To make a choice, the first thing you need to understand is “What is html email” and “What is plain text email?” HTML email is an email that is formatted much like a web page. It has colors, graphics, table columns and links. Think about any email newsletter that you receive from any company you do business with. That’s a perfect example of what HTML email looks like. Plain text email is an email that only includes text. It’s more “old school” looking and very plain.
Today’s email marketers generally don’t debate which format is better. In test after test, emailing html converts better than emailing plain text almost every time. However, there are some keys you should consider before deciding between formats.
There are some challenges associated with emailing html messages.
If your code is sloppy, you message can get caught in the spam filter. TrafficWave’s letter editor keeps your overall formatting clean. If you create your messages using source code, you do increase your risk of ending up in the spam or junk folder.
ESP’s like gmail tend to block images by default. Readers can quickly approve the display of images. And, they can choose the option to always approve images from a particular sender. You may want to include instructions in your messages to allow images so your readers can see your full layout and content.
The way your message looks from one email reader to the next can be changed. It’s a good idea to proofread your messages by sending test messages to a gmail, yahoo, hotmail, aol, and outlook account. This allows you to view your messages across several platforms and make any necessary adjustments.
There are also some advantages when emailing html messages.
Quickly grab your reader’s attention. You only have a fraction of a second when a user opens an email for them to decide whether to read it or immediately trash it. The use of color and images can keep them interested long enough to read and become interested in your message. Remember the saying, “A picture is worth a thousands words”.
Most messages are best delivered in bulleted lists, columns, table layouts and a variety of text justifications. You can use colors, sizes and fonts to make certain parts of your message stand out. This can’t be done with plain text.
Tracking open rates, click through rates, and overall engagement is much easier when using HTML. Some text messages can’t be tracked, at all.
But what about those “old school” readers, folks who haven’t updated their systems, or just won’t open or read html?
The solution is: Use both!
When you are creating you letters in TrafficWave, you will automatically be using “HTML Letter View“. When you letter is done, click “Text Letter View” to create a separate text only version of your letter. Your message is going to be limited to text only, of course, and won’t look nearly as polished as the HTML version.
Most email marketers are sticking to emailing html messages to get better conversion rates, more appeal, and branding reinforcement.