How d’you like your newsletter in the morning?

(With apologies to Dean Martin & Helen O’Connell for paraphrasing their song)

Are HTML newsletters better than their plain text equivalents?

Well, to paraphrase a typical Irish politician, “they are and they aren’t”.

It depends on content, really. For serious stuff, I’m inclined to go with plain text – simply for the fact that I don’t like to be distracted by flashing lights/colours when digesting information that matters. For lighter stuff, then impress me all you want with dancing characters and links in all the colours of the rainbow.

But what about the middle ground – is there any? Our Irish politician again: “Well, yes and no.”

Conveying information in a newsletter format can sometimes lend a casual tone to your message. But plain text implies seriousness, thereby allowing strong words to be softly spoken.

The obvious opt-out, of course, is to offer both variants to your readership. A situation where both sides win? Our Irish politician would be pleased!

Have others any thoughts on this?

One Response to How d’you like your newsletter in the morning?

  1. Reasons I don’t like HTML newsletters;
    1. Different fonts
    2. Different sizes
    3. Different paragraph widths
    4. Tall banners
    5. Short banners
    6. Unsubscribe links harder to spot
    7. Harder to copy text
    8. Do not always work on smaller mobile screens
    9. Images not displayed by default so lots of “broken image” areas
    10. Reply/Forward unreliable, destroys HTML format, and content, often
    11. Different in Outlook in GMail in Thunderbird in Mail.app etc.
    12. I just want your message, not your style

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