Every day, we see businesses create products and services designed to solve a problem. These businesses employ diverse strategies to increase engagement with their prospects and customers and sometimes offer a sneak peek into the delightful experience that’s lined up.

A representative illustration of email notification A representative illustration of email notification

A Mckinsey study states that today’s consumers do not buy just products or services—more and more, their purchase decisions revolve around buying into an idea and an experience. Businesses therefore should invest in different ways to keep their leads and customers actively engaged. And with many solutions available in the market, it is easy for customers to forget about your business when you fail to leave an impression.

But there is a powerful way to draw them back and keep them engaged at the right time - through email notifications.

What are email notifications?

Email notifications are alerts sent to users, leads, and prospects to relay important information like promotional offers, product updates, features, scheduled changes, and more. 

Email notifications help 

  • Keep prospects and customers engaged with your business
  • Increase retention
  • Improve the lifetime value of existing users.

Leads and prospects notice your business through advertisements, word-of-mouth, or prior product experience. Email notifications and alerts are effective triggers that influence your leads and customers. 

When sent to the right person at the right time, email notifications prompt people to either shortlist your business or make a purchase. They motivate prospects to try your product or in some cases bring back those who haven’t interacted with your business in a long time. 

An illustration of email notification An illustration of email notification

Email notifications aren’t used only to relay information and help keep your business on top of the customer’s mind. They are an effective way to inform, support, and reassure customers about any changes in your business operations.

Why choose email notifications over email promotions? 

Promotional emails are sent to leads with the aim of turning them into prospects and driving more sales to your business. They promote your business and increase awareness around the pain point your business solves. 

While promotional emails help businesses to reach their target audience, notification emails have a bigger part to play. They bring customers back and keep them updated with real-time updates. Email notification alerts can also turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.  
With email notification alerts, businesses can: 

Draw attention without being intrusive
  • Unlike promotional emails, notification emails are sent based on a user or prospect’s behavior or action. 
  • Notification emails include essential information, like activity updates, ongoing offers, and business announcements for the recipient to act upon.
  • They are concise and convey a singular goal. This helps them to draw more interaction or improve conversion.
  • They address the recipient directly and often serve as a confirmation of an interaction. These emails also include what should be the reader's ideal course of action.
Enjoy a higher open rate
  • Email notifications get a higher open rate than promotional or cold emails. This is because they are sent to people who have interacted with your business earlier.
  • It ensures that your business stays on top of your audience’s mind.  
  • The emails draw customers, especially when they have not actively interacted with your business over a long period.
  • Leads and customers who do not interact with the brand may not opt-out or unsubscribe. Product updates and announcements help re-engage and increase the chances of bringing them up to date.
Ensure customers stay updated
  • Business models are susceptible to changes and the best brands adapt to changes faster. And when that happens, it is important to keep your prospects and customers up-to-date with these changes.
  • Updated customers are likely to use your product or services more than the ones who are in the dark.
  • Do you accept only appointment-based visits? Email notifications help educate your users better. This ensures a smoother transition into the new way of how things work.
Keep the business top of prospect’s minds
  • In the digital world, a number of brands are vying for your lead’s attention. Notification emails with clear subject lines and succinct content encourage seamless engagement.
  • For example, simple cart abandonment emails elevate the experience your customer receives. It brings them back to your website and helps them complete their action without starting over.
  • These types of emails are not only customer-centric. They guide users on ways to derive maximum benefits through product recommendations, exclusive promotions, and in some cases, more interactions with your business.

When should you prioritize email notifications?

It is important to understand that your customers value email notifications only when they are relevant. They are sent to relay an update, an action that your prospect or customer anticipates. By sending email notifications, you help users to re-engage with your product or interact with your business.

But as it is with everything, send too many email notifications and they end up in spam. Send too little, they cause friction between your customers and your brand. The balance is everything. The right timing and the right number of notifications will ensure that your brand stays on top of their minds.

Here are four ideal scenarios when email notifications can help your business:

When other alerts cannot be used

Push notifications and in-app alerts contain various text limitations. In such cases, brands can fall back on email notifications to get the message across. 

For sensitive transaction-based activity

Anything involving a payment should have an appropriate email notification. This helps in confirming if the activity was successful or not.

For account-level activities

This works best when a user hits a milestone while using your product or service. The email instills a sense of accomplishment and increase retention.

New changes in place

When you have changes, it is important to send an email notification that informs your customers and prospects. This helps your user take the necessary action in case there is any anticipated outage.

Email notification and alert types

If you have previously signed up for a product, it is impossible to miss out on a notification email. Based on their necessity, these emails can be classified into two categories.

Default email notifications

Any business or app that you sign up for will send a set of essential emails. These emails primarily notify:

  • When the account or subscription is activated
  • Important features and benefits
  • Transaction or billing confirmation
  • Privacy and security updates

1. Activation emails

An activation email is sent when you sign up for a product or service. Your product or service could be overwhelming to new users. Activation emails give users an easier way to navigate through your app, one step at a time.

