The newsletter is the most frequently used and probably most important measure in email marketing. As long as other measures are not explicitly mentioned, email marketing is often equated with the sending of newsletters. However, newsletters are only one possible email marketing measure or one possible type of email, which can be used in email marketing. We have compiled the most relevant measures in email marketing in an overview.
The different measures in email marketing can be distinguished according to the send occasion, send frequency and number of recipients. The following measures have the highest relevancy in email marketing.

Stand-alone Campaigns

In the context of stand-alone campaigns, a limited number of emails (or even one individual email) is sent to all recipients on a mailing list. This is “one-to-many” communication. A stand-alone campaign is always limited to a precisely defined period and is therefore unique. Every stand-alone campaign is autonomous from other campaigns although references are possible. The content of stand-alone campaigns is focused on one specific topic. This may be, for example, the promotion of one individual product or a temporally special promotion. For each stand-alone campaign, there must be an reason, why stand-alone campaigns are run in irregular time intervals. If you wish to do this, you can allow recipients to reply to the emails of stand-alone campaigns, either via the reply-to function of the email client or via a reply function integrated in the email.


In contrast to emails from a stand-alone campaign, newsletters are regularly sent. They are sent to the total of the mailing list. Recipients choose the time when they subscribe to the newsletter. From this point in time, the recipient will receive the newsletter in fixed intervals, e.g. weekly or monthly. The dispatch time is generally the same for all recipients. However, you can also offer your recipients to choose the frequency of the sending for themselves. A recipient can unsubscribe from a newsletter at any time (opt-out). The content of the newsletter depends on your business model. In B2C business, content is primarily promotional. In B2B business however, editorial content is also used, e.g. specialised articles, studies or whitepapers on business topics. You can also allow recipients to compile newsletter content themselves or at least request interests, on which the newsletter topics will then be orientated.

Trigger Emails

Trigger emails are emails, whose sending is automatically triggered when a specific event happens. In principle, there are two types: scheduled and event-specific triggers. In the case of scheduled triggers, the sending of the email is triggered when a specific point in time is reached. We can distinguish between two types of point in time. One option is to define a fixed point in time, when all recipients from the mailing list will receive a trigger email. An example would be a Christmas mailing, which every recipient receives on 24th December. The other option is to individually set the point in time for each recipient. An example would be a birthday mailing, which is sent to each recipient on his birthday. Instead of a date, triggers can also be linked to a passage of time. The trigger is activated when a certain time period has passed after an event, e.g. a reminder email when a customer of an online shop has not purchased anything over a prolonged time period. In the B2B sector, you may, for example, send a reminder for servicing to an industrial company some time after they have purchased a machine.
Action-related triggers are started through the concrete action of the user, e.g. the sending of a welcome email after registering in an online community.

Transaction Emails

Transaction emails are a special type of trigger emails, whose sending is triggered by the (trans)action of a user. The content of transaction emails is not promotional but refers to the transaction. Transaction emails contain service information, which is necessary to carry out a transaction. Examples for transaction emails are send confirmations or invoices after orders in an online shop have been received. Due to their non-promotional content, the sending of transaction emails does not require the user’s consent. Transaction emails are therefore part of customer service, but can also be used for marketing.

More information on email marketing and other digital marketing topics

You want to be up to date with the latest news and trends in marketing engineering, marketing automation and direct digital marketing? Then please register for our newsletter here