Is HTML Really Better? You tell me.

Is HTML Really Better?

You tell me!

For many years, I’ve watched really great looking newsletters land in my mailbox and wondered if they were getting a better response than my boring old text e-mails were getting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been thrilled with the responses that I get, I just always wondered if I could be doing better.

And so, I take the plunge. Your feedback is welcomed via comments – below. 

Newsletters. What’s the Point Anyway?

I recently wrote an Addendum to The Wealthy Speaker (any of you who purchased the book from me will be offered a PDF) and realized how different doing business is today vs. 5 years ago.

Today our goal is to
bring our prospects into our fan base and keep them there
long enough to impress them.

A corporate decision maker, for instance, might have heard of you from a colleague. They go to your website and sign up for your Special Report (which you have named in such a way that will lure them in).

They have now become a part of your “fan” base.

And your goal is to trickle content out towards them in your newsletters (HTML or text), blog, and Social Media updates until when?

Until they buy from you.

The changes over the past several years have been rampant. But it makes me wonder…..
what’s coming towards us next?

Where do you think we’re headed? I’d love your comments below…..

See you soon Wealthy

Jane Atkinson
Speaker Launcher

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  • Content is still King – drama is the Queen – with Time being important as well – for me I like to send out text with the link for the html that way your reader can chose which they prefer – what I think that really matters is that what you send has real value – I get tons of ezines and newsletters but there are only 3 (on marketing) that I make sure I read right away and every time they are sent – why? – because they always have something of great value for me – they are short, concise and quick to read – and the theatrics of their title or content is fun and intriguing – magically yours…

  • Yes, html IS better. It prompted me to come here and say so!

  • Jane,

    I agree that a “sexy” presentation will attract more attention initially than a bland presentation. Over time, however, substance rules. Two examples: 1. Warren Buffet’s hand-typed annual report – no glitzy page layout or 4-color processing. Some investors are willing to buy a single share of Berkshire Hathaway stock for $125K just to get the report! Why? Because of the annual report’s author (credibility) and content (quality)! 2. Your “boring old text emails.” While I get numerous monthly articles/blog feeds, yours is one that I ALWAYS make time for. And the reason has nothing to do with its design and layout, but has everything to do with its author’s credibility and its high-quality content. Keep the quality content coming in whatever form you prefer.


  • I’m with Rick and Steve. If I want HTML, I expect to find it on a website. But for subscription based emails, I obviously just want content. And here’s my rule of thumb to add to the Warren Buffet example–Seth Godin. His is the only email post I read every day without fail. No bells and whistles–very, very rarely a photo. Just great words I want to read.

  • I tend to resist new technology that is just flashy or cool. But html allows so much more in newsletters. It doesn’t have to overwhelm the reader but the increased appeal is important. Built in hyperlinks and images that enhance the content are additions I don’t want to be without.

  • There is no right or wrong. Jane you said it in bold lettering, “Today our goal is to bring our prospects into our fan base and keep them there long enough to impress them.”

    Content will ultimately triumph but great content done with interesting colors and pictures and graphics seems better than straight text. I vote for HTML!

  • While content is king, I actually liked your HTML email you just sent with some content.

    Why not let each individaul decide and you give them what they want? Great content or great content with a little snaz! Some people get stuck on either.. provide both and stay unstuck!


  • HTML is still king. Great website. Pretty picture too!


  • Yes, HTML is important! Everything we put into the world is a reflection of our brands – why shouldn’t we include the newsletters? Just like we moved from craigslist to Facebook to advertise our services, upgrading to fancier newsletters is just keeping up with the times. And obviously content is key, but that’s goes without saying.

    Love the new look and feel, Jane! 🙂

  • HTML emails looks estheticaly better of course, but that isn’t the bottom line for anyone but a designer.
    Additionally, many (most?) people’s email and security programs will filter a lot of the content and require a click to show graphics, etc.

    As far as response, it probably differs from market to market, but a quick review of my Outlook folder full of marketing emails shows 90+% of them being in plain text. Perhaps it’s because internet marketers are lazy, or maybe they’ve actually done some testing.

    Personally, I prefer text vs html for readabilty reasons- it is just faster to open and read. And when you’re on a lot of lists, that makes a difference.

    Either way, your content is always solid, Jane! Keep it coming.

  • Good question Jane! I like the HTML format because I think you can keep it consistent with your brand. I agree that content is critical, but we can’t forget that a picture says a thousand words! I’m glad to see you move to html.

  • A subscriber emailed to unsubscribe because one of the graphics (a simple jpeg file of 11k) in my html newsletter kept trying to relaod and reload… and crashed his outlook. Is a flashy, branded newsletter worth losing one good, qualified customer? Or, increasing the number of blocked emails? Only you can decide, but for me, I’m going to txt only.

  • Dave

    I like the basic good content. I delete the type of email you just sent. Too busy. Graphically the eye is being drawn many directions. Too much of a sales pitch with boxes on side.

  • Personally I dislike the html format and prefer to read colorful and interesting looking newsletters. That way I get more of the feel of the person and decide more easily if they are a fit for me. When I receive html formatted letters I always do a big
    “ho-hum” and feel like they are computer (rather than human) generated. All in all I prefer humans. I know, sill me!

  • I read emails on about four different platforms; some do HTML, some ignore, and one of my main readers (my Goldmine contact management program) previews in plain text before downloading. MANY email newsletters – including a lot sent through Constant Contact – are formatted such that all I see in this preview is links and HTML code. Unless the subject line is really compelling, I will often delete without bothering to download, especially if I am busy (and aren’t the best customers busy?) Sure they say “Having trouble viewing this email? Click here” – but that’s not my job.
    So if you are sending anything other than text, make sure the beginning can be viewed quickly, easily in all formats. (Jane, yours reads fine!)