Thinking of the perfect email send can be a challenge. You want to provide value and stay on brand, but you also want to use email marketing as an avenue to promote your business. You want to see a return on investment for all the hard work you and your team put into your marketing efforts. So you need email marketing ideas that are going to help you produce content that excites your subscribers and keeps them informed.

That’s why we’re here to help you get started with a whole slew of ideas to get the gears turning. Maybe you’ll try to add an incentive to sales email, or you might decide to optimize a send with a video, or perhaps you’re ready to venture into the risky waters of contest entries. 

Once you understand the types of emails you can use, you can put together a plan to get the results you’re looking for. In this post, we’ll look at email campaign ideas all small businesses can try out when launching email marketing campaigns.

Introducing your business to new customers 

Introducing your business to subscribers will help you build brand awareness, instill loyalty and trust, and promote your products and services. Marketing emails like a welcome series and event invitations will grow your contact list and turn subscribers into customers. 

Welcome email

Blick Art Materials sends a welcome email to thank customers for subscribing to their email list and includes a coupon code for $5 off their purchase of $45 or more. Follow their lead by creating a welcome email that offers valuable information, familiarizes them with your brand, and encourages them to return to your website. 

Blick Art Materials sends a welcome email to thank customers for joining their email list. They include a small incentive to promote purchase. Image Source: Blick Art Materials

Event invitation

Events are a great way to introduce new customers to your business. Make sure invitations have important details like date, location, and cost. When appropriate, include a link for people to register in advance. Your event invite is also a space to help you advertise your products and services. Add a call to action that directs subscribers to RSVP and consider sweetening the deal with a promo code or gift when they make their reservation. 

Event invitations are important for big events and fundraisers but can also be used to get the word out to your subscribers about some of the smaller activities you have going on. Use them to keep your business top of mind. 

Vimeo sent this email to publicize their online event “Outside the Frame.” Image Source: Vimeo


Some of the most important emails your business will send are emails featuring new or revised information about your business. Changes to hours, location additions or store moves, event snafus like rain delays, and regular updates about products and services are all relevant topics  to keep your subscribers in the loop.


Your audience is invested in the success of your business. If you have an ongoing project you’ve been working on, a software or policy update, or new products and services to feature, share regular updates to keep people involved and in the know.

Blinkist sent this email update to inform their customers about a recent update to their privacy policy. Image Source: Blinkist

Breaking news

You’re constantly growing and improving your business, and you probably have a lot of news to share. Send an email to inform customers about immediate actions, improvements, or challenges. Take this example from Djusie. They’re using the breaking news format as a clever way to deliver information about their product and to create a sense of urgency. 

Djusie sent this email as a funny way to encourage subscribers to take immediate steps to take care of their skin. Image source: Djusie


Make sure your audience doesn’t miss out on the insanely good online content you’re creating by putting together a regularly scheduled email digest.

For example, if you have a blog, you can give readers the option to sign up to receive a weekly roundup of your latest blog posts. Owl’s Nest Farm is a women and locally-owned farm. They send out emails that include links to recipes they’re making. 

Caption: The email from Owl’s Nest Farm includes a digest of recent recipe content to share with subscribers. Image source: Owl’s Nest Farm


Email newsletters are an effective way for you to give people the information they need in a medium that’s reliable and convenient for them. Your company’s newsletter should include a range of topics, from product updates to changes in business operations to stories from happy customers.

Mahogany Books sent this email during Black Business Month to describe their passion behind supporting Black Authors, including links to purchase favorite books. Image Source: Mahogany Books

Industry news 

You should include an email about industry news in your email marketing strategy to bring your business to the forefront of your industry and prove your expertise. A good example can be seen with the Courier Weekly — a weekly email newsletter that shares stories about modern businesses on the cutting edge of their industries. Boutiques and homeware stores might want to send emails about current fashion and design trends. Restaurants might email subscribers about new advances in cross-breeding produce or flavor experimentations. Whatever industry you’re in, you can use email marketing to set your status as a thought leader. 

The Courier Weekly features stories of unique businesses inspiring trends and progressing their industries. Image source: The Courier Weekly


Emails that promote sales, products, and services will help your business grow your customer base by turning subscribers into purchasers. 

