Email Marketing Fundamentals: Reminder Emails


Back in the year 2000, our attention span was twelve seconds. During the next fifteen years, it shrunk to eight seconds. And so, it appears that the human attention span is now lower than that of a goldfish. As a result, it’s become quite a challenge for marketers: how do you capture attention or communicate your message in a really short time frame of eight seconds? When we think about email marketing tactics, reminder emails play a considerable role in reaching email subscribers and driving engagement. Therefore, today, we want to explore more about reminder emails.

What is a Reminder Email?

It’s as simple as it sounds: reminder emails help remind your subscribers or customers about something. And, as recipients, we need reminders. For example, often, we see an interesting email sitting in our inbox. However, we just don’t have the time to open it or reply to it right away. We leave it with an intention to come back to it later. But, unfortunately, we rarely do. And a timely reminder email can be very useful for both the recipient and the sender.

Many of us rely on our reminders. We want to be reminded about our trips and flights, about upcoming appointments or events. What about reminders that gently (re-)inform us about our collected discount points or savings? Reminders about the product being shipped or the item we have intended to buy – but we never found the spare fifteen minutes to complete the check-out. Reminders help us in our daily life.

They Don’t Need to Be Manual Emails

You can utilise your Email Service Provider technology to make your reminder emails timely and effective. You don’t need to spend hours of manual work creating and bulk-deploying your reminder emails. And you shouldn’t have to work with the multiple spreadsheets and the “vlookup” formulas to build your email lists for each deployment.

Good ESPs will give you the tools to set triggers and conditions, create automated workflows and customer journeys. You don’t need to mass-deploy one single email to all just to remind them about something. Reminder emails can have dynamic content, so your email recipients will be able to have their own unique and real-time email experience. Again, marketing technology can make this magical automation come true.

Types of Email Marketing Reminder Emails

What can you use reminder emails for? Reminder emails can be sent for many reasons: flight reminders, event reminders, sales reminders, discount or trial expiration reminders, appointment reminders, etc. Here are some examples of reminder emails:

  • Event reminders

Event reminders are one of the most popular and well-known reminder email types. We can’t imagine an event email invite without some kind of a reminder planned in the email flow. For example, you may get an email reminder to RSVP to an invitation, select customised sessions, or simply not forget to attend. Here’s an example of a Chimp Essentials reminder email for a live Q&A event that’s about to start:

  • Sale reminders

Another popular reminder email type is the sale reminder. Last chance to get a discount, last opportunity to buy before the items are gone, last day of a sale. The urgency in these reminders can drive extra engagement and conversions. Here’s a sale reminder email example from Aether Apparel.

  • Feedback reminders

Feedback is important to any business. However, getting your subscribers to find the time to communicate it back is a real struggle. Therefore, many marketers utilise a series of reminders to get the reviews they need or get the feedback surveys completed. Here’s a beautiful feedback reminder email from Anthropologie.

  • Expiration/renewal reminders

As consumers, we’re using subscription-based products or services increasingly more. Despite our own personal opinions, it feels like the technology is going towards more subscription-based products. That said, it’s creating different challenges for consumers. For example, multiple subscription-based products mean managing various expiration dates or time-frames for renewal (let’s not forget timely cancellations!). Therefore, these types of reminder emails can be very beneficial for your email recipients. Here’s a good example – Apple Music membership email reminder.

Etiquette of Reminders

A reminder email will help companies achieve their goals (whatever they are – sales, conversions or event registrations). That said, the overall purpose of these emails is to remind your email subscribers: to help them. So, when drafting these types of emails, creating exciting content and catchy graphics, please don’t lose sight of this primary purpose.

Timeliness is critical in reminder emails. Nobody needs reminders when they’re not relevant anymore. Also, make sure these emails contain all necessary information. Try to be brief. Your emails should be easily scannable, and your calls-to-action should be clear and easy to act upon. Yes, please don’t forget to include a relevant call-to-action, even if it’s as simple as an add-to-calendar button.

Use an appropriate subject line. Also, try not to send exactly the same email as the original one. It might annoy some of your email recipients who’ve already seen it. If applicable, include the expiration deadlines or essential times/dates. Technology nowadays allows for accurate interactive countdowns in emails themselves – great for email recipients! And great for marketers, too, as the so-called “fear of missing out” or FOMO can definitely boost engagement.

Reminder Emails: Great for Email Recipients and for Senders

Email marketing reminder emails can be beneficial for both the email recipients and the companies who send them. As a society, we’re increasingly more dependent on our reminders, and your timely emails can help your subscribers and customers. At the same time, they can help you achieve your goals. With email marketing automation in place, you can achieve great results. Therefore find time to shift away from what used to be a single manual email reminder into timely and customised user journeys.