Email: HTML or Plain Text?

20 replies
What type of email do you prefer; plain text or HTML?

Explain why...
#email #html #plain #text
  • Profile picture of the author havplenty
    When a html email hits my gmail account, its almost always never displayed correctly and I seldom click the tabs at the top to put things right. I therefore prefer plain text emails for the convenience of just opening up the email and reading it. Very simple and with little fuss.

    But I am probably the exception, many people like all the fancy stuff that comes with html emails
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    • I just use emailing software that sends out both in a single message: the MIME email protocol does the work figuring out which type of email each address prefers.
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    I prefer text. 80%+ of people view email on their mobile devices. HTML will sometimes not re-size properly for a mobile device and its a painful experience for the user.

    Text emails always scale nicely to fit the mobile window. Also, pretty graphics etc are great but for the most part people don't care. They just want to read their emails and move on to the next item of the day - which we typically have hundreds of things to do, right?

    I always tell people write your emails with this thought in mind - "When I get email in my inbox - how quickly will I read and delete it? And what will keep my attention just one more second?"

    Think about it folks I delete emails pretty quickly if its a crappy html email that I can't read on my mobile device from someone I am vaguely familiar with telling me I can get a #1 spot on Google. But if that same email comes through as a text email that is re-sized so I can read it and is not long paragraphs - chances are I will read at least a little and then make a decision to continue or delete.
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    • Profile picture of the author minisitetycoon
      Originally Posted by intergen View Post

      I prefer text. 80%+ of people view email on their mobile devices. HTML will sometimes not re-size properly for a mobile device and its a painful experience for the user.

      Text emails always scale nicely to fit the mobile window. Also, pretty graphics etc are great but for the most part people don't care. They just want to read their emails and move on to the next item of the day - which we typically have hundreds of things to do, right?

      I always tell people write your emails with this thought in mind - "When I get email in my inbox - how quickly will I read and delete it? And what will keep my attention just one more second?"

      Think about it folks I delete emails pretty quickly if its a crappy html email that I can't read on my mobile device from someone I am vaguely familiar with telling me I can get a #1 spot on Google. But if that same email comes through as a text email that is re-sized so I can read it and is not long paragraphs - chances are I will read at least a little and then make a decision to continue or delete.
      Exactly. Text email has always proven the sure winner. I have got far more conversions with text than html. It's the explosiveness in the words that sell the product. They can see the pretty colors and designs once they get to the website page.

      The important thing is getting them there with powerful ad copy, then the design will follow. HTML can mess up yes.. text always pulls through.
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  • Profile picture of the author bestIMtools
    I stick to the old school way: text. The best way to find out, however, is for you to split test a text vs. and HTML email and see which one gets better open rate and clicks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Sa
    I use html when I send a new broadcast to my list. It permits me to track the opens with my autoresponder and see which email converts the most opens to clicks.
    My autoresponder permits me to use both for those who have issues with html.
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  • Profile picture of the author domji
    I send http link to my client, so html editor is best for me, that way I can see that the link is really sent as a link
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert M Gouge
    I'm a fan of the HTML version that only uses text. Images are fairly pointless to display since most mail services have images disabled by default.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      I send both HTML and Plain Text versions of most of my
      e-mails.

      However, I use minimal formatting and no additional images
      in the HTML version.

      The HTML version allows a lot of advantages:

      - Track open rates
      - Use formatting (like bold, italics, underline and color) to
      make the e-mail easier to read
      - Use call-to-action words in the URL anchor text instead
      of butt-ugly tracking URLs in plain text versions

      That said, test out different approaches to get the right
      answer for your particular list.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    I prefer HTML. Images do not show in text-based emails.
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  • Profile picture of the author Richarddn
    Reasons to Use Plain Text
    • Displays Consistently Across Email Clients
    • Always Necessary for All Messages (whether you use HTML or not)
    • Looks More Like a Personal Email Message
    Reasons Not to Use Plain Text
    • Can't use Colors or Graphics
    • Can't turn words like "Click Here" into Links - must type out URL
    • Harder to Break Up Into Easy-to-Scan/Read Sections
    • Can't Use Multiple-Column Formats Easily
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  • Profile picture of the author scottsihm
    I prefer using HTML, it has more advantages compared to plain text. But I will always put back up plain text follow-ups for every HTML messages in my autoresponder. This is because some email system couldn't deliver the HTML messages, only plain text.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul nicholls
    i use html all the time because there are lots more benefits

    one of the main ones is the ablity to include hyper links in your emails with a better call to action

    paul
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  • Profile picture of the author prismkuet
    People are more willing to check mails on their phone rather log on through computer. I personally like to use phone for checking mail. As the amount of smart phone user is increasing, I believe plain text is more easily communicated than HTML.
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  • Profile picture of the author medigap4seniors
    I think, Google provide a very unique service related to G-mail because when the internet slow than the HTML Work good, Yes, I agree that, It's have not good feature but good.But still on those time we suffered the internet slow problem, It's help there.

    Plain text are nice, as we know that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leveragist
    I prefer plain text. Easier/faster to scan.

    If it does not capture my attention within a couple of SHORT paragraphs, I delete.

    Jeanne
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  • Profile picture of the author ChadClayton
    preferably plain text. easy to deliver your content and faster to scan.

    sometime technical problems happen to html scan.
    If it does not get my attention within the first few paragraphs, I'll delete it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanhan
    I'll prefer using plain text. for me its easy to use and edit.

    sometime technical problems happen to html scan and most of the time I donno why.
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