Deciphering the HTML vs. Plain Text Email Marketing Hoopla
Posted by Elspeth M. on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
We’re going to come clean about one thing: until this happens to you, you probably didn’t even know there was a potential issue with HTML vs. plain text email marketing. However, it’s a fairly prevalent and common error that can keep quite a few of your email subscribers from seeing your golden nugget of advertising genius.
We’ll decipher for you what the issue is and how it affects your email marketing campaign in a straight-forward, easy to understand way. It’s great advice for you to consider when you choose an email service provider (ESP.) Ready?
HTML is a type of coding language. Therefore, HTML code, if written incorrectly, can cause links to be broken or videos not to appear correctly. It is the jargon behind the scenes full of dashes, slashes and carets that translates into what the reader sees on the page.
The part that’s relevant to your email marketing campaign is very simple: Since HTML can sometimes be read as spam, email programs will often block HTML versions of emails. At times, users choose to only view their emails in plain text, as well.
So, if you’re using an HTML only based email program (or the ESP doesn’t translate your HTML to plain text) your subscribers will not see your emails the way you intended them (i.e. the formatting you work so hard to accomplish will be removed in a plain text version.) Plain text is exactly what it sounds like: Just the text of the email.
To help you understand plain text, just look at this blog post. Only the words would be visible to your readers in a plain text version. These readers would not see any pictures, charts, videos or infographs. Does that make sense?
The basic plain text translation by your ESP means everyone and anyone can see your email, whether they prefer full on images or simple, text-only versions. While it’s a basic concept, it’s highly likely if you haven’t had a complaint from a client that they can’t read your emails you’ve never considered this issue.
Further, if you don’t have images blocked in your personal email subscriber you have no reason to believe that everyone and anyone can’t see your email marketing newsletter. A few other solutions?
- Make sure images are very small
- Ask your ESP if they have a mobile friendly version
- Sent an alternate (i.e. attachment) version to specific email clients
- Post your deals on your website for anyone to download
- Make sure every image has a good title description
Need more great email tips? Contact Click Mail today for a recommendation on the best ESP for you.