In his book Effective Email Marketing, Herschell Gordon Lewis gives a “dangerous” general rule about email marketing. He says it’s dangerous because stating that something is a general rule opens up one to criticism. But here goes:
Text tends to outpull HTML when your message suggests urgency. HTML tends to outpull text when your message suggests artistry.
Unless you have really strong storytelling skills, it’s easier to create an emotional reaction in your reader when you use both images and words.
But of course not every email falls into the “urgent” or “artistry” category, so do your own testing here. There’s much to be said for text emails in those in between situations.
Which do you tend to use - HTML or text?