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Plain Text or HTML Email Broadcasts – What Works Best?

HTML Email Vs. Plain Text Messages

YOU ASKED: What format of Email broadcasts, ezines, and e-newsletters works best?  HTML with color, pictures and graphics (Fancy)  or just PLAIN TEXT (simple) versions?

ME: My opinion has changed over the years.   Currently, I send most of my ezines and email promos in plain text, BUT… we are seeing more and more success in HTML versions of email broadcasts.

It really depends on your market and the relationship with that market.   For example, one of our clients, Roxanne Emmerich, has great rapport and a relationship with her corporate clients and they respond better to HTML versions of emails. When we schedule broadcasts we format BOTH versions in the email manager program so that the system will auto-detect the best version to deliver to their inbox.

Most email management services like Constant Contact, Aweber, Benchmark email services, etc., have those options.  It comes down to this…

What’s the best way to communicate the value you offer to readers? Sometimes you may need visuals, color and graphics to make your point.   Keep it simple and focused. Only promote one thing. Make it 90% value and 10% promotional as a rule or you’ll burn out your list and it won’t matter what format you send it in.

It’s a testing thing, but I am moving more and more towards clean HTML versions with a simple identifiable and branded header, clear main message and unique call to action to either read more, continue online, call , download, etc…

Even though HTML emails allow for improved visuals they are abused by so many companies that I tend to ignore them. I have Outlook set to block images in email unless I approve the email user first.   So if you want to reach me… use Plain text and great copy.

Use your stats in your email management program to check your open rates. Check your site stats for conversions.  Remember that COPY is what SELLS and Graphics attract attention. They work together to create the marketing message or communicate value.

What do you think? Do you prefer HTML or Plain Text emails? Let me know below.

Author Byline: Ford Saeks, Business Growth Specialist, Keynote Speaker, Author and Consultant. Helping you find, attract, and keep your customers. https://ProfitRichResults.com

January 9, 2011 Posted By : Ford Saeks

1 Comment

  1. Will Ezell

    Ford – I respectfully disagree… I say give it to them in the manner in which they prefer to see it. Based on everything I see, more than 80% of all people have their mail settings to see in html, and not text.

    And for those who want to see it in text, they’ve already set their mail settings for text. 99% of all mailing programs allow you to preview your e-mails in html and text formats – that way you can adjust your e-mails accordingly.

    I’ve heard plenty of people ask you how much information they need to give to someone to compel a prospective buyer to buy, and your answer has never changed… You say “give them enough information to make the choice to buy.”

    Well… now you should give them “enough information” in the format they prefer!


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