Let's Raise Some Money
Insights from Karen Climer about fundraising and nonprofit organizations

People Use Plain Text. Companies Use HTML.

May 15th, 2014 by Karen Climer

I receive frequent email notes from the Mayor of Orlando.  I don’t mean personal emails.  I’m referring to the mass emails that he sends to thousands of people.  I receive mass emails from other people as well, but I love the mayor’s email messages.  Why?  They are plain text, not HTML.  Yes, it looks like he sat down and typed the email himself.

I receive e-newsletters from the City of Orlando that are HTML.  They have lots of colors, photos, links, and can be seen on a phone or computer.  But when I receive a note from the mayor, it’s in plain text.  I’m certain that both of these communications originate in the marketing department, but the plain text ones look like they originated at the mayor’s desk.

I love this strategy.  When was the last time you sat down and created an HTML message to send to a friend?  I’m guessing never.  You just type out a quick note and send it.  That’s what the mayor’s emails look like, and in turn, that’s what they feel like.  It seems like he just wanted to update me on the latest project, so he wrote out a quick paragraph and sent it to me.  It has the same auto-signature that he has on his regular one-on-one emails.

In your e-marketing strategy, remember companies use HTML.  People use plain text.  If the e-mail is coming from a company, use HTML.  If the e-mail is an update from the executive director, use plain text.  Why is this subtlety so important?  Because when the message and the format are incongruent, the message seems ingenuous.

Posted in Communication, Email, Marketing, Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. lisa

    Great advice! Never took the time to learn the difference. I’ll definitely incorporate this strategy in my plan. Thanks!!

  2. Karen Climer

    Thanks a million for reading and commenting. I’m glad I could help. Good luck with your plan.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.