HTML or Plain Text for Your Newsletter?

If you’ve decided to do an email newsletter, will you send it in HTML (HyperText Markup Language–the kind that looks pretty and shows your pictures) or plain text (just like it sounds)?

This is a dilemma. On the one hand, plain text can be read by everyone and is less likely to be targeted as spam. On the other hand, it just doesn’t look as handsome. Nor can it feature your images.

There is a third alternative, which is to send it in plain text and post it on your Web site in HTML. This is how I used to do my newsletter. I have to say, however, that my sales increased when I began sending it in HTML. I also received a lot of compliments from subscribers. I think some people expect all of the bells and whistles that go along with the Internet.

Whatever you do, don’t ever send your newsletter as an attached jpeg. These are annoying and can be quite large. Moreover, if the recipient wants to copy some text for his or her calendar, they can’t do it. I’m constantly copying and pasting into my Entourage calendar. I also tend to dislike PDF files that I have to open and read. I lose too much time. Show me. Show me now!

Next week’s Art Marketing Action newsletter will contain resources for sending newsletters in HTML. Stay tuned.

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3 comments to HTML or Plain Text for Your Newsletter?

  • What software do you use? or do you have some recommendations? I am having a hard time finding one I like.

  • Good ideas here. I forgot to mention the option of having a link to an HTML page in the text newsletter in my previous post. That should always be present in any text only newsletter. I’ve actually had an experience where my responses DROPPED when going to HTML and in some cases I have gone back to plain text. However, maybe that was due to the way I formed the HTML. Perhaps someone else has a link to guidlines on how to avoid spam filters when sending HTML? (I should note that all of my newsletters are sent only to people who have previously “opted in.”) I’m currrently developing an email newsletter system that allows sending of both text and html that will integrate with the web hosting system that I have created for artists. I’m planning to integrate whatever I can learn about this issue into that software. As always, thanks for your great insights. Sincerely, Clint Watson Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic

  • Alyson, Is there a way in your mailing software to set the preference of the recipient? If someone wants plain text, they get it.. but the default is html? (asking by a person who much perfers plain text and a weblink).