HTML vs Plain Text
We continue to get this question regularly regarding HTML vs. Plain Text. And just the other day, I came across a great article on exactly this topic.
Hubspot recently released findings from a study done a few months back. And what they found was that plain text emails increases opens and clicks! Or rather, emails that APPEARED to be plain text. In other words, they were still HTML emails in that they used hyperlinks, tracking pixels, and so on).
The findings did NOT state the deliverability was necessarily better with plain text, assuming the email is properly coded AND contains a plain text version.
The study focused more on what happened once the recipient RECEIVED the message.
First thing to note... the majority of people said they prefer HTML emails over plain text. But their level of activity shows otherwise!
In fact, open rates were lower (before they even SAW the HTML formatted content). The reason, they suggest, is because as the filters get more complex, services like Gmail Tabs are more likely to route the HTML intensive emails to the Promotions tabs vs. to the primary inbox with little/no HTML.
The other interesting piece was that HTML emails ALSO reduce clickthrough rates. One would think that more graphics would actually increase conversions, the reverse happened. The reason they defined was that email is still largely a one-to-one communication tool, and emails that look more personal will out perform and connect with the subscriber better.
So, while you should definitely split test various elements of your emails, it is a good idea to test how much - and where - you are using HTML in your emails.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
To know more about HTML vs plain text email, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/html-vs-plain-text. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.
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