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html-mail-vs-plain-text [2017-10-13 14:18]
andreas [Contra HTML mail] typo fixed
html-mail-vs-plain-text [2018-05-15 08:50]
andreas minor clarification
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-====== ​Notes on Plain Text vs. HTML mail ======+<​markdown>​ 
 +Notes on Plain Text vs. HTML Mail 
 +=================================
  
-===== Contra HTML mail =====+## Contra HTML mail
  
-  ​Ecological madness +Ecologically expensive due to increased size of messages 
-  * High complexity +* High complexity 
-    * Harder to develop, hence more expensive +  * Harder to develop, hence more expensive 
-    * Handling more likely to break (e.g. [[http://​www.luga.at/​mailing-lists/​luga/​2017/​10/​msg00005.html |Kaputte Zitate im Plain-Text von Gmail]]) +  * Handling more likely to break (e.g. 
-    * Less transparent;​ errors are harder to debug (for users _and_ developers) +    ​[Kaputte Zitate im Plain-Text von Gmail]) 
-    * Higher hurdle for first time users (e.g. for newsletters) +  * Less transparent;​ errors are harder to debug (for users _and_ developers) 
-  * Security hazards (cf. security bug fixes of main mail programs such as [[https://​www.mozilla.org/​en-US/​security/​known-vulnerabilities/​thunderbird/​ |Security Advisories for Thunderbird]]) +  * Higher hurdle for first time users (e.g. for composing ​newsletters) 
-  * Privacy hazards (e.g. HTML is used to track users) +* Security hazards (cf. security bug fixes of main mail programs such 
-  * Content more likely to be falsely categorized as spam etc. +  ​as [Security Advisories for Thunderbird]) 
-  ​* Some automated systems (e.g. mailing lists) do not accept HTML and will reject messages, use only the alternative plain text part or convert the HTML potentially causing formatting issues. +* Privacy hazards (e.g. HTML is used to track users) 
-  Reduced accessibility +* Some automated systems (e.g. mailing lists) do not accept HTML and will 
-  * Double effort (HTML _and_ text need to be formatted) +  ​reject messages, ​or use only the alternative plain text partor convert 
-  * Little guarantee that messages ​will be shown as intended +  ​the HTML potentially causing formatting issues. 
-  * More distractions (e.g. font selectors, emoji buttons)+Requires HTML aware software 
 +* Double effort (HTML _and_ text need to be formatted ​and checked
 +* Little guarantee that HTML will be shown as intended 
 +* More distractions (e.g. font selectors, emoji buttons) 
 +* Harder to write (formatting takes more time) 
 +* "​[Angry fruit salad]":​ Every user chooses a different font in a different 
 +  color and different size.
  
-===== Pro HTML mail ===== 
  
-  * Formatting text +## Pro HTML mail
-  * Ability to create "​rich"​ content (forms, graphs, animations, ...)+
  
-===== Contra plain text mail =====+* Ability to format and style the message content 
 +* Ability to create "​rich"​ content (graphs, tables, ...) 
 +* Ability to use semantic markup (e.g. to mark text as preformatted)
  
-  * Text wrapping issues if lines are hard-wrapped (not format=flowed) 
-  * Some content is better sent as attachment (e.g. illustrations) 
  
-===== Pro plain text mail =====+## Contra ​plain text mail
  
-  ​Easy, small, ecologically friendly ​(compared to HTML mail+Text wrapping issues if lines are hard-wrapped ​(not format=flowed
-  * Text can be shown by all devices +  ​(e.g. on mobile devices with small screens) 
-  Accessibility ​as good as it gets+* Text formatted for fixed width fonts might get distorted 
 +Some content is better sent as attachment (e.g. illustrations)
  
-===== References ===== 
  
-  * [[wp>​HTML email]] +## Pro plain text mail
-  * [[https://​blog.hubspot.com/​marketing/​plain-text-vs-html-emails-data |Plain Text vs. HTML Emails: Which Is Better?]] Accessed 2017-10-11 +
-  * [[https://​askleo.com/​whats_the_difference_between_plain_text_and_html_email/​ |What'​s the Difference Between "Plain Text" and "​HTML"​ Email? - Ask Leo!]] Accessed 2017-10-11 +
-  * [[https://​blog.aweber.com/​email-marketing/​html-vs-plain-text-which-will-your-subscribers-open.htm |HTML vs. Plain Text Emails - AWeber Email Marketing]] Accessed 2017-10-11 +
-  * [[https://​blog.aweber.com/​email-marketing/​plain-text-vs-html-email-2014.htm |Plain Text vs. HTML Email - AWeber Email Marketing Tips]] Accessed 2017-10-11 +
-  * [[http://​fixmypages.com/​fix/​htmlemail.php |Plain Text vs. HTML Emails - FixMyPages.com - Web Page Repair]] Accessed 2017-10-11 +
-  * [[https://​people.dsv.su.se/​~jpalme/​ietf/​mhtml-discussion.html |Discussion about HTML in e-mail]] Accessed 2017-10-11, last revision 1998-05-22+
  
