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HTML: Is It Worth It?

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pic-4.jpgAre text emails winning the battle for clicks and opens?

In email marketing there’s one thing that matters above all else: did they read it? Email marketing is an excellent way to get your message out – that’s old news – today we’re on to figuring out the best methods. Conventional wisdom grants HTML the upper hand for both aesthetic and tracking purposes. However, maybe all those fancy bells and whistles aren’t pulling their weight.

HTML is an abbreviation for HyperText Markup Language – it’s a code used for formatting webpages and emails that allows both text and images, so it’s perfect for creating eye-catching emails. The thing is, we’ve all seen ‘em, and now they’re about as catchy as a forgotten billboard. Furthermore, most of us don’t like being sold to unless we’re looking to buy that product at that moment, so all that digital bling ends up advertising the fact that it’s a sales letter, and, rather than reading your message, those easily distracted eyeballs move on to their next target. 

Why it’s taking over

Plain emails are more personal. The thinking here is that people are more receptive to methods of communication similar to that in which they engage with their friends and family. Furthermore, regular emails are less likely to trigger SPAM filters. 

Time savings. While it’s certainly possible through Multi-Part MIMEs to send both formats in one email, simply put: HTML messages demand more creative decisions on top of writing your message.  Considering the fact that those creative decisions tend to work against you, text emails are a significantly more efficient use of time. 

Accuracy. Imagine putting time and energy into creating an award worthy HTML email design, and, against all odds, a recipient opens it only to be shown: your images covering up your text. Unfortunately, sometimes HTML elements are striped out from emails by anti-virus software, when this happens, it can affect how your email is rendered, damaging the intent of your design.

When to use which?

As much as it may seem like HTML is on a hot greased rail to yesteryear, it can still be a successful email format – it’s just a matter of knowing when to use it. One line of thinking suggests using HTML when the message is coming from your marketing division, and regular email format if it’s coming from a specific person. Again, this is getting back to the more personal feel of the email format versus the more professional image created via HTML capabilities.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all decision maker when it comes to determining whether HTML or text email is more effective. ContentBacon’s marketing team understands the nuances of getting emails opened, read, and responded to. For more information on finding the right strategy for your business, contact us today.

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