Plain Text or HTML emails

How to choose between HTML email templates and Plain text emails.

Evgeny Fedosov

Chief Executive Officer, Co-founder

Nov 18, 2020

Plain Text or HTML emails

Disputes about what is better perceived by recipients of HTML emails or text style plain emails have been going on for a long time and to no avail. It is impossible to come to any common opinion and permanently close this issue. It's like arguing whether strawberry jam or peanut butter is better.

A ‘just text' e-mail consists only of the main font and maybe the URL that is printed. They don't have any special style or images. These emails are similar to the ones we usually send to friends or relatives.

Plain Text email Plain Text email

An HTML e-mail is created using visual elements. You can display links, images, colors, fonts, GIFs, and videos in your emails. This makes your content unique and attractive.

HTML email HTML email

There are many arguments supporting both the first and second options.

HTML emails vs. Plain text emails

As can be seen from a survey conducted among email geeks on the Email2Go Twitter, most marketers and email designers use both ways in their work.

Let's figure it out.

Plain Text Email: Pros and Cons

Up until now, such mailing lists based on plain text have had their place because many believe they are more personalized and personal than specially designed HTML e-mails. Among the many messages with pictures in your mailbox, plain text emails stand out.

The reason why text messages work so well is rooted in email’s infancy, back around the early 1970s when it was a means of communication between two people and there was a human connection, not a marketing one.

First Email

Plain text emails allow you to simply talk to subscribers. Human relationships are very important in sales, even if it's a simple 'Hello' to meet a new customer. A sufficient number of B2B and B2C companies use this strategy. Exclusivity in this approach is the key to success. You can stand out in the mass of bright marketing emails with your simple message, without so many distractions.

In addition, creating text emails is much easier and faster. You don't need to develop an HTML email, which can take quite some time.

Bear in mind that this approach, over time, will definitely lose its effectiveness if you use it too often and not deliberately. Also, do not forget that most people are scared off by messages consisting only of text. It’s all the scammers’ fault.

Email Scam

I mean, I’m sure you’ve received something that said your unknown rich uncle, who lived in some African country, left you $10,000,000, but in order to get it, you need to send some stranger $2,000 for the paperwork.

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HTLM Email: Pros and Cons

HTML newsletters, created in a modern and functional HTML email builder, give you huge opportunities and a large field for creativity in using hyperlinks. We don't recommend using links in regular plain text emails. The link in the body of the ‘just text’ email looks ugly, making an already unattractive email seem even more ridiculous.

You can forget about this in HTML emails. Hyperlinks in the form of buttons make your message attractive and do not cause any inconvenience when opening for your readers.

Read More Button

Oh! By The Way! READ MORE about СTA buttons in HTML here.

And let's get back to our topic.

Also, don't forget that your clients may be busy people and there is no guarantee that they will read the entire email from beginning to end, especially if it is a simple text message. HTML formatting allows you to divide the content into smaller pieces and add attractive details, which does not require much effort from the reader to gather the essence of your email.

By creating HTML email templates, you can target a specific audience and create a newsletter specifically for them. Use colors, dynamic elements, and the rest of the email developer’s toolset based on the preferences of your specific target audience. In this case, your email newsletter will achieve its goal, especially if you think this message through, make it unique and memorable, and test your HTLM emails on all possible email devices and applications, using, for example, the email template tester Email2Go.


So, what type of email should we use? HTML? Plain Text? The answer is simple: use both of these options, depending on the goals of your ad campaign and the target audience. Both options have a right to life. Try them out, look at the results, adjust your strategy and move forward. Good luck, guys!