Friday, February 20, 2009

HTML versus Plain Text emails.

Many of our clients ask the question whether or not they should use plain text versus HTML when sending an email. Well here are a few pointers to take note.

What is meant by HTML\Plain Text emails?
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and it is the dominant language for Web pages. It helps you to see different headings, paragraphs, lists, embedded images, interactive forms, etc. It's like a script code that may look confusing to you, but when you have it all in regular view, you can see everything you need to see. On the other hand, plain text is just text and it's completely unformatted with no fancy work.

What is the purpose of an email?
The main purpose of an email is to communicate a message in a quick and convenient fashion.

Benefits of Using HTML
  1. You are able to use various graphics and images in order to gain the audience's attention.

Down sides of Using HTML
  1. Messages with HTML embedded take up more disk space and are therefore slower to respond. 
  2. Differing audiences have varied systems soothe use of HTML increases the chances of your message being corrupt and illegible
  3. It is possible to be infected by virus's that attach themselves to the HTML code. These viruses are programmed to activate upon opening of the message.
  4. There is also a privacy issue with using HTML. HTML email can be used to surreptitiously gather information about you and send it back to ANY web site. A web bug can be inside the HTML code. The web bug acts just like the FBI's bugs or wire taps. It listens to you, records your actions and reports back to headquarters.

So in short if you just want to communicate a message my advice is to use plain text where ever possible and avoid the use of HTML.

Note: Remember to change your settings on your email to: "view as plain text" 

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