Which Is More Effective to Use for Email Marketing: Plain Text or HTML?

Powerful Online Marketing Plan

When it comes to internet marketing campaigns, email marketing still packs a punch. The main question we receive as Internet Strategy Consultants is which type of email is the most effective to use for email marketing: plain text, or HTML?

You may think there’s no definitive answer to this, as it largely depends on personal preference. However, the personal preference of the overwhelming majority might surprise you.

The Difference between Plain Text and HTML emails.

When building your online marketing plan, it’s likely you thought about email marketing and incorporating that into your internet marketing plan, but did you consider the efficacy of plain text emails versus HTML emails? Essentially, they’re both going to complement your email marketing plan, and as such, your internet marketing campaign, but not all emails were created equal.

A plain text email is one with no images, and is made up entirely of text. These use very little editing, if any at all and are very quick to build. On the other hand, an HTML email will make use of a lot of formatting and editing, even employing templates, graphics, images, and even video, in some cases.

The problem with HTML is that, although it can look very nice, it tends to be picked up by spam filters as being commercial and then blocked from your target audience’s inboxes. This impacts deliverability and thus, your CTR. Plain text on the other hand is rarely picked up by spam filters, and runs almost no risk of feeling overly commercial and too impersonal to your audience.

Which Do People Prefer?

By the looks of things, the more HTML and images included in an email, the fewer times the email is opened. Given this, perhaps unexpected, result, it would appear that when it comes to email marketing, including less will give you better results. If you find you can’t resist adding some HTML into your emails, make sure you’re including a plain text version with it when it’s sent.

Adding a plain text version to your HTML email will not only improve the chance your email will be opened, but will also lessen the likelihood of getting picked up by the spam filter. The big email providers tend to expect this of businesses just as good practice, so make sure it’s something you’re taking a few minutes to do, or utilizing good email programs that already do that (like Constant Contact) before sending off your email marketing message.

And In Conclusion

Interestingly, despite claiming that they prefer HTML emails, people do tend to respond better to plain text emails. They open more of them, resulting in a higher CTR (click through rate) for your business, and better results from your internet marketing campaign for you.

This is largely considered to be the case because email is still thought of as being a personal interaction, from one to one. In general, people appreciate when businesses take the time to make them feel like they’re important. This perhaps best explains why a plain text email, free of flashy advertisement and the like, fares better than HTML heavy emails.

Effective Email Marketing Truths


To Your Best Online!

Ingrid Gee, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®


Image from littlegreenplace.com


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