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  1. #1
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    Best response: HTML or Text emails

    I am about to start my first "marketing campaign". I have developed a PHP/MySQL script for soccer tournaments (yes, narrow focus, but the plan is to develop scripts for all sorts of sports). Site is here in case you want to visit it.

    My question is this: do HTML or text emails get better responses?

  2. #2
    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Historically, HTML e-mails get higher CTRs, but they do not work for all users and compatability issues are more likely to rise. It's always best to provide a text alternative if you go with HTML.

  3. #3
    What's HTML?
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    Who are you sending the email to?
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
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  4. #4
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    It is getting sent to tournament directors. These people haven't signed up for to receive emails, so I guess it is spam. I have to let them know about this somehow though.

    Is there a way to send an email that will show in HTML if the client is able to see it, and just show a text version if not?

  5. #5
    What's HTML?
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    Forget the email. It will get deleted. Pick up the phone and personally call each person, your conversion rate will be much, much better. Trust me.

    Spam is a numbers game. They send email to hundreds of thousands of people in order to make some cash. I really doubt you'll find enough email addresses for your target market to actually make a buck.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
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  6. #6
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    I'm a college student. I am reaching people across the country. There is no way I could afford the long distance charges for calls. Conversion rate is higher, but thats MUCH less people I reach. ANY dollar I make on this is profit for me. It's not like I have spent thousands of dollars on research, have employees to pay, etc. It's just me, sitting at my home computer in my free time developing this script.

    Anyway, I am going to test the email on several setups to see how many of them work.

  7. #7
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    When I started using HTML I got a better CTR and less complaints that people couldn't click the links.

    In my opinion it is worth it.

    By the way - you may be tempted to put images in. If you do, the extra bandwidth and problems may not be worth it.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru
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    The total for images that I was planning on using was 24 KB. Not that much...or is it? I don't have hundreds of thousands of emails I am sending to either.

  9. #9
    What's HTML?
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    Hey, you're in San Diego! Which school?
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
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  10. #10
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    My HTML emails average about 6k and they don't have images. 24KB is a lot for images, even on a website (the images on my website's front page total 11KB).

    However, the bigger problem with images in HTML mailings, in my opinion, is the compatibility. Some email clients do not accept emails with embedded images. Others won't show the images. And if you don't embed the images, the images don't show up instantly. Sometimes an email client won't have a connection to the web and the images won't load.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  11. #11
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    I think I am going to send a first wave of emails with HTML, see the response. Then, the second half in plain text, see the response. Do my own testing

    Oh, I go to UCSD by the way. And, I remembered the word "optimize" got the image size total to 16K.

  12. #12
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    Did anyone have an answer to the above question that was asked?

    "Is there a way to send an email that will show in HTML if the client is able to see it, and just show a text version if not?"

    Exactly how is this accomplished?

  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru
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    You can with "Content-Type: multipart/alternative;". However, it sends really large emails since it is basically sending two copies of the same email but in different versions.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot slandry's Avatar
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    I currently design HTML e-mails for a publication that sends out well over a million e-mails per year. HTML has always gotten a better response than text.

    I understand the compatibility issues and the SPAM perception but they just plain work.

    If you need results I would recommend the HTML.

    my 2 cents.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict w3exit's Avatar
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    Re: Best response: HTML or Text emails

    Originally posted by sccr410
    I am about to start my first "marketing campaign". I have developed a PHP/MySQL script for soccer tournaments (yes, narrow focus, but the plan is to develop scripts for all sorts of sports). Site is here in case you want to visit it.

    My question is this: do HTML or text emails get better responses?
    It depends on alot of factors. The best way is to simply test it.


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