Email Format: HTML or Plain Text? (Why I Changed My Mind)
For the longest time, I only sent plain text emails to my mailing lists. Why? More out of personal preference than anything. I didn't like gussied-up HTML emails, so I didn't send them.
Also, it's easier. If you only send plain text, you don't have to bother with fancy formatting.
If you send hybrid plain text/HTML emails, you can copy and paste one or the other. But you'll invariably need to do some tweaking if you want it to look good in both formats.
But that's just me. Which format converts best?
Over at Michel Fortin's blog today, Daniel Levis wrote:
Think about it: email is the most personal marketing medium on the planet. You trade emails with your friends and family. And you do it in plain text. You read those emails. You trust those emails.
If you send flashy looking html masterpieces, instantly you go in the spam folder of your prospect's brain. Your email looks and feels like an intrusion.
That was my thinking too (at least for emails coming from people rather than companies). It was my thinking...until just recently, when an article on AWeber's blog got me thinking about changing. More specifically, a screenshot in the article got me thinking.
The screenshot showed an email. At the bottom was a photo of the sender. Every time someone opened his emails, they had a face-to-face meeting with him.
So I switched the format of my blog broadcast emails to hybrid plain text/HTML, and put my photo in it.
No slick salesman formatting -- just the photo. Everything else looks like a regular, plain-text-from-a-friend email. An email from a friend with their photo attached.
Has it made a difference? Well, I don't have enough stats yet to even be able to guess. But I like it.
What do you think?