Marketing evolves fast. Despite changing trends, a proven strategy like email marketing is here to stay—especially for B2B.

Holistic email marketing campaigns build lasting relationships with customers and prospects. It has one of the highest ROI amongst other strategies. And it’s something you can automate.

But, if we want to make the most of our email campaigns, we need to have a baseline understanding of an email’s technical aspects. So, in this article, we’ll be covering:

  • The format types of emails
  • HTML VS Plain Text
  • Email examples for every campaign.

Types Of Format: Plain Text vs. HTML

In the past, you couldn’t embed links into an email, images, or multimedia. It was just plain text.

This specific type of text developed in the 1960s was called ASCII. Included in its code were our English alphabet, numbers, punctuation marks, and a specific set of symbols.

In the early 2000s, HTML (HyperText Markup Language) came into the spotlight. HTML allows emails with colored text, different font styles, images, and more.

At a glance, HTML is the clear winner. However, plain text is still used in specific cases today. That’s mostly due to how accessible it is compared to HTML.

For example, Google’s Gmail disabled most of the HTML functionality of their service. This forced marketers to do extra leg work to not be blocked. Some just default to plain text.

But this issue was quickly fixed thanks to responsive design. This allows the HTML to change styles depending on the browser’s size.

There’s also a higher possibility of phishing scams and viruses embedded within an HTML text’ code. Anti-virus and spam filters can automatically strip down an HTML email to protect a user.

With all this in mind, which format should you choose? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide:

Plain Text Pros:

  • Responsive to all devices and has faster loading speeds
  • Best for people with slow internet.

Plain Text Cons:

  • Not capable of embedding images, links, formatting, and multimedia.

HTML Pros:

  • Enabled formatting, can embed links, images, and multimedia.
  • Allows for streamlined and consistent design for brand image.

HTML Cons:

  • Spam filters can strip down your HTML email’s CSS leaving you with plain text, and destroying the format of your original message.
  • CSS code can include viruses or phishing.

Considering the pros and cons, HTML is best for most use cases. It can track analytics, provide an engaging visual experience, and brands can incorporate their style into emails.

12 Types Of Email To Retain And Entice Customers

email types

Now that we know the basics, here are 12 types of emails and email marketing tips to help you retain customers and attract new prospects:

The Welcome Email

Welcome emails are the initial touchpoint once you get a subscriber. When you get a prospect’s contact details, it’s best to make a good first impression—welcome emails help with this.Here’s an example template you can use:

Hi, {{First Name}},
Welcome aboard! We’re so happy to have you here!
The team has a lot planned for {{Product Name}} this year and we’re so excited to share them with you. If you need anything, feel free to contact us anytime. We’ll have a representative reach out to you ASAP.
Again, welcome to {{Company Name}}!

The Nurturing Email

Once you’ve converted prospects into customers, you have to start nurturing them to entice them to stay. Remember, retaining customers is more cost-effective than finding new leads.

One of the most effective ways of retaining customers is through nurture campaigns. These are a series of tailored emails with valuable content. You can use it to update, answer common questions, and nudge a customer further down the sales funnel. Here’s an example:

Hey there, {{First Name}},
We updated some key features of {{Product}} that we think you’d like! Here’s a quick snippet of the patch notes:
{{Product}} now allows {{New Feature}} and we updated the UI to be more intuitive, especially for new users. It’s not a drastic change, but it does include a couple of quality-of-life updates.

The Promotional Email

As the name implies, promotional emails are used to promote new products or services. To make these emails more effective, add coupons, discounts, or irresistible exclusive offers.

In your email, highlight the product and add the discount or promo code in the subject line. Then, add the relevant information in the body. Here’s an example I got from Plugin Boutique

This is a great promotional email because it includes the discount itself and an expiration date enticing me to avail of the promo before it goes away.

Here’s another example from Playstation which incorporates upselling, one of the most effective email marketing best practices:

promotional email

The Special Offer Email

Special offers and promotional emails go hand in hand. You can even use a special offer in a welcome email, something you’d often see on eCommerce or travel sites.

Here’s an example from the booking app Agoda:

special offer email

Instead of one offer, they sent me multiple deals. This allows me the freedom to choose what works best for me. They also added the element of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) with the phrase, “Grab them before they’re gone!”.