Netflix's welcome email Netflix's welcome email

Like Netflix’s welcome email, the best activation emails include a way to pin important links like the user’s email id, current plan, card on file, when the trial ends and more. The email also gives customers a path to go to the user’s Netflix account right dashboard from the email.


2. Onboarding/Welcome emails

Onboarding emails educate users about your product or service. It helps them utilize the best out of your offering and drives them close to your product's aha! moment.

This is where your users find different ways to use your product and find solutions to problems. These emails are a great place to introduce your users to video tutorials, previous webinars, or your knowledge base.

Canva Onboarding Email Canva Onboarding Email

Canva is an online design platform that helps starters and professionals create amazing visuals. It is used by starters and professionals. Canva sends emails that educate their users and give them insight into more premium features. Canva’s onboarding emails flaunt their branding and visual style effortlessly.

3. Invite/Referral emails

Invitation or referral emails are sent to prompt an existing user to bring more people on board. These emails help users add more people to their accounts. For products that don't involve collaboration, these are an important marketing channel. They help users spread the word about your product or service. Add referral codes and discounts, and your users are more likely to refer your business to their circle.

Skillshare's referral email Skillshare's referral email

Skillshare, an online learning app encourages users to invite people they know in exchange for a month’s free premium access. 


4.Transactional emails 

Transactional emails are sent to notify users if the transaction was successful or not. Due to their sensitivity, the emails should have a reference id for users to resolve any discrepancies.  

Transactional emails also include upgrade confirmation, refunds, and also when the payment failed.

Spotify's payment failed email Spotify's payment failed email

Spotify's payment failure email does what a transactional email should do. It notifies the user that there was an attempt to charge their card but the payment didn't go through. It reassures them and also gives them a way to update their billing.

5. Activity updates

Activity updates give you an update or confirm any recent changes within your account. This could be a confirmation of a password reset or when you get a new follower on Twitter.

These emails help keep your users engaged and in some cases increase time spent on your product.

Google's new device login notification email Google's new device login notification email

Gmail's “verify whether it's you” emails notify if users logged into their account from a new device. They help keep security in check and ensure that account owners can act fast in case of a threat.

Journey or behavior-based emails

These emails are strategically used to create a hook and induce anticipation. They play a pivotal role in increasing engagement and looping users back to your product. 

1.Celebrating important milestones

Call it gamification or a means to remind customers how important they are, milestone emails help celebrate the journey of your users within your app. 

These emails can be sent for birthdays and anniversaries, sometimes along with a personalized offer to make your customers feel extra special.  

Grammarly's milestone celebration email Grammarly's milestone celebration email

Grammarly's weekly stats email is a great example of a milestone email. It tells you how much you've written, how unique your vocabulary is, and how close you are to the next badge. When you hit a writing streak, you get a badge. This is not only a rewarding experience but also drives users to keep using the product and avoid them from churning. 

2. Request to review emails 

Reviews are truly an asset of any business. They are a testament to how good a business is, what lengths the business goes to keep the customer happy. Reviews increase the credibility of a business and are instrumental in promoting the business.

Airbnb is built on a community and reviews help their members choose a good place to stay. The higher the positive reviews, the more likely it is that the place will get rented out.

Airbnb's request to review notification email Airbnb's request to review notification email

Airbnb’s ’request to review’ emails are sent when a guest's stay is over. This lets them write a review while the memories of the experience are still fresh. And what makes the email stand out is that it emphasizes why reviews matter and how it takes only a few minutes to complete them.


3. Reminder to upgrade emails

Your users are unlikely to remember when their subscription or trial period ends. Automated reminders help notify users that their trial or subscription will end soon. These emails are super helpful in reminding users that your business will attempt to charge their card on file. 

A good reminder to upgrade email should hint what they stand to miss out on once the trial period is over. It should also give them a clear path to update their billing or choose a plan.

Shopify's reminder to upgrade notification email Shopify's reminder to upgrade notification email

Shopify is an app that lets people set up their online store. Shopify sends a timely reminder to users when their free trial is going to expire. The email highlights what will happen to the store and what steps their users can take to ensure minimal disruptions.

4. Back in stock emails

This one works well for businesses that sell a product or service to their customers. When you have a  high-demand bestseller on your sleeve, it's likely to get sold within a short period. For customers who were late to the party, a back in stock email can do wonders. Not only do they remind people when the product is back in stock but also ensure that they are likely to make a purchase.

Adidas's back in stock email notification Adidas's back in stock email notification

Adidas lets people submit their email addresses to receive an email notification if a product they love is out of stock. But what they do next is customer service at its best. If the product isn't expected to be back in the stores, they send an email stating the same. Adidas also offers personalized recommendations in case the customer is ready to settle for the next best item.

5. Cart abandonment emails

For popular online stores, cart abandonment emails are effective ways to reach out to a shopper who added items to their carts but did not check out. These emails induce a sense of urgency, bring shoppers back to the site, and entice them to complete the purchase.

