Sunday, November 21, 2004

Email, text vs. HTML

Recently, a volunteer organization that Technoflak participates in sent out an HTML mass-email via the organization’s email client. Only the email would not go through, and after much discussion it transpired that there was something in the HTML that kept getting caught in the organization’s spam filter. After much tweaking it finally went through. Apparently it never occurred to anyone to put the email into text and send it through. Advanced registrations for the annual seminar were jeopardized by the delay.

The Ad-Marketing list is currently debating the merits of sending out email in text vs. HTML. Someone suggested doing a test, sending out half in plain text and half in HTML and comparing the response. This strikes Technoflak as an excellent suggestion. If, as she suspects, the HTML is not producing better response rates it can be abandoned.

Technoflak only sends plain text email and rarely sends attachments. With so many people retrieving email on mobile devices, it is critical to respect bandwidth. Moreover, HTML is bait for spam filters. A well crafted text message will lure the reader to your web site where you can show off all your fancy HTML.

What is wrong with sending HTML or MIME messages?

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