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HTML vs. Plain Text - Guest Blog by Annie Cooley

by on ‎06-08-2010 08:40 AM (13,348 Views)

HTML vs. Plain Text

by Annie Cooley

 

HTML emails have become the most common email campaigns to send.  The click through rate has also shown higher results with such emails.  So is plain text email out of the picture?  Definitely not.  A plain text email will stand out from the HTML emails because of its simplicity and ability to seem more personal.

Which one should you use?  Below I have provided the pros and cons to both. By better understanding why you should use each, you can better understand what your audience needs and responds to best.

HTML


Pros
-    HTML emails are eye-catching and have the ability to draw readers in with both images and compelling content.
-    Well chosen and placed images have shown positive results in increasing the click through rate.
-    You have the ability to be more creative.  You have to figure out the right balance of text and images, the proper color scheme to use and what fonts and sizes to use.

 

Cons
-    HTML email has become the most common way to reach people via email.  Your HTML email can look the same as all the others.
-    You can easily overdo the design and layout.  Finding the right balance can be tricky at times.
-    If your recipient’s inbox automatically blocks images, your images will not appear making your email look bare at first glance.

Plain Text

 

Pros
-    You can personalize plain text emails much easier, giving the impression that the email was written specifically to the recipient.
-    It’s uncommon and will stand out among HTML emails.
-    Your value driven message will be seen in full in the inbox.

 

Cons
-    Because of its simplicity, it may not push a call-to-action as effectively as an HTML email.
-    Without columns to separate your content, you can only provide so much information that is guaranteed to get read.
-    The click through rate could potentially be lower.

Let this serve as a guide to you, but remember the greatest way to know what your audience likes is to test it.

Have you had success with either type of email?  Please share.

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