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Text Vs. HTML: Which Email Format Gets You The Best Results?

  • Feb 07, 2022
  • Posted By: Robert Duke
  • Category: infographics

Email marketing is the preferred marketing medium for digital marketers to drive client engagement and sales efforts. But to ensure its success, the right strategies and format should be carefully considered. When it comes to choosing the right email format, several marketers get muddled between HTML and plain text email format.

While there are several advocates for plain text emails, others argue that plain text format is a thing of the past and HTML reigns supreme in today’s email landscape.

So, who to believe? And which option to choose for a successful email campaign? If these questions have been hounding you like several other marketers, then we’ve got you covered. The infographic below addresses these questions so you can make an informed choice in 2021 and beyond.

plain text vs html emails infographic

Plain-Text vs. HTML Emails: What’s the Difference?

Plain text Email

  • This type of email is a simple email format comprising just text.
  • They usually follow ASCII code.
  • There are no colors, graphics, images, fonts, etc.
  • Links are written out as the URL.
  • They don’t require email developers.

HTML Email

  • These emails are designed with a template that uses HTML coding.
  • They have linked text, graphics, images, different fonts, colors, and so on.
  • They allow the creation of responsive designs.
  • They often require email developers.

Interesting Stats to Consider

  • 62% of marketers send a hybrid of HTML and plain text emails.
  • As per a HubSpot survey, 2/3 of email recipients expressed liking for HTML emails.
  • 20% marketers prefer HTML alone.
  • 16% prefer plain text emails.
  • Plain text emails have 17% higher CTR.
  • Plain text emails have 100%

Plain Text Emails

Pros of Plain text emails

  • They have universal readability
  • As they’re smaller and require less bandwidth, they have higher deliverability.
  • They load very fast.
  • They can be displayed on all devices, browsers, and systems.
  • They have a more personal look and appeal.

“Less is more.” — Mies van der Rohe

Cons of Plain text emails

  • Images, tables, graphs, etc., can’t be inserted.
  • Limited font and size choice.
  • Very difficult to create CTAs.
  • Tracking abilities can’t be used in this format.

Plain-Text Email Best Practices

  • Create clear and attractive headlines for each email section.
  • Don’t use very long links and give proper spacing between links.
  • The text should be evenly spaced out.
  • Place links between double brackets.

HTML Emails

Pros of emails in HTML format

  • They have enhanced aesthetics.
  • They are more engaging.
  • Readers can easily find the relevant.
  • They provide the ability to input tracking codes.

Cons of emails in HTML format

  • Often land in spam traps due to images.
  • The load time is often slow.
  • Many ESPs turn off images by default.
  • Lower deliverability in some regions.
  • They have a less personal feel.

HTML Email Best Practices

  • Design for simplicity.
  • Avoid complicated elements.
  • Avoid elements requiring flash.
  • Links should be easy to press with your thumb.
  • Account for mobile friendliness.
  • Don’t forget to test.

Which Email Format Wins?

  • It lies in what you aim to achieve and who you want to target.
  • If you want a corporate look – HTML goes better.
  • If you want a personal look and feel – go for Plain Text Email.
  • If you are targeting areas with low internet speed – go for plain text format.
  • For high-speed internet regions – choose HTML.
  • If you want insights for your campaigns – definitely choose HTML format.

Our verdict:

Create attractive HTML emails to be simple and less complicated like plain-text emails to enjoy the benefits of both formats.

Sources: Hubspot,Pardot,Litmus,Mailchimp,Databox,Marketo.


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