As my business develops, I’ve found it useful to send out newsletters from time to time announcing new products, sales, special events and other things likely to be of interest to at least some customers. So far, they’ve always been in the form of a basic text message with no images, fancy graphics, or other enhancements. That’s simple to do, and everyone can read them quickly and easily, if they care to.
I know most businesses now use HTML newsletters, because they regularly arrive in my inbox as colorful spreads designed to stimulate the visual system and get people to click on the relevant links. On one of my e-mail programs they show up right away, as intended, but on the other one they show up as text, sometimes jumbled, with little boxes containing question marks unless I “allow” display of images. That’s kind of annoying.
I must be some kind of alien creature out of step with the rest of society because I really don’t care whether messages are decorated or not. What’s important is whether the content interests me. After a while all of those HTML messages start looking as conceptually similar as the old black and white text did. That’s just me. I have to think that other people are different given the ubiquity of fancy graphics, so want to ask you, dear readers, what you think about HTML newsletters. I'm sitting on the fence trying to decide whether it’s worth it to take on the tedious and soul-sucking task of coding in HTML or pay one of those geekly services a monthly fee to do it for me. Your input will help guide my decision.
Here are my questions: Do you enjoy reading HTML newsletters more than plain text ones? Would you be more likely to go to a website from a button in an HTML newsletter than from a highlighted link in a plain text one? Does the fancy presentation do more to enhance your image of the company that sent it than a simple text message would? Would there be enough of a change in your perception of the company to make you think that their products are superior to those of the company that sends a bare-bones text message?
If you answer these questions you will be entered into a drawing to win a goodie bag containing carded samples of The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest, PK Perfumes Gold Leather, and some other assorted surprises including an old-style Olympic Orchids 5 ml perfume travel spray in one of the remaining fragrances still in this packaging. The drawing will be held on Sunday, June 23.
[Woman reading indoors by J. Raoux (1734); woman reading outdoors by N. Bogdanov-Belsky (1892); HTML newsletter template from one of the many newsletter services that pop up in a Google search]