8 thoughts on “HTML vs. Text Email, Which Format Is Better?

  1. Great an up-to-date article where are shown great comparison and tips which one is better to use in which case, I loved it!

    there are pros and cons using HTML Email and not using depends on, I would say on industry and on market segment on whom we are running campaigns, rich HTML emails if we are dealing to ordinary customers think can be winner and enables us to test out different approaches and play around and being creative by using GIFs which are pretty impressive and has high conversion as well I loved in your article how you gave useful tips when it’s more efficient to use HTML but at the same time want to mention that light HTML emails works well especially on B2B people and on me as well, I would say personally I like emails which are containing small amount of HTML, has high conversion to blog post or sites.

    P.S. Nowadays almost all the ESP s almost enables us to send out both HTML and Plain text where can’t be opened HTML can be substituted by plain text (pure example is smart watch)

    1. Hey Konstantine,

      yeah, rich HTML emails are having a very bright future ahead. So much stuff is going on in terms of interactivity, and as email clients get better with their rendering support, it’s going to be a game changer.

      The main problem for HTML emails I think is that initial inbox placement in Gmail, where usually majority of every list is.

      But that can also be fixed by really focusing down on having quality content which increases engagement and mailing consistency so your subscribers get used to receiving your emails at specific time of the week/month.

      1. I agree with you 100% the only thing which I really haven’t figured out 100% is delivering emails to subscribers’ primary tab and not jumping in promotional tab while running email campaigns.

        P.S. Yeah I know, in that case matters, email sending providers’ IP reputation. However, what you think, what are the major influencing factors which impacts on delivering emails to Primary inbox?

        1. I’d say that the senders reputation will make the most impact. It just makes sense when you think about it, it’s probably the first thing that’s checked when an email is coming in.

          The second major thing would be engagement your subscribers have with you, if they are on the list for some time now.

          For new subscribers, email format/structure would make bigger impact since relationship is just starting out.

          Haven’t done extensive testing in that area to say this is 100%, but it’s what I’ve noticed that makes the biggest impact.

      2. is it only gmail or does AOL and … whoever else, have promotional sections? My thinking was to have two email lists. One for gmail and another for all the rest. The rest get html, the gmail gets a simpletext version with a link to a pretty website html page.

        1. I haven’t used AOL, so no idea. Segmenting the list like that can be a good idea to test out if there are a lot of gmail users on your list. See what the numbers will tell you (but the email still has to have a good subject line and a great offer to give you results, inbox positioning is only one step).

  2. We have a media site that is all about beautiful images (and our text is beautiful too!). So keeping images out of our newsletters isn’t a great option. Does the number of images matter? For example are 10 images worse than 1 image?
    Beyond sending at same time each week (which we do) and keeping prices out (we don’t ever include prices), is there anything else of significance that we can do to get our newsletters into primary inboxes and boost our open rates?
    And, by the way, sign up for the BeautifulNow Newsletter! It will make your life more beautiful — now!

    1. Hey Shira, sorry for a bit late reply, was on vacation. 🙂

      Thanks for your comment, regarding the question, more images increase chances of email being tagged as promotional. I’d say it’s most likely because as you add more images in, you probably don’t add the same amount of text, so that text:images ratio goes more towards images. Might be a good idea to increase the amount of text content to get that ratio in balance. Be sure to test it out on a few email clients and see how it goes.

      Best thing you can do to keep your emails with high open rates is to make them valuable to the reader, every time. It’s good idea also to set expectations with a great welcome email, because that’s the one that has the highest open rates. If you nail it with welcome email, subscriber will look forward to the next email you send as it made that great first impression.

      Hope that helps!

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