text or HTML version? How to choose ?


64% of users prefer emails in HTML format, according to a Hubspot study. Yet when it comes to performance, text emails get higher open and click-through rates.

So how do you choose? First of all, we will study the differences between an email in text or HTML version, in order to give you advice on how to choose the best!

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The text version for authentic and personalized emails

Consumer inboxes are becoming increasingly cluttered with promotional offers and other newsletters. More authentic and humanized, text emails are proving to be an excellent way to stand out… and promote openness.

Text emails seem to come more from a person than a business and have many advantages.

Promote conversation with your subscribers

In this format, users perceive email bilaterally. They feel like your business is starting a one-on-one conversation. This encourages them more to engage (by clicking on a link or by replying to the message).


Due to their simplicity, they are faster to produce. It also means that they are easier to read for subscribers.

But that’s not all ! Smartwatches and voice assistants can only read text, so they are perfectly suited to connected objects.


Plain text emails are more likely to reach the recipients’ primary inbox. Since they are lightly structured and contain no images, they are less likely to be recognized as spam.

The effectiveness of your marketing strategy

Simple to carry out, text emails are very effective for your lead nurturing or marketing automation campaigns. You can use them in a welcome message, in event invitations or in customer birthday emails.

The disadvantages of text emails

While text emails have many advantages, there is still a downside!

The inability to follow open rates

A key element of email marketing is the ability to monitor the impact of each campaign. But if you send a text email, without a specific tool, you won’t be able to track open rates or enable click tracking. It is difficult to analyze the return on investment of your campaigns and to draw lessons for your future emailings.

Minimal design and customization

As text-based emails don’t include colors, formatting, and graphics, they lack visual impact. This can be problematic during certain campaigns, in particular for the launch of a new product or the demonstration of a service. It is also penalizing for sectors where the image is very important such as fashion, decoration, jewelry, automobile, travel, etc.

A difficult organization

Text emails lack visual organization. It is more difficult to prioritize them in sections to make reading easier. The same goes for the call-to-action which will very often be a simple link and may therefore lack impact on the recipients.

Emails in HTML for attractive emailing

Emails in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) offer a much more visual approach. This is the most used format because you can customize the design 100%! Everything is done to captivate the audience and hold their attention until the call to action.

Emails in HTML for attractive emailing

There are several advantages to using HTML emails.

Higher conversion rates

In general, HTML emails generate higher conversion rates, especially in e-commerce. The reason is simple: they incorporate punchy images and clickable buttons. This prompts recipients to act quickly when they receive your message.

Dynamic and personalized emails

With the information you collect about your customers, you can send personalized content straight to their inbox. For example, emails with product suggestions based on browsing history.

Easier to read emails

HTML emails can be organized into sections. Which makes them easier to read.

Your followers want to quickly extract the main points and figure out what’s important to them. Since images are processed faster than text, HTML emails help you get your point across, especially if you are presenting complex data (such as the results of a study, for example).

The ability to follow open rates

Emails in HTML include a pixel that is activated when they are opened. This measures the rate of openings, clicks and downloads. This is very useful for measuring the success of your campaigns, in order to refine your next emailings.

The disadvantages of HTML emails

All is not perfect in the world of HTML! There are also some drawbacks, because HTML emails are:

Less trustworthy

The average consumer is much more savvy about malware delivered by email. He may therefore be wary of links and attachments contained in HTML versions.

More likely to classify as spam

HTML emails tend to trigger red flags with ISPs. This hinders their deliverability rate.

Less accessible

In particular, for the visually impaired or those who use connected speakers.

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Text or HTML: how to choose?

Ultimately, each format has its advantages and disadvantages. The ideal is therefore to adapt your choice according to your objectives.

If you don’t need to convey information through images and are looking to connect with your audience, text emails are more relevant. But if your goal is to generate emotion and provoke action, you are better off using the HTML format which allows you to add images and buttons.

Finally, during an automated campaign, it is possible to combine the two! Some messages can be fully textual, others in HTML, depending on the prospect’s progress in the purchase tunnel.

Last tip: when you send text emails, use your emailing tool and not your classic email. The idea is to be able to benefit from statistics concerning deliverability, openness and conversions.

Need help with your emailing strategy? Find free email marketing experts at Codeur.com.

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