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There are two formatting options when sending emails. HTML and Text only.Emails that are sent with pictures embedded are HTML emails.

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, and is a standardized system for tagging text files to display font, colour, graphic and links in emails.*

Text only is sending an email from a text based editor, or straight from your email client without the use of photos or links.

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What email type is best to use, and when?That really depends on your email campaign’s goal as well as the audience.

It’s best to send an HTML email when…

1. When you want to display pictures, format text, or embed links within the text of your email. Even simple bolding and underlining of text uses HTML, as well as the use of email signatures.

2. When you want to track your email open rates.

Only upon downloading of the embedded graphics in an email will your server track when the emails are opened. Most email programs give you an option when opening an email to “download images” or to read in text only. Text only emails, or emails that are opened but do not display the images will not be tracked in your open rate metrics.

It’s best to send a Text only email when…

When you have no need for formatting or when you are sending emails to a company that have a heavy spam filter. Also, if you are sending email to someone who you know is reading it on a mobile device, text based emails display as you intend to send them, which may not always be the case for an HTML formatted email.  Some people have reported that text based emails get a higher response rate as they feel as though they are addressed more personally, and are simpler to respond to on mobile devices.My Rule of Thumb

If you want a response by email… send a text only message.

If you want the reader to “take an action” ie. download a whitepaper, sign up for a webinar, purchase a product, your best to use an HTML format.

 What are your thoughts?

When do text based emails perform best for you vs an HTML format.


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