Google Store's cart abandonment notification email Google Store's cart abandonment notification email

In 2019, the average cart abandonment rate was about 77.13%, which is approximately 3 out of 4 shoppers. On the bright side, cart abandonment emails have at least a 40% open rate.  Google store's cart abandonment email makes an impact. It's cheeky, minimalistic, and takes users back to their cart.


6. Order/ Shipping status emails

Shipping confirmation emails are a form of post-purchase emails, delivered after a sale. They are used to update customers with real-time locations. Though they enjoy a high open-rate, they are primarily useful in increasing customer delight.

Fitbit's order shipped notification email Fitbit's order shipped notification email

Fitbit's order confirmation emails give users details of their product, the expected delivery time, the reference number, and where they can track the package. All the essential information is included for the users to stay on their toes.

7. Post-purchase emails

Post-purchase emails are significant in retaining customers in their journey. This gives you more opportunities to cross-sell or upsell to your existing customers. Think about an iPhone user, their journey with Apple may not necessarily stop with an iPhone. Apple tries to cross-sell their AirPods, the MagSafe charge, and more. 

Apple's post purchase notification email Apple's post purchase notification email

Your post-purchase emails should give customers a sneak-peek into things they can buy for an elevated experience. By adding discount codes and offers, your customers will feel valued and will keep shopping with you. 


How to create effective email notifications

Email notifications are a key asset to your email marketing strategy. Despite their high open rates, they are underutilized. Email notifications are mostly sent when the users are expecting them. They not only validate an action that has happened but also provide plenty of opportunities to upsell and cross-sell to existing users.

Best practices to create stellar email notifications

Notification emails perform an important task. They convey updates or changes that are yet to happen. Unlike promotional emails, it's easy to keep sending email notifications and break the user's trust. 

Here are some of the best practices to be followed while creating notification emails:

Direct subject lines

Convey what the email is about. Use key phrases to give a sense of what your reader can expect without opening the email. 

Resourceful email content

Include only essential information that the recipient needs to know. Be concise and illustrate the impact and the action required from the readers. 


Email notifications are essential in maximizing user engagement. Send personalized emails that maintain the 1:1 communication appeal.

Clear call to action

Let your call to action take the recipient to your product or perform the desired action. Keep it straightforward and let it guide users to take the necessary action with minimal assistance.

One goal, one idea

Ensure that the notification alerts provide assurance and build trust without any distraction. Do not stray away from the message under the pretext of cross-selling or upselling unnecessarily. 

How to automate email notification and alerts

With email notifications, your business can seamlessly interact with its customers at the right time. But your team doesn't have to send them manually. A marketing CRM software with email automation capabilities lets you create engaging emails and send them to users when the predefined conditions are met. Thinking about how to find a CRM software that works for your team? We’ve got you covered.

Introducing Freshworks CRM for email alerts and notifications


Freshworks CRM is a comprehensive CRM solution that lets you manage all your users, segment them based on their behavior and interactions, tailor highly converting notification emails and create journeys to send the emails when goals are met. Freshworks CRM also gives actionable insights that let you customize, optimize and improve the performance of your journeys.

With Freshworks CRM, you can create enriching email notifications and alerts easily using email templates or from scratch. By automating email notifications and alerts, you can help your team discover more time and space to focus on personalized 1:1 interactions that help prospects convert. 

Create interactive email notifications and alerts

Your business may have to send different email notifications for different actions. Freshworks CRM lets you create different kinds of notification emails for the most common scenarios. With Freshworks CRM's email designer, you can:

  • Take advantage of a library of email templates available for you to adapt and customize.
  • Design notification emails with a simple and easy-to-use drag and drop editor.
  • Optimize your emails to be viewed on different screen sizes and devices.
  • Personalize your notification emails in bulk to derive maximum conversions.
Email editor to design notification emails Email editor to design notification emails
Set up a scalable customer journey

Not all users take the same road when they interact with your business. An efficient CRM system must ensure that your email notification alerts are increasing the value of your business to the user. Hence Freshworks gives you a way to orchestrate workflows and trigger email notification alerts when users hit a goal. 

  • Schedule your notification emails by creating journeys based on user behavior and interactions within your website or product.
  • Add new users to your customer journeys automatically to ensure that they don’t miss any important email notifications.
  • Segment users based on their growth and interaction with your business and target them with notification emails.
  • Get complete context of a user’s interaction like response to previous emails, website activities and more for a smoother handoff to your sales team.
Setting up a email notification journey for users Setting up a email notification journey for users
Discover how your email notifications are performing

Like how you constantly monitor your business, you need to observe how your email notification alerts perform. If your customers don't find any value, they might ignore your notification emails, forget about your product, and churn. When this happens, any attempts to re-engage will be overlooked. Freshworks CRM gives you real-time analytics to assess the impact of your email notification alerts. You can:

  • Measure the effectiveness of your notification emails with real-time analytics.
  • Fine-tune your email notifications based on open rates, click-throughs, and engagement across different geographical locations.
  • Build your own reports for a granular-level understanding of your email notifications.
  • Share the performance reports with your team to improve collaboration and make data-driven decisions.
Email notification performance analytics Email notification performance analytics

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