When you see that subject line…
What thoughts go through your head?
Are you wondering what those acronyms stands for?
And why you should care?
Well, there’s a good reason and I’ll get to that.
But today, only few people know this.
What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. But that’s not important.
The important is to know what it does.
Back when I learned HTML (it was around the same time mankind invented the wheel), you had to write every part of the code yourself.
That meant that for a headline, you had to write:
<h1>Here comes the headline</h1>
Yes, that took knowledge about the codes and hard work.
Today, you can simple write your email as if you wrote in a word processor.
But the codes are still there. Now the system creates the code and not you.
What is txt?
Txt stands for "text" and that, on the other hand, is just text.
If you want to write a headline, you would write:
Here comes the headline
And it would look like any other part of the email, unless you fix it up a bit with hyphens.
Why do everybody use HTML?
- it can look better
- you can format it (bold, italic, columns, headlines)
- you can have an anchor text on links (Show "Click here" instead of ‘link.com’)
- you can share images
- you can track open rates
- all autoresponders offers it
Who uses txt?
Me. I do. But not in the weekly newsletters (the one you’re reading now).
Ben Settle did. But not anymore.
I don’t know of anyone else who does.
When I started with email, there was only one choice: txt.
HTML was for homepages, and you couldn’t send HTML emails.
Why use txt?
Since HTML sounds so much better, why would anyone use txt?
Because they are weird? That’s a possibility.
Personally, I love the clean and simple look, but there are advantages that everybody could profit from:
- You cannot hide sneaky links under anchor texts. Links are visible
- You get better deliverability, meaning more emails reach their goals
- Txt emails takes up less space both under transport and on the computer (no need for codes, just letters and numbers)
- To me, it looks better – simple and clean
What should you choose?
You probably don’t have a choice…
While all autoresponders offer HTML, I know only one hosted one that offers clean txt.
ConvertKit, MailerLite, ConstantContact… HTML or "rich text" which is also HTML.
AWeber has an option for sending txt only. You can try them for free here: https://clq.cx/aweber
My self-hosted autoresponder has it. Let me know if you want a link.
To answer the question: what should you choose?
If your goal is to reach as many subscribers as possible, then you should choose clean txt.
No doubt about it.
It’s also easier to read on mobile phones and whatever tiny stuff people use to read their emails.
You don’t need to worry about your emails being showed in strange ways in some email clients. Or on phones.
If you want to know your open rate, add pictures, have headlines and formatting in your emails… If that’s more important than missing some subscribers, then you should choose HTML.
And if you’re using a autoresponder who doesn’t offer txt and you don’t want to switch, then… yeah, HTML is your answer.
Are there any topics you want me to deal with?
Have you been wondering about something related to email marketing?
I’ve been doing this for 20 years in 4 days. I’ve tried a lot, had success and failure.
So if something is on your mind, let me know, and it could end up in a newsletter.
Have a great week.