Plain vs. HTML email? Which one is the best? Will sending a plain text emails to email subscribers for this IT exam website work better, or are the HTML emails more suitable? We decided to test. In this case study you will learn that in some cases and for certain industries a plain email is more suitable.
What we tested
We tested the weekly newsletter to find out which version, plain vs. HTML, is more suitable for this client. So we split the email subscriber database and the same day we sent plain emails to one half, and the HTML email to the second half of the subscribers.
Plain Email HTML email
- we sent over 100,000 emails on the same day at the same hour
- we split the email subscriber database equally 50:50
- all emails we tagged for tracking in Google Analytics
- we used the same subject line
- in both cases we directed visitors to the same landing pages
- we used the same ‘10% off’ offer in both emails
A week later after we sent the email campaign out, we analysed the results. To our surprise, the difference between both emails was really significant. In the screenshot below you can see that the plain email increased revenue by 303.08% and visits to the site by 194.51%. Clearly, for this type of product the plain email seems to be more suitable.
(click on the image to enlarge)
Here is some speculation on the possible causes of the test outcome.
• Many email clients have images disabled by default. Possibly for this reason the HTML email didn’t performed as well as it could.
• The plain email was more personal (included customer support representative name, plus contact details) and as it loaded in each email client without any problem, so it got read more.
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