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Plain Text vs. HTML Emails: Differences and Advantages

August 06, 2023
Plain Text vs. HTML Emails: Differences and Advantages

Plain Text vs. HTML Emails: Differences and Advantages

During a typical marketing or educational campaign, a firm may utilize email to contact clients and advise them about new items or corporate news. Emails can be coded in plain text or HTML, and each offers a unique experience for receivers. You may choose which of these two types of emails is most advantageous to you by being aware of the differences between them.

We define plain text and HTML emails, outline their distinctions, and list some benefits in this article so you may choose which one best serves your needs.

Plain text is what?

A type of email known as plain text just comprises text. It lacks any unique aesthetics or formatting improvements. The American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII), which is used in all text communications, is used in plain text emails.

Describe HTML.

Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, is a coding language that enables graphics, colors, formatting, and even multimedia in emails. Compared to ASCII, HTML is a more recent addition to email, although it has gained popularity and is supported by the majority of email clients today. HTML emails can help businesses and marketing experts communicate and close more deals.
HTML emails versus plain text emails

In actuality, there are many distinctions between plain text ASCII and HTML since they each have unique characteristics. In emails, plain text and HTML differ primarily in the following ways:

  • Regular uses

The main purpose of plain text emails is to efficiently communicate information without any interruptions. This makes plain text ideal for honest talks and private correspondence. Any visual distractions can be removed, and a plain text email provides a straightforward layout with fewer formatting mistakes. Uses for plain text emails typically include:

  • Business-to-Business dialogue
  • Client relationships
  • Conversations and texts from customer service

Images, links, and text formatting are all possible in HTML. These emails are used by businesses to interact with clients and maybe turn email reads into clicks or sales. Uses for HTML emails often include:

  • Advertisements
  • Product advertisements
  • Links to sales
  • Consumer-to-business communications
  • Universality

Since plain text was the original format for email, it can be read, understood, and interpreted by all email clients. In other words, when you compose an email in plain text, the recipient sees it just as you meant. Formatting problems can be avoided by using plain text. HTML is not generally supported by email clients. The email recipient’s experience, therefore, depends on the email software they use to read it. The majority of widely used email clients support HTML to some extent, however, the functionality varies from client to client.

Consequences for Email Design

Simple chunks of text are possible in plain text. The email design cannot utilize bold, italics, or underlines because it does not allow text formatting. However, you can make paragraphs in plain text. To emphasize to readers the significance of a particular line of text in your email design, such as a motto or call to action, you might give it its own paragraph.

Given that they can contain the majority of a web page’s capabilities, HTML emails frequently resemble web pages. You can style these emails to go with the look and feel of your company. A typical business HTML email might have the following in its design because you can add photos and links:

  • Company logo
  • Advertisement text
  • A picture of the advertised item
  • Demand for action
  • A website for the brand or the product.
  • Link directly to the product’s ordering page
  • The benefits of simple text

While plain text and HTML emails have some differences, both have benefits. Plain text emails have a number of benefits, such as:

  • Accessibility

The majority of plain text emails provide greater accessibility to individuals reading them than HTML emails since readers can easily grasp a well-written email. Additionally, there aren’t many diversions from the email’s main point in plain text emails. Emails can be made more accessible to people with vision impairments by turning plain text emails into spoken words using email readers.

  • Filtering

Email clients filter plain text emails far less frequently than they filter HTML emails, keeping them out of the recipient’s inbox. Due to this, the client may incorrectly understand the purpose of an HTML email and unintentionally filter it so that the recipient does not receive it. Incorporating a plain text version of the email within the HTML version can assist boost the likelihood that your recipients will see the communication as you intended because plain text filters out less frequently.

  • Creation period

Emails sent in plain text only need to be formatted, not coded. A plain text email can be created faster than an HTML email because it only contains simple text. This can help you save time when working on multiple projects at once or meeting deadlines for your campaign.

  • Perception

Emails that are text-only tend to sound more conversational. This is the reason why some readers believe plain text emails to be more intimate than HTML emails. Since they resemble the emails that most users send to and receive from their friends and family, plain text emails are also more recognizable.

Benefits of HTML

Emails in HTML format have some benefits over emails in plain text. Consider these advantages when deciding whether an HTML email is suitable for your campaign:

  • Flexibility

Emails in HTML format include more features and tools than emails in plain text. You can develop a variety of email campaigns with this. Even hybrid emails, which resemble plain text emails but have styling and clickable links, can be made using HTML.

  • Analytics

HTML emails allow you to monitor the effectiveness of an email campaign. This is so that you can include specific links that can provide you with data on how many people click on your campaign. To track the effectiveness of a plain text email campaign, recipients may self-report or include coupon codes unique to those emails.

  • Visual adaptability

The use of graphics and images can provide readers with visual communication.

regarding the goods, including a picture of the item or a step-by-step illustration. Additionally, you can employ formatting and color in your design to direct the reader’s attention to crucial information, like:

  1. Prices
  2. Products are accessible
  3. Demands for action
  4. Headlines

The recipient’s personal experience is enhanced by the use of visual formatting, which makes it easier for the reader to skim the email for the most crucial information.

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Shagufta Naz is a Multi-disciplinary Designer who is leading NewzFlex Product Design Team and also working on the Strategic planning & development for branded content across NewzFlex Digital Platforms through comprehensive research and data analysis. She is currently working as the Principal UI/UX Designer & Content-writer for NewzFlex and its projects, and also as an Editor for the sponsored section of NewzFlex.