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Marketo tested and discovered, much to the vendor’s chagrin, that text-based emails performed much better than their prettier, more creative HTML counterparts.
While both had the same open rate, Mike Madden writes in Marketo’s Aug. 11 e-newsletter that his research into their effectiveness revealed which type was actually better for marketers.
“In the end,” he says in his blog post, “we found that focusing a subscriber on a single-link, text-based email produced higher clicks on the call-to-action.”
Madden says with 2.5 billion emails sent every second, marketers should know text-based emails have:
- 21 percent higher unique click-to-open rates on the offer link
- 17 percent higher unique clickthrough rates on the offer link
Madden says there’s a big reason the increased clickthroughs make sense.
Text-based Emails Are Simple, With Fewer Distractions
Recipients can see the CTA right away in text-based emails, he points out.
That plays into the truism that if email marketers reduce distractions, they can increase conversions.
In other words, treat emails like a landing page.
“When we think about the elements that make up a strong landing page, we think: clear copy, an obvious call-to-action, visual cues like arrows or contrasting colors, and a form,” he says. “Are emails so different?”
On the tested HTML email, recipients who didn’t click on the CTA clicked on distractions — like the Marketo logo, Twitter and Facebook.
“In fact,” Madden says, “nearly 16 percent of clicks went to other links” on the HTML version.
Text-based Emails Are Time-Tested
In a Target Marketing article I wrote in 2014 about the effectiveness of text-based emails, a few of the tips still apply:
- Include white space, so there’s no gray wall of type
- Avoid line-breaks
- Proof text-based emails, too
- Don’t overdo the links, “Otherwise, the email looks like a giant hyperlink; especially because links provide the only color.”
What do you think, marketers?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Related story: Plain Text Emails – Yes, They Do Matter.