Pros and Cons of HTML Emails

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Learn Why HTML Email Format Might Not be the Best Option for Your Business!

HTML based emails are very tempting for a few reasons. They allow you to track how many people opened the email, they allow you to put images, flash audio or video content and they have much higher opening ration compared to plain text emails.

However, HTML emails also have their own disadvantages. If you’re planning to offer HTML based emails in your ezine, then you’ll need to take few things into account. You’ll need to additionally create and format HTML emails, which takes some time. It will take more time to send out newsletter, because emails will be larger. HTML emails are very spam-sensitive, which means they are filtered out more often than plain text emails.

So we’ll simply go through the list of pros and cons and decide if it’s worth having HTML emails or not.

Why HTML Emails are Good?

  • Attractive Content – HTML emails offer much better looking content than plain text. You can decide what color of links, text or background you want to put. You can also include images, videos and audios integrated in Flash, which allow you to create good looking newsletter that your visitors will want to read.
  • Better Response Rates – It’s been proven many times that HTML format outperforms text format. People are simply more interested in reading HTML designed newsletter than simple text. When they receive tons of messages a day into their inbox, besides captivating headline, the one thing that easily attracts attention is an image. So by having a HTML newsletter you win against your competitors who provide same dull text emails.
  • Better Layout Solutions – With plain text emails, you can only write from top to bottom. In other words, you have no formatting abilities. HTML emails allow you formatting your newsletter however you want. You can have 4 or 5 columns, like in the newspaper. You can include graphics at the top left or bottom right. You simply have tons of options to choose from.
  • More Advertising Suggestions – Advertisers will contact you more often, because you provide HTML newsletter. Not only because HTML newsletters have a higher response ratio, which benefits advertiser too. HTML emails allow advertisers to use flash or image banners and receive higher click through ratio.
  • Insert Forms Into Emails – With HTML emails you can include various forms right into the message. Your readers don’t have to click a link to go to a website and submit a form. So you can do surveys and have much better response ratio, because people don’t need to do additional work by clicking a link, going to other website and filling a form.
  • Ability to Track the CTR – HTML emails allow you to track how many people opened your email. Text emails don’t have this ability. Of course, you can track links that are clicked in the email message. But if you don’t provide any links, then you won’t know how many people took action. So HTML emails are way ahead of plain text emails in this case.

Why HTML Emails are Bad?

However, there is also negative side of having HTML emails in your newsletter. Some of them include:

  • Delivery Rate – Spam filters are implemented in almost every email service. Many people have enabled spam filters on their accounts. Most filters are enabled by default. HTML emails are considered to be spam by most of the filtering software. So when you send out a HTML email, it’s much more likely it’ll be filtered out.
  • Font Problems – With plain text emails readers can set what kind of font they want to see in emails. When you send out HTML email, the reader can’t control the size and type of the font that is presented. However, majority of readers don’t even know how to change the font style in plain text, so they usually see unattractive Times New Roman font.
  • Security Reasons – HTML emails have bigger chances of having a trojan horses, viruses and etc. Some email clients have blocked the downloading of external content (images, scripts). So a reader will not see a HTML messages as it suppose to be when they first see it.
  • Size of the Email – Naturally HTML emails will be larger, because additional lines of HTML coding will be added. If you decide to send multipart alternative messages (both text and HTML at the same time), then the size will be even larger, which can eat your bandwidth if you have a huge list and small hosting account.
  • Formatting Time – It takes longer to format the message in HTML. If you use many columns and use many images in your newsletters then it might be a hassle trying to send out HTML and text messages. This is one of the reasons why so many marketers prefer simple text emails.
  • Downloading Time – There are still people who use dial-up internet connection. So if your HTML message is heavily formatted and is quite large, then dial-up users will have to wait for a while to see your message, especially if there are images presented.

In Conclusion

If you have carefully read all the pros and cons of using HTML email in your newsletter, then you should already have an opinion by now. Basically what concerns security reasons, simply scan your messages from viruses and trojans before sending and your readers won’t be infected.

So if you want to see the most results from your email marketing campaigns, then you should test HTML emails and see if your readers read and click the links in them more often or not. Many small to large companies use HTML emails successfully. So try HTML emails for yourself and see if they bring better results for you.

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