What would’ve made this more effective is the addition of a timer or a specific deadline, similar to the Playstation example earlier.

The Feedback Request Email

Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Sending feedback request emails allows businesses insight into how to improve customer experience directly from them.

Here’s an example template you can use:

Hello, {{First Name}}
We hope that you’re loving your new purchase. If you got a few minutes of free time, we would love to hear your thoughts about the product. Your experience can help us improve our next lineup.
Thanks, we really appreciate it!

Pro tip: When doing feedback request emails, make it as convenient for the customer as possible. You can do this with large CTA buttons that redirect them to a review page.

The Newsletter Email

Newsletters are great for nurturing campaigns. The content in these emails should provide immediate and relevant value to subscribers. It could be any one of the following:

  • Digital Newsletters can be educational pieces about your products or guides.
  • Announcement emails for updates or sales
  • Promotional emails with special offers or discounts

As you can see, newsletters are flexible enough to incorporate whatever you deem fit. But, as a rule of thumb, each email should provide value with a clear CTA.

Here’s an educational/informational example of Jamie Wheal’s FlowGenome Project:

newsletter email

The Special Occasion Email

Milestones like anniversaries, x amount of subscribers, or time spent using a product should be celebrated! Special occasions such as these give a sense of community and gratitude.

But don’t forget your employees. Occasion emails shouldn’t be limited to your customers. Without both, businesses would be left in the dust.

And, what’s a good way to celebrate a milestone? Discounts and promos! Here’s an example:

Thank you so much for being with us as we celebrate our {{Special Occasion}}!
It has been an incredible journey so far, and we wouldn’t be here without you. Your support means the world to us. 🙏
To show our appreciation, we got a special deal for you! For a limited time, you can {{Value Proposition}}.

The Transactional Emails

Imagine customers not getting a confirmation email after buying your product. They’d probably feel a sense of panic. Thoughts like: “Did the payment go through? Was my order confirmed? My card already has deductions!” are probably racing in their minds.

This is where transactional emails come in. It should contain all the necessary information related to a transaction with your business. This includes shipping, order confirmation details, and more. For example:

Dear, {{First Name}}
Thank you for choosing {{Company}}. Here’s a summary of your order:
Order Details:
{{Order Date}}
{{Order Number}}
{{Transaction ID}}
{{User Name}}

The Reminder Email

Reminder emails are similar to transaction emails. Their goal is to remind recipients about something crucial or important. This could be unpaid bills, upcoming events, free trial expirations, and more. Here’s an example from Yahoo Fantasy Football:

reminder email

The Announcement Email

Announcement emails let your audience feel included. It’s also a good way to give exciting updates on new products, events, and more.

Even a simple email could let your audience feel like they’re part of a growing brand. Here’s an example:

On {{Date}}, {{Company Name}} will be introducing a new way for {{Product}} subscribers to interact with {{Product Feature}}. It will be our biggest update yet to provide you with the ultimate personalized experience!

The Curated Content Email

Curated emails should focus on the topic and its content. Think of it as starting from broad to specific. Here’s a checklist before you start sending curated content emails:

  • Are the topic and content relevant to your target audience?
  • Does the content provide enough evidence to support the claims?
  • Is my information reliable?

If the answer is a solid yes, then you can start creating a collection of the best content related to a topic to send to your audience. Here’s an example from SEMRush:

The Abandoned Cart Email

Abandoned cart emails can be the nudge your customers need to complete a sale. Statistics show that around 7 out of 10 shoppers abandon their carts. Mobile abandoned cart rates are even higher at 85.65%.

That’s a lot of untapped potential for a sale. Give a quick reminder to your customers with an abandoned cart email. For example,

We noticed you’ve got some items left in your cart. If you need any help or have any questions about the products, feel free to reach out to us here. {{Company Name}} is always happy to help! Or, you can click below to finish your transactions!

Key Takeaways

Email marketing can be used for every step in the sales funnel, from welcome emails all the way to transactional ones. But before sending out your drafts, consider the following:

  • There are two email formats: HTML and Plain Text.
  • HTML has formatting, styling, embedding, and more. Plain text is just text-based.
  • There are several types of emails, and each should come with its own unique strategy.
  • Personalization and tailoring relevant content are key to each email type.

If you want to streamline email campaigns, look no further than Instantly. Try it out for free today and see how AI-powered automation can take your campaigns to new heights.