HTML emails have been around for a while. They look more professional than their text-only counterparts and actually generate better click-through rates. For example, there are studies which show that click-through rate for text emails for some industries is 7.1% while that for HTML emails is 10%.
That being said, many marketers are still not keen to publish in html. The reason: there are many problems associated with HTML emails that can actually hurt, rather than aid your marketing campaign. So letís make a list of how HTML can be hurtful to your marketing efforts.
1.Different email clients work differently
Internet Explorer (IE) is dominant Web browsers used by most web surfers, so when it comes to designing websites, as long as site presents well in IE, chances are, most visitors to your site can view it properly.
Unfortunately, equation becomes more complicated if we are talking about emails since there are different types of email clients (eg., Outlook Express, Eudora, web-based email clients and so on), each with different capabilities, settings, versions, etc. that make it more difficult to predict how your email will look like at recipientsí end. Generally speaking, capabilities of web-based email clients such as Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo! Mail are not as robust as program-based email clients, so certain effects that appear all right in program-based clients may not show properly in web-based clients. Another example is how some web-based clients cause your re-directs on URL to break or appear as plain text making it such that links that are crucial to making sales do not work. The worst blunder happens when your recipient receives a marketing message that they canít read at all. This is case with some email clients such as Pine that donít have capability to read HTML or AOL that canít display HTML properly. Consider also problem your recipients will encounter if they use PDA and Internet-capable cellular phone. These devices donít support HTML email at all.
2.The problem with printing HTML emails
Some of your recipients like to print their emails and read them offline for a variety of reasons. The danger of this to your marketing message is that graphical components in your HTML email may appear as blank boxes with icons indicating that graphics should be there, but are unfortunately not there. When such blank boxes appear, you are kissing goodbye to hope that your graphical HTML email will present a professional image to your recipients. Instead of looking disjointed and untidy with blank boxes, your message will have a greater impact if it has no frills (i.e., plain text), but is presented in a properly formatted way.
3.Connecting your users to Internet when they donít intend that
Sometimes, action of opening a HTML email will trigger a connection to Internet when your user doesnít have intention to be connected. This results in inconvenience to your users because they then have to disconnect from Internet.