Which do you prefer, HTML or Plain Text email?

HTML or Plain Text Email – Which Do You Prefer

FINAL UPDATE:  I have closed the poll and frankly I was surprised with the results. 72% of you said you prefer HTML format for Newsletters you receive, with 18% preferring Text-only formats and 10% of you asking for the ability to choose.

I had the feeling that text-only would win out but clearly that is not the case. So HTML format it is for Fill the Funnel Newsletter. I appreciate all of you taking the time to share your preferences.


I had the opportunity to get caught up in some reading over the holidays and one of the topics that I have been pondering is the question I asked in the poll above. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers wrote a post about this recently and he concluded that “people prefer text emails”. He conducted his polling in an email vs. a poll, so curious what your vote will say.

I have asked many of my contacts over the holidays and the response was leaning more toward the graphically rich HTML type emails.  What did come across loud and clear is that if you are going to send out an HTML newsletter make sure that you have a pleasing design!

With there being so many affordable email service providers to choose from including Constant Contact, MailChimp  and AWeber, all  providing pre-designed layouts, we sometimes think that we can just click on one and presto! We have all received an email, especially over the holidays, that demonstrated the wrong way to use an HTML formatted communication. If you are going to use HTML, make sure that you have someone design it that has some design and HTML experience.

I wrote last week about a new newsletter provider on the scene called TinyLetter that provides a simple “text only” message capability while still providing the required opt-in/registration capability as well as an easy unsubscribe button. I have been testing this option for a few weeks now and it appears to be an effective communications vehicle that has received many positive reactions to date.

I still receive a dozen or two email newsletters each month and I will be watching a bit more carefully to see if my preferences are leaning one way or another.  It sounds to me that if we are smart, we will be giving the option to our readers to indicate which style they prefer. Please share your vote in the poll above and let us know your feeling or additional recommendations and input below in the comments.

If you want to see how I do our newsletters I encourage you to subscribe to Fill the Funnel’s Web Tools Update and select your preference right on the form. I would appreciate your Tweeting this and sharing on Facebook to get the broadest response possible.


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