12 Essential Email Templates You Need For Your Email List (part 1)

12 Essential Email Templates You Need For Your Email List (part 1)
  • Essentials of sending the first e-mail
  • What kind of offers do people like to see?
  • What type of follow up e-mails are most effective? ​

​​"The money is in the list” - I’m sure you've heard that. But where is all that money hiding?

You know you need to market via email and “communicate regularly”, but how?

What do you say?  And when? It can all be a bit overwhelming when you are starting out using email marketing. So we’ve rounded out the 12 email staples you need for your email list. In this post, you will see the first six email types.  Part two will be coming soon. 

Think of these like staples in your kitchen - the basics you will pull out again and again to create perfect emails that will make your list want more.

Ready to get cooking?

Here we go…

1. Welcome email

The first email you want to send to the new person on the list is the welcome email. They have trusted you with their email address and put their hand up to say they want to hear from you.

This is possibly the most important of all - it’s the first impression your brand new subscriber will get.

What should be in it:
In this welcome email, you want to do a number of things.

  1. Firstly thank them for their trust and give them whatever it was you said you would give them (a discount code, download etc).

    Whatever ethical bribe, or lead magnet you offered in exchange for their address. If you didn’t offer anything then good for you. But in most cases, people won’t hand over their precious email address unless they get an immediate reward.
  2. Then, tell them what to expect from you - how often you will be contacting them (and honour that promise). By telling them what to expect and then meeting those expectations you are instilling trust.
  3. Ask them to move your email into their main inbox (this will make sure they see it) and offer them a chance to connect on social media, join any private groups you may have etc.
  4. Give them tips on how to get the most out of what they just signed up for.

Think about what you would want your new subscriber to do and ask them to do it.

Here is an example of a simple welcome email that doesn't set up any marketing communication. 

sample welcome letter

When should the Welcome Email be used?
The Welcome email is sent immediately on subscribing.


2. Warm up series

After the welcome email, if a user has subscribed to your list you’ll want to do a warm-up series. This is also called an “indoctrination series”. Usually 3-5 emails including the welcome email where you check in to make sure they are consuming the information you gave them, getting the benefit of it and introducing them to more helpful content from you.

What should be in the Warm up Series?

Here is an outline of the timeline of how this could go

Immediate - Welcome email (as described above)

Day 1 - Follow up - check-in.

Ask if they have used the thing you sent them and if they need any help with it.

Day 3-5 - New related content.

Send them something else free of value related to the thing they downloaded.  Recipies that use the product, more information that is related, a video of how to use it etc

Optional  Day 5-7

Send them a case study. How you have helped someone just like them - this could include testimonials or videos of your product in action.

Optional Day 7-9 

Make s special offer. This can be a free consultation, paid content related to what they downloaded etc.

Make sure all of your emails sound like “you” and are client-centric.


3. Birthday emails

Birthday emails are a great way to make the people on your list feel like more than a number. Typically they are a free offer for use on or around their birthday. On the actual day, during their birthday week or sometimes even any time in the month.

These are best when they are absolute gifts with no expectation of return.

Not a gift with purchase, not a discount, but a straight gift. And not something you give away all the time.

It’s your subscribers day, not yours,  so birthday emails should be 100% about them.

Give them something they can choose, or that you think they might genuinely like.

Here’s a great example from optus.


example birthday email

Notice how I can choose from a pizza an album or an annual membership? That feels like a present, not a sales pitch.

Something else OPTUS is doing that is interesting here is they aren't giving away their own stuff.

They have gone into a joint venture with other suppliers. This is something you could do as well - but that’s a whole other article...


4. Up-sell emails / Cross-sell emails

First let's explain the difference between the two. An upsell is an upgrade to the item they have. A cross-sell is a different item that you think they might like based on what they just bought.

eg: Up-sells : “do you want fries with that” or “can I upgrade you to the deluxe model”
Cross-sells :  “do you want a hire car or hotel with your plane ticket”.

These emails are sent to people who have already bought from you and so are most common in ecommerce. 

The basic template is :

Because you bought that we think you might like this.

These won’t make sense for every business, but if you think from your customer's perspective (and you should ALWAYS be thinking from your customers perspective) what else might they like, given what they bought?

Here is an example of a recent cross-sell email I got for inspiration.

The subject line of this is great: “Thanks for your recent order! Speaking of…”

cross sell example



When should you send up-sell or cross-sell emails?

Send these either straight after purchase (especially if you can give people the option of adding to their order with no extra shipping) or while the product is being shipped.

These sort of emails get a high open rate. People are excited and waiting for their purchase to arrive and they have just bought from you.

Once people have bought once they are more likely to buy again, even if it’s another pair of shoes when you just bought a pair. (I didn’t buy the other heels by the way, but I did click the link)


5. Special event email

Special events can be most anything. Holidays like Mothers and Fathers day, tax day, Christmas, business anniversaries, End of financial year, Spring, Winter etc.

What should be included;

You’ve all seen about a gazillion of these in your own inboxes so you know that you will be competing for attention. The best special occasion emails are ones that either save time or money (or both).

Be very clear and concise with what you are offering and what’s in it for your subscriber. Sales are the obvious one but using your services is another thing.

Eg this Mothers Day email from Canva


12 Essential Email Templates You Need For Your Email List (part 1)


6. Feedback email

Getting real feedback from your customers is vital to a successful business. There are two basic types of feedback email.

1. Helpdesk feedback -

This is triggered by a support ticket being resolved or closed and is usually just a line or two saying something like:

“Thank you for contacting us, we have resolved your ticket #xxxx .

If this is correct you don't have to do anything, if it isn't resolved, our apologies, just reply to this email and we will re-open the request”


Under the email is a “how would you rate your support” And depending on your ticketing software 1-3 options from great to terrible (something with a just ok in between)

When customers click that it records their rating and asks for more information so you can improve your support.


2. General feedback-

These are emails that you may send to your list (or a section of your list) as a broadcast or via an automation at a particular stage of their engagement with you.

Use them to get feedback on your services or gauge interest on prospective services, you are thinking of offering.

The email should be very short and tell them exactly why they are getting the email, why they should care (how it will help) and how long it will take them to do.

Example :

Hi Marama,

Thanks for using (your service). We really appreciate you trusting us to xyx.

To help us improve , we’d like to ask you a few questions about your experience. It will only that 3 minutes and your answers will help make us even better for you and other customers.

Thanks for your help!

Sign off

TAKE THE SURVEY <<< with a link to an online survey.

(bonus tip) You can use google forms to do the survey or something like survey monkey.


So that's it! The first six email essential email templates you need for your list. I'll be back with the other six soon. 

If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out! 

~ Marama 

Marama Carmichael

CEO | Head Strategist at

I'm a digital strategist expert and long term growth consultant. I use my 20 plus years of real world business experience to help businesses prosper. I founded eSense Web Design in 2009 and use my expertise and ability to connect with people to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and business owners. I also mentor and teach other web professionals in how to grow their business while providing better results for clients, and speak to business owners here and in the USA on marketing.