Featured products and services 

Promotional emails for products and services can go a long way toward driving purchases. Feature elegant product photography and provide specifications, ingredients, benefits, etc. Describe services and how they’ll bring value to customers. This email from Salt & Stone features education on the Endless Santal Body Wash. To entice customers to purchase, it includes:

  • A minimalist photo to bring the product front and center
  • A clever description
  • A call to action (CTA) that directs the reader to “Buy Now”
  • A top banner to emphasize free shipping and encourage customers to fill their carts. 
Salt & Stone product education emphasizes simplicity in its design and content. Image source: Salt & Stone

“Best of” and Top-Sellers 

Pay attention to your best-selling products and services and send a roundup of what’s turning subscribers into paying customers. Take Misc. Goods Co, a gifts and keepsakes company with local artisans to design and develop quality products. They collect their “best of” products and company memories in A Year in Review.

Caption: Misc. Goods Co. made this roundup email to showcase the best products and company memories from the year. Image source: Misc. Goods Co.


The power of an email marketing campaign is that it’s immediate. You can create a drip campaign to promote a major sale and send an email blast out in the morning as a final effort to drive shoppers to your store later that day. 

Take the opportunity to let your email subscriber list know when you’re offering special discounts. 

Temple Treatment Loft sent this email to promote a flash sale on treatments when they had openings available. Image Source: Temple Treatment Loft

Limited edition

Generate hype for limited edition products and services via email. For inspiration, take a look at this example from Compass Coffee. They’re advertising a limited edition coffee blend they created in partnership with The Washington Post. The email is bold, placing emphasis on the partnership and the product. 

Compass Coffee partnered with The Washington Post to release a limited edition brew. Image Source: Compass Coffee

Special gift

No subject line or preheader text generates more excitement than “gift with purchase.” When your business can gift subscribers/customers with a special product, service, or offer, send an email to promote it. 

This gift email example (built with Constant Contact) features product imagery (biscotti) and a clever description to bring customers into the store and purchase a bag of coffee. 

Sneak preview

Your email audience will appreciate access to exclusive information. If you’re adding a new line of products or planning big improvements, send a sneak preview to let people know what you have going on. 

Sneak Preview - La Provence
La Provence in sends a sneak preview email to showcase new collections to customers. Image Source: La Provence


A coupon is still one of the most effective ways to boost sales and bring new customers into your store. You can include a coupon in your next email and allow people to redeem the offer right from their mobile device or through a printed copy. 

Caption: Chocolat by Adam Turoni sent this email encouraging subscribers to join their SMS Text Message Marketing list to receive special offers. Image Source: Chocolat by Adam Turoni


When used correctly, video can improve your email marketing results and make a more meaningful impact on your audience. Make video the focus of your message or add a video to support the action you want people to take.

Emails featuring videos can help your business illustrate a concept, product, event, or service. This event email from The Phillips Collection includes a video that promotes a new exhibition. Image Source: The Phillips Collection

Back in stock

When customers are eagerly awaiting the return of coveted products or service availability, make sure to send an email when you’ve restocked and are ready to accept new orders. Give subscribers the chance to sign up for a segmented email list to be the first to know when what they’re looking for is available.

Canyon Coffee sent out this email to promote the restocking of their best-selling tote bags, designed in collaboration with artist Bailey Elder. Image Source: Canyon Coffee

Seasonal and time-sensitive

You’re going to have email sends that only occur at specific times or are appropriate in a particular season. For instance, you might want to advertise a seasonal event or send well wishes for a special occasion or birthday. 

Off-season check-in

Even if it’s not a holiday or your busiest season, you should take the time to reach out to your audience so you can stay connected.

Take RhizomeDC, an art workshop which is open for only open for certain portions of the year. Sending regular emails during the offseason allows them to keep people engaged and bring them back each season. 

RhizomeDC sends an email to let subscribers know when the workshop reopens for the season. Image source: RhizomeDC


Your customers play an essential role in the success of your business and will be happy to celebrate when you reach a new milestone. On the flip side, it’s vital to appreciate your customers’ loyalty to your business. Perhaps you want to celebrate their first purchase or the anniversary of their email subscription with a special offer or incentive. 

Three Tree Coffee Roasters sent this email to celebrate their business anniversary, offering a deal for free coffee with the purchase of merchandise. Image Source: Three Tree Coffee Roasters

Seasonal Weather

Rain, snow, a seasonal dry spell – if weather conditions impact your regular business hours, send an email to inform customers. 

Boloco - Weather
Boloco took advantage of frigid weather conditions to prompt customers to stop in, featuring a discount. Image Source: Boloco


There’s no shortage of holidays that you can celebrate with your staff and customers. In addition to the major holidays, there are also some less-serious holidays that customers might want to celebrate with your business, like the ultra-silly and niche International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day (February 23) or the quaint and wholesome Take a Walk in the Park Day (March 30).

Find other fun holidays and celebrations here

Caption: Ceremony Coffee Roasters sent an email to promote National Coffee Day and included a discount to encourage subscribers to visit a cafe. Image Source: Ceremony Coffee Roasters


Your business will likely have leftover products or specials on services that you’re trying to push at the end of the season. Email makes it easy to showcase items and include special offers to encourage your customers to take action. 

End of Season - Orange Cycle
Orange Cycle in Orlando, FL, sent an email to promote their end-of-season sale on cycling gear. Image Source: Orange Cycle

Seasonal event

Even if you don’t have “seasonal” products or services, you can still use the changing seasons to add personality to your messages. Perhaps you’re hosting a fall festival fit with hay rides and apple cider, or maybe you are coming out of the cold with a celebration of spring. Advertise your seasonal events through email to get customers in the spirit and to attract attendees. 

Seasonal - Ipswich Ale
Ipswich Ale Brewery used this email to promote a winter event and to advertise their special winter ale. Image Source: Ipswich Ale Brewery

Customer outreach

Customer outreach emails are geared at expressing gratitude, gathering feedback, offering reminders, giving subscribers a nudge to take a desired action, and re-engaging readers who have fallen off the bandwagon. 

Thank you

Take advantage of every opportunity to let customers know how much you appreciate them. Send a thank you email to express gratitude for purchases and loyalty shown by your customers and subscribers. 

For a business like the award-winning Franklin Cape Ann, a thank you email with a unique coupon was a great way to show customers some love.

Franklin - Thank You
The Franklin Cape Ann sent an email to thank readers of North Shore Magazine for voting them Best Cocktail Bar. Image Source: The Franklin Cape Ann


Encourage customers to share their thoughts about your business, products, and services by including an online survey in your next email marketing campaign. Keep your surveys short and choose just a few key questions to yield the best results. 

Survey - Johnson
Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins sent an email to request feedback from their subscribers and customers to improve their offerings and programs. Image Source: Johnson Farms Plants and Pumpkins


Even if you’ve sent announcements and posted about a product, event, or sale on social media, that doesn’t mean potential customers are ready to take action. A lot of people wait until the last minute to take advantage of a special offer, so sending a last-minute reminder could be exactly what customers need. 

Reminder - Bisque Imports
Bisque Imports sent this reminder email to subscribers to let them know it’s the last day of their glass sale. Image Source: Bisque Imports


Social media is a crucial element of every good marketing strategy. Ensure your email subscribers know they can connect with you outside the inbox by adding social media buttons to your emails and create a special announcement encouraging people to connect.

Fractal sent an email to promote their social media platforms and drive subscribers to follow their accounts. Image Source: Fractal


If you have a group of people who signed up for your email list but haven’t been opening your emails, take some time to reach out to see how things are going. Consider adding an engaging subject line to get their attention. Present Company used the subject line “New Beers and Food at Present Company Public House” to reengage subscribers who haven’t stopped by in a while to come try out their new menu. 

Learn more about how to reengage customers with email marketing.

Present Company sent this email to reengage subscribers with information on their new menu. Image Source: Present Company

Raffles, giveaways, and contests

Have fun with your audience and encourage them to participate in a contest. You can use a raffle to increase foot traffic and encourage people to enter to win. 

Tip: Promote your contest, raffle, or giveaway on social media

Vrbo sent this email to subscribers to promote a contest to win a $5,000 travel credit. Image Source: Vrbo


Emails offering incentives are one of the simplest ways to reward loyal fans and promote products and services. When you have the opportunity and room in your budget, consider adding an incentive to purchase, like free shipping. 

Surreal sent this email to incentivize subscribers to build a mix and match six-pack of cereal. Image Source: Surreal


Don’t underestimate the power of a follow-up message. Whether you’re sending pictures from a recent event or connecting with new customers who signed up for your email list — a follow-up email can help turn a new visit into a repeat customer

MyEyeDr. sent this follow-up email to remind me that I was about to run out of contacts. Image Source: MyEyeDr.

Abandoned Cart 

When customers leave their carts before purchase, you’ll want to send an abandoned cart email to remind them of what they’ve forgotten or what they haven’t decided on yet. Include imagery/links to the items shoppers have sitting in their carts and point them in the right direction, aka “Go To Cart.” 

United by Blue used this abandoned cart email to reengage customers who left their e-commerce store before completing a purchase. Image Source: United by Blue

Which of these email ideas will you try first?

Remember these email marketing examples as you start to put together your email marketing plans.

Constant Contact’s email templates make it easy to create effective, beautiful marketing emails, so you can design your content in less time and get back to running your business!

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