Text or HTML Format for Your Newsletter?

Fri, Jan 19, 2007

Email Marketing

Recently, I’ve been receiving quite a lot of emails from some of my subscribers for the Newsletter Marketing Tips newsletter, about which format is the best to send your newsletter in: HTML or plain text.

You see they both seem to be popular these days. We have famous businesses and experts use text and some other good names use HTML.

So which one is the best for your newsletter?

Since it seems many people have this question on their mind, I decided to share a quick answer here…

It really depends on the topic of your newsletter and also your target audience.

Generally, most people prefer plain text emails because of the security risks that HTML emails may have. Also for people on the slower Internet connections it will take longer for the pictures to load in your HTML design.

Also as a newsletter publisher, it’s also easier for you to create and send a text newsletter rather than HTML.

Actually a friend of mine ran a survey from his large list and over 73% of them said they preferred text emails from HTML.

So this all says that it’s wiser to stick to the old friend: text email.

However, if your newsletter topic is about graphic and high-tech related topic – like web design, Photoshop, food and diet, etc. – then HTML would be a better format.

By the way, here’s a helpful guide about the top 3 most popular newsletter formats, and how to find out which one is the best for your newsletter.

So see who your target market is and what they’d like to get…

And then give it to them!

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8 Comments For This Post

  1. Kenth Says:

    Hi Ladan,

    I’ve focused on helping people with text based ezines and newsletter for years now. Html allow the publisher a lot of freedom in formating but as more and more security issues emerge, especially connected to html and html emails, text is coming back strongly!

    It may not be as flashy but as you stated, for an ezine where there’s no need for sound, images or animations, text will work as well.

    And readers can actually see the urls they will be sent to when clicking, increasing the security!

    Just remeber the formatting when using text!


  2. Ladan Lashkari Says:

    Hi Kenth,

    Yes, I agree with you.

    These days you can see multimedia websites and sales letters that contain video and audio all over the Internet. Many top Internet marketing experts are using them on their websites.

    But yet, the interesting things is that you see 90% of these experts are still using text for their newsletters.

    So it really shows text is the best format for most newsletter topics.


  3. Mihaela Says:

    Hi Ladan,

    I agree with you, but I think html is better for branding purposes. Yet, why not give the user the possibility to choose whether to subscribe for the HTML or text version? All serious companies do so.


  4. Ladan Lashkari Says:

    Hi Mihaela,

    If you are a large company, yes, it will be worth to take the time to publish your newsletter in both text and HTML, so you can give your subscribers this option.

    But often smaller businesses find it too much hassle to create two newsletters every week. So they just choose one format.

    At the end, it’s up to you.


  5. Paul Says:


    Great Blog!

    I read your story on Eric’s Blog and was inspired by your beauty. Not physical beauty (even though you’re pretty), but the beauty of your soul and determination.

    I will be a loyal reader.

    By the way, can you address on one of your post the software you use for your blog?

    It’s very professional.



  6. Ladan Lashkari Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you.

    As for the software, I simply use WordPress to publish this blog. It’s the blog template that looks professional.

    You can easily find good blog templates if you search for “wordpress templates” in Google.

    Best wishes,


  7. Phil Taylor Says:

    Hi Laden,

    I’m trying to implement a newsletter for my site www, , from what I have seen the PDF seems like the way to go to accomplish what I’m looking for . I’m somewhat of a novice at this. Would you be able to help?

    Very best regards,

    Phil Taylor

  8. Andrew Says:

    Dear Ladani,

    I am new to your ‘class’ and must say, I am really impressed by the wealth of information you share for free. I am preparing to do a Newsletter with many photos for my School. It is a senior level School so the newsletter needs to be of high standard. I have large amount to text to put in the news letter. The pages are going to anywhere between 60 to 80, A4 size paper. I could have given the task of doing layout and designing to a professional one but this time I wanted to do it myslef to save the money for School. Of course, I am talking about hard Newsletter, the paper printed ones not e-zine.

    So please just tell me which formate I should go for and what are the help I can get from your free knowledge bank. I am perfect in word but do not know HTL or other designing and graphic etc.

    Later on I do intent to try e-zine with all the tips and help available from your blog. It seems very intersting and wonderful to be able to create a newsletter and sent from internet just like that.

    Your counsel is deeply valued.

    Best wishes,


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