I've been seeing a lot of you sending non-spammy promotional emails to your subscribers, which almost always end up on my "promotions" tab in Gmail.
This means essentially no one will see them (and even less will convert).
However, I have a strategy that makes my open-rates shoot-up, to almost two times more of what they should be when compared to your average email marketeer.
And how am I achieving this?
By always sending e-mails using only plain-text. Always.
And 9 out of 10 times, they get over +40% open-rates, with very high CTR's aswell.
Now, here's my personal pros vs cons of plain-text.
PROS of Plain-text:
1. Gmail doesn't normally move them to the "Promotions" tab because they have no images or overly altered HTML. This means they almost always get delivered to the main tab, and because of that, they get much higher open-rates.
2. Being in plain-text makes them look just like any other important business e-mail, meaning they receive a focused reading. The proof of this is the high CTR on my promotional e-mails (see image above).
3. Because they seem like regular emails, people like to reply back, and they do so more than in promotional emails filled with images. My emails look like conversations and not like a typical sales pitch covered with images - this makes people want to reply and know more, even if my content is clearly promotional.
CONS of Plain-text:
1. This same tactic can be ineffective when applied to transactional e-mails. I would be alarmed to see my credit card information or passwords being sent in plain-text (I would feel someone had hand-written my information and after that kept it for themselves).
2. I also wouldn't advise conventional e-commerce stores to follow this strategy. Regular e-commerce emails are literally sales catalogs - images and altered HTML were made for them, so they should use them.
3. Plain-text won't save your emails if you keep using spam-filter keywords. Plain-text might give a considerable boost to your emails, but only if you make sure your content is free from spam-filter keywords.
Using terms like "discount", "100% free" and so many others that are typical from spammers will move your email straight into the "Promotions" tab (or even worse, the dead-end Spam folder).
Now, when I say "plain-text", you should know that my emails are not 100% pure "plain-text".
I sometimes add some bold and italic formatting.
And while this does inject unnecessary HTML into my e-mails, I haven't noticed any drop in either open rates or CTR's - so I'll keep adding some of it to make my emails look attractive, readable and natural-looking.
All in all, I'm very satisfied with using plain-text. It's been a huge success.
My email conversions have gone up considerably because all I need to do now is to focus on my copywriting - no longer do I need to think and design (unnecessary) images.
Now, are you warriors doing the same for your emails?
What have been your results?