Plain Text Emails Vs. HTML Emails

Plain text emails versus HMTL emails

Email marketing remains a cornerstone of digital marketing and should be generating, at a minimum, 20% of your online store’s total revenue. There is a bunch of ways to do this but at the minimum, a few flows (email automations) and the occasional campaign will get you there. Within those campaigns and automations, there are two formats that are commonly used: plain text and HTML (emails with graphics). But what should you use and when discussing Plain Text Emails Vs. HTML Emails which is better?

The choice between the two depends on various factors, including your target audience, the email’s purpose, and the nature of your business.

Let’s delve into the advantages of both types and provide a clearer picture.

Plain Text Emails: The Beauty of Simplicity

Plain text emails are just that – plain text. No images, no formatting, few hyperlinks, just simple, unadorned text. They may seem too basic for the modern digital landscape, but their strength lies in their simplicity. Here’s why:

Deliverability and Compatibility

With no images or complicated code to trip up spam filters, plain text emails have a higher deliverability rate than their HTML counterparts. They are also universally compatible across all devices and email clients, ensuring that your message is always received as intended. If you want to learn more about compatibility, click here.

Authenticity and Personal Connection

Plain text emails often feel more personal, as though they were written specifically for the reader. This can create a sense of authenticity and connection, making your audience more likely to engage with your content.


For visually impaired users who rely on screen readers, plain text emails are more accessible and easier to navigate.

When to Use Plain Text

Plain text emails are ideal for transactional emails, personal communication, and when you want to communicate a simple message without distractions. They can also be beneficial for audiences that prefer text over images or for businesses that value simplicity and authenticity over flashy visuals.

We have found really good success when implementing plain text in emails that are supposed to be seen as though they are coming from the founders. These promote that authentic feel and help drive a stronger relationship between the brand and the customer.

On top of that, we tend to leverage plain text emails more for our B2B clients, as opposed to our retail clients. This is because plaint text helps promote a stronger feeling of one-to-one communication, authenticity, and thought leadership, which is essential in the B2B space.

HTML Emails: Engaging with Visuals

HTML emails allow for images, colors, different fonts, hyperlinks, and other design elements. These can create visually appealing and engaging content for your audience. Here’s why they are effective:

Visual Appeal

Humans are visual creatures, and an attractive, well-designed email can capture attention more effectively than plain text. Images, infographics, and other visuals can convey your message more quickly and memorably than text alone.


HTML emails allow you to incorporate your brand’s colors, logos, and other design elements, reinforcing your brand identity with each communication.

CTA Buttons

HTML emails enable you to include clickable call-to-action (CTA) buttons, making it easier for your audience to respond to your message and increasing click-through rates.

When to Use HTML Emails

HTML emails are perfect for newsletters, promotional emails, and any communication where visuals can enhance your message. They are ideal for businesses that rely heavily on visuals, such as retail, travel, or design industries.

Statistics and Conclusion

Studies show that the choice between plain text and HTML emails can significantly impact email marketing metrics. For instance, Hubspot found that HTML emails with images had a 25% lower open rate than plain text emails. However, the same study found that HTML emails had a higher click-through rate.

In conclusion, when discussing Plain Text Emails Vs. HTML Emails the key is understanding your audience and the purpose of your email to determine which format to use. While plain text emails offer simplicity and high deliverability, HTML emails provide visual appeal and interactive elements. A successful email marketing strategy often involves a mix of both to cater to the varying preferences and needs of your audience.

We always suggest that people test these two variables (HTML email versus plain text). What works for one person, may not work for another.