 +* Easy, small, ecologically friendly (compared to HTML mail)
 +* Text is shown by all devices and programs
 +* Accessibility as good as it gets
 +
 +
 +## Criteria to consider
 +
 +* False positive spam: It is unclear whether HTML mails are more likely to be falsely categorized as spam.
 +* Accessibility:​ It is unclear whether HTML mails that include alternative plain text parts are less accessible, for instance for text to speech conversion.
 +
 +
 +## References
 +
 +* Wikipedia:
 +  [HTML email](https://​en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​HTML_email "​Accessed 2017-10-11"​)
 +* Jason Rodriguez: [HTML Email and Accessibility | CSS-Tricks](https://​css-tricks.com/​html-email-accessibility/​ "​Accessed 2017-11-22"​) Recommended,​ extensive article published 2017-11-22.
 +* LUGA.at thread "Plain Text vs. HTML-Mails"​
 +  [October](http://​www.luga.at/​mailing-lists/​luga/​2017/​10/​threads.html#​00041 "​Accessed 2017-11-05"​) +
 +  [November](http://​www.luga.at/​mailing-lists/​luga/​2017/​11/​threads.html#​00003 "​Accessed 2017-11-05"​) 2017.
 +* Niti Shah (HubSpot Marketing):
 +  [Plain Text vs. HTML Emails: Which Is Better? [New Data]](https://​blog.hubspot.com/​marketing/​plain-text-vs-html-emails-data "​Accessed 2017-10-29"​)
 +  Originally published 2015-07-27, updated 2017-10-29.
 +* Jonathan Corbet (LWN.net):
 +  [The trouble with text-only email](https://​lwn.net/​Articles/​735973/​ "​Accessed 2017-11-04"​)
 +  Published 2017-10-12. With many interesting [comments](https://​lwn.net/​Articles/​735973/#​Comments)
 +* Bratus S, Shubina A:
 +  [The only safe email is text-only email](https://​theconversation.com/​the-only-safe-email-is-text-only-email-81434 "​Accessed 2017-10-29"​).
 +  The Conversation,​ 2017-09-11. Also available from 
 +  [Scientific American](https://​www.scientificamerican.com/​article/​the-only-safe-e-mail-is-text-only-e-mail/​ "​Accessed 2017-10-29"​).
 +* mkln.org:
 +  [Wie man E-Mails schreibt](https://​mkln.org/​2007/​02/​wie-man-emails-schreibt/​ "​Accessed 2017-11-04"​)
 +  Published 2017-02-24.
 +* Greg Kogan:
 +  [Don't Design Your Emails](https://​www.gkogan.co/​blog/​dont-design-emails/​ "​Accessed 2017-11-04"​)
 +  Published 2016-06-28.
 +* AWeber Email Marketing:
 +  [Plain Text vs HTML Email: What Reaches the Inbox in 2014?​](https://​blog.aweber.com/​email-marketing/​plain-text-vs-html-email-2014.htm "​Accessed 2017-10-11"​)
 +  Published 2014-04-22.
 +* For historical reference:
 +  [Discussion about HTML in e-mail](https://​people.dsv.su.se/​~jpalme/​ietf/​mhtml-discussion.html "​Accessed 2017-10-11"​)
 +  Last revision 1998-05-22.
 +
 +[Kaputte Zitate im Plain-Text von Gmail]: http://​www.luga.at/​mailing-lists/​luga/​2017/​10/​msg00005.html "​Accessed 2017-10-11"​
 +[Security Advisories for Thunderbird]:​ https://​www.mozilla.org/​en-US/​security/​known-vulnerabilities/​thunderbird/ ​ "​Accessed 2017-10-11"​
 +[Angry fruit salad]: https://​en.wiktionary.org/​wiki/​angry_fruit_salad "​Accessed 2017-11-04"​
 +
 +</​markdown>​
  
html-mail-vs-plain-text.txt · Last modified: 2018-06-28 21:25 by andreas