Email Marketing – HTML Vs. Plain Text

    December 19, 2006

After you have set up your opt in list and started collecting leads you need to decide whether to use HTML or plain text for your follow up and broadcast messages.

Each have there own advantages and disadvantages but its far safer and more effective to use plain text for all of your messages because of a number of reasons.

The main benefit of HTML is that you can send high quality graphics and make your messages colourful and attractive to the reader. It also allows publishers to track open rates and click through rates.

But there are some major disadvantages with HTML that you should be aware of:

1. HTML messages take much longer to load (especially if the recipient has a slow internet connection) and take up more disk space and many people will simply delete them.

2. Email accounts display HTML messages in different ways and they can change the layout, font type, and size of your message so it appears totally different to the recipient.

3. Some of the recipients may not accept HTML messages at all so your message simply appears as lines of code which most people don’t understand and can’t read.

4. HTML messages can be used to hide viruses in the code which can infect the recipient’s computer when the email is opened which is why many people will not read them.

Sending messages in HTML format can dramatically reduce your response rates if you don’t know how to use it properly, resulting in fewer sales and less profits. There are simply too many problems with HTML email and its not worth the effort.

If you want to create fancy messages why not set up a blog and use the layout and font of your choice and just send a short plain text email to your subscribers asking them to visit your blog to read the content.

Another option would be to allow each subscriber to select whether they want to receive HTML or plain text, but this just doubles your workload and you will have create two versions of each message.

If you send your messages in plain text format you will ensure that each subscriber will receive it as you intended (without any modifications) and will be able to read it properly. Why risk losing profits with HTML when you can achieve better results with plain text.


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This article was written by Simon Akers who is the editor of the Marketing Oasis newsletter, a free internet marketing ezine packed with tips to help you succeed and increase your profits: