews or Recommendations

Customer reviews can influence 88% of consumers, so don’t hesitate to add at least one. Brooklinen does an excellent job of using reviews to persuade customers to buy their product if the promotion isn’t enough.Meanwhile, adding recommendations or related products can target customers who might want something else that isn’t in their cart. These could be cheaper options or other items that go well with the main product like what Zalora does.

5. Reorder or Replenishment Emails

Ideal sending time: depends on products and order frequencyReorder, or Replenishment emails are one of the most effective email marketing campaigns for Ecommerce businesses.According to Ometria, a customer marketing platform for retail stores, the average open rate of replenishment emails is between 50% to 60% and an average CTR of 40% to 50%.The reason behind these numbers is replenishment emails are incredibly relevant and timely. However, timing is the trickiest part of sending out this type of email.The effectiveness of replenishment emails comes down to strategic timing, which will depend on the product you’re selling and how often each customer orders your product (or products).For perishable or consumable products like food and cosmetics, you can base timings on the shelf life of whatever product they ordered. For other businesses, especially for subscriptions and trials, your content can be a simple reminder email a few days before it ends.

How to Design Your Replenishment Email Template

Replenishment email template design is pretty straightforward since you’re already sending it to a possible repeat customer and loyal customers. Here are some examples of replenishment emails from Erno Laszlo, Avast!, and PetShopBoy:Erno Laszlo

Erno Laszlo replenishment email template design


Avast replenishment email template design


PetShopBoy replenishment email template design

These three are very different replenishment emails, but there are also three elements that you can take from them:

  • Highlight the Product or Service

Of course, to keep your replenishment email template design relevant, you have to highlight the products or services they already ordered.Position the product image in the upper area of the email like Erno Laszlo did.On the other hand, PetShopBoy does a great job designing a simple, yet straightforward email template. However, one improvement is changing the image of the dog into something more relevant to what the customer ordered.

  • Use Clear CTAs

Since you’re creating a replenishment email, you must use a clear CTA button with a straightforward text. Your customers already know what they’re purchasing, so a simple “renew today” or “reorder now” is good enough.However, you can also add another CTA button that gives the customer an option to change or add something to their order. This is an excellent way to sell more products if you’re sending it to a loyal customer.

  • Highlight Discounts or Promotions

Replenishment emails may also be a part of your customer nurturing strategy to build long-term relationships with your customers. Therefore, highlighting discounts or promotions like free shipping can increase your chances of a reorder or replenishment.

Outsource Your Email Design and Production to KDCI

There are more email types that you can send to your customers, especially when your email marketing strategy is starting to grow. However, no matter how simple or complex your email strategy is, you’re going to need someone to help you with your email template design.KDCI Outsourcing is an expert in email template design for any business in various industries. If you want a successful email strategy, outsource your email design and production to us! Find out more about our Ecommerce services here, or click the button below for a quote or other inquiries.Ask a Question

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