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THE PROBLEM WITH HTML EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

By windsong
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005

The recent trend towards HTML email really disturbs me. I, for one, do not like HTML email. If I want to see the glitz and color, I will go to your website, but send me plain text in your email. Do I receive HTML emails? Sure. But the delete key is right there and I use it. And so do a lot of other people. HTML belongs in web pages.

One major concern is bandwidth. HTML email files are much larger than plain text. I resent the fact that it takes longer to download the HTML email from my server. It also takes longer to load it into the email window. Then I have to scroll back and forth. Forget it. Deleting is easier.

Regular email done in HTML is rather pointless. My biggest concern are newsletters done in HTML. These are large emails anyway, and doing them in HTML is only compounding the problem. One must consider the recipient. Are we so egotistical to believe that ALL the people on the 'net are in the USA?? What about the millions of people in other countries who pay by the minute to download these extra large files of HTML emails? Some of these people prefer to download their email, and then go offline while they read them. This makes the images in HTML email rather useless. For the images to work, you must stay online.

Then there is the problem of some email programs that do not support HTML. Just because yours does, doesn't mean that mine does. DO NOT assume that everyone can read HTML e-mail just because you can. Consider, too, that not all email readers will display your HTML in the same way. It may not look the way you think it does.

Some newsletter publishers give their subscribers the option of receiving plain text or HTML. This is all well and good, however, it seems to me that it would be twice the work for the already overworked editor to format the same newsletter twice. Maintaining two lists of subscribers would also become a burden.

Whats the point in making your newsletter look just like your website? Why bother with the newsletter? Just send 'em to your website and be done with it.

What makes a newsletter good? Simplicity, readability, full of content that the reader wants, and a lack of flashing glitz. Keep it simple, and keep your subscribers.

About the Author
windsong is the editor/publisher of six newsletters. One of them is All About E-Zines: (http://marketing-resources.com/EZzine.html)