Now that we’ve gotten a solid understand the basics of what your email campaigns should look like in order to be conversion-friendly, the next step is how to go one step further and create email designs for your unique industry. The top three tiers of industries include retail, business and organizations. Here, we break down how to approach email marketing designs for each one.

Best Email Template Designs for Retail

How you design your retail email marketing campaigns will depend heavily on your demographic. Millennials will want out of the box thinking, while anything before Generation X will prefer a more traditional approach.

For example, consider two national shoe retailers: Naturalizer and TOMS. While a younger demographic that is frequently on their feet may rely on a Naturalizer shoe, the brand is really catered toward a more mature audience. What bridges their mature demographic with their 20 something year old that will purchase their product, is a need to opt for a practical shoe. Naturalizer’s email marketing reflects that clean lines, categorized info and easy calls to action that are still youthful in design. The layout gives you quick access points for shopping, and is in fact design to replicate a website shopping experience. You enter their email and you’ve entered their story. And like any good email marketing campaign from a retailer, there’s an incentive to act: the $10 coupon plus free shipping offer. There’s a good chance the coupon code is also tied to that specific email marketing campaign to help track conversions.

Equally as practical, our other example here is TOMS. TOMS are comfortable but that’s not why you buy them. The demographic is completely different, which is why this is a great example. With each TOMS purchase, you’re buying into a piece of their culture. In an MTV Insights conversation with TOMS’ cofounder, Blake Mycoskie, revealed the “DIY collaborative mindset of the millennial generation … [and] how the entire brand is playing upon the millennial currency of the experience.”

TOMS’ email campaigns reflect that experience. They take a more creative approach that looks like more like an Instagram photo than a traditional email marketing campaign. Again, their audience is not just looking to buy a product; they’re looking to buy an experience. The email campaign does just that by tapping into your imagination and showing you how to pair their products with one of the busiest seasons of the year – wedding season.

Best Email Template Designs for Business

Businesses should approach their email marketing in a slightly different way. Rather than featuring a product, their task is to prove value and create multiple points for calls to action. The most stunning business newsletter I’ve seen is from marketing agency in San Diego called Tribus Media. Their email marketing format is also designed to read like a website, but includes a very strong content marketing strategy design to guide prospective customers to key areas of information that help with the sales cycle.

After two key points of conversation designed to pique curiosity and sell, their template funnels down to reaffirm authority and then encourage a conversation.

Best Email Template Designs for Organizations

The one thing organizations tend to do is be content heavy. That’s a mistake. Organizations need to be even more creative, exciting and methodical in who they communicate their messages – especially because of the lack immediate gratification their work tends to offer. So with an organization, you’re not setting a product or a service – you’re selling an experience, or an association. In that regards, organizations can learn the most from millennial marketing in terms of cultivating experience through multimedia messaging. Here are some gorgeous examples that do just that: Doltone House and Four Pillars Gin. Though the industries are different, the takeaway is the same. Be breathtaking.

Even though were speaking here in terms of templates, as a marketer you should never think in terms of templates. A template isn’t supposed to be mold. Rather, it’s designed to act as a framework for your ideas, to help your team organize and present content in a meaningful way. A template design can take or either a very creative look or it can have more structure. Whichever route you decide to take for your emails, a great rule of thumb is to have several templates ready to go. You’re going to want a template for standard weekly newsletters, one for quick memos or announcements, another for quarterly emails, holiday campaigns and one for events or highly conversion-oriented campaigns. And, every once in a while, shake it all up and try something totally new to keep your audience interested and on their toes.