Have you read The Smart Option – Part 1?
The fact that the information you get from email marketing software with text-only emails is restricted should not put you off using them. Whilst the lack of images means lack of data, it is a difficulty that is easy enough to overcome. The benefits of text for specific purposes, and for specific groups of subscribers, in comparison to html far outweigh the negatives.
In a recent article we mentioned the pros and cons of text-only emails compared to html. What we will cover this time is how to design the former. You might think, given the fact that there are no decisions to make with regards images, text size, that sort of thing that it would be easier. However, as email marketing software returns can be a little less accurate, a simple error might well not be apparent.
You must cope with the limitations of the various media on which the email will be read. A width of 120 characters is generally accepted as the maximum for mobile phone bound marketing emails. However, the design of the landing page must take this into consideration as well. It too must be no more than 120 characters.
Keeping the page specific to the text-only email means that any hits must be from those who received the email. You can extrapolate the open rate from the email marketing software returns from html data.
After all the effort you put into your designs you might be upset when told that most people will read it when on the move, such as on a train or walking between their office and a meeting. The moral is clear: keep it simple. Whilst your email marketing software might have demonstrated the effectiveness of multiple offers in an email, you should include just the one if destined for a smartphone.
Whilst you should not deceive your subscribers, another advantage of text-only is that it appears the same as the personal emails they are familiar with. Build on this. Whilst you might have found a more restrained greeting and tone has provided the best returns for html, try being a little more familiar for text-only.