Email marketing is a mainstay of digital marketing. It seems to be the solid foundation every online marketing strategy needs to build upon.
You could grow a consulting business purely on Instagram but backed with your email marketing. You could support your local business through regular monthly newsletters, and you could have an eCommerce store that has a boost in sales every time an email is sent out.
Email marketing is regularly said to be a dying part of marketing, and while it hasn’t grown in recent years, it still is incredibly important. How else could you grow your list if you don’t have email marketing as part of your online marketing strategy?
Even though email is a foundational piece of online marketing, it does have trends and developments that you need to keep up with.
Just like we don’t build websites in simple HTML 90s styling anymore, your emails need to find their sweet spot for success. There are 3 major email styles (mainly applicable to newsletters, but can be applied to automated emails as well): HTML, text, and hybrid.
Let’s dig into what each of these are:
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s how your emails (and webpages) are coded so the image and text are formatted in a specific manner. It’s also what people typically think of for “fancy” email templates.
You know the ones I’m talking about, they have fun, full images, they play with text sizes, colors, and orientation.
Altogether, they look really impressive and are built using tools you can’t find in your normal Gmail or Outlook account. They stand out to you!
But these emails have a downside. One, they take longer to make. Not necessarily because you have to build it all by hand (there are plenty of email builders out there, we have one on Wavoto!) but because there are more elements to fill in and more content to include.
Second, since it comes with more involved - the images, the stying - they take longer to load in email clients, especially on mobile devices. Time is precious when viewing emails on mobile devices and people jump ship if things take too long.
Third, images don’t always show in all email clients. Outlook is notorious for not allowing images come through emails.
Text emails are plain text with no formatting (even including bold, italics, underlines or any special layouts).
You are probably thinking, “That sounds boring - why would I want to send those?”
Well, plain text emails can always be received by email clients and won’t be distorted or missing any elements. Additionally, they load very quickly because there’s not extraneous to them, it’s just simple text, which also means they’re less likely to end up in the spam folder.
While you may think no one is interested in plain text emails, there have been quite a few studies that see more open and click through rates from text emails versus image-based. There are probably a few different reasons why this is the case, like text emails seeming to be more personable as well as being very focused.
While I’m sure there are people out there that would argue there are no such things as hybrid emails, these emails sit in the middle ground between HTML and plain text emails.
Going from highly stylized to no customization at all leaves a lot of open ground., What about emails with a simple header? What about emails that include GIFs or even just a handful of emojis? What about regular emails, right?
These are all hybrid emails. They include some stylizing but are fairly simple to put together and send out.
These emails have seen a rise over the past few years, they seem like something a friend could send while also being very professional.
So what email should you be using? Well, that’s up to you and what you want to accomplish and, as always, what your audience likes! Here at Wavoto, we recommend you test, like we do, to see which email type works best for you!
With our blog subscription email, we tested over 3 months with HTML, plain text, and hybrid emails to see which performed better with open rates and click-through rates - which was our winner? Hybrid emails!
I recommend you do the same, spend one month sending a certain style of email and switch to another style the next month.