The Email Delivrability blog of Get to the Inbox by ISIPP SuretyMail

Political Email Formatting and its Affects on Your Deliverability

Did you know that political (and religious) speech is exempt from CAN-SPAM regulations in order to avoid issues of First Amendment violations? Most political emails are formatted in the eye-catching HTML format, and so are now going to be the types of formats that will be frequently flagged by those being spammed by politicians.

HTML messages give your messages life and visual appeal. They add formatting, columns, pictures and fast, easy brand recognition. Almost all email software now supports HTML messages. BUT (and it’s a big but…) most spam is HTML formatted. HTML messages experience delivery failures twice as often as plain text messages. ISPs and spam filters will tell you that HTML in email is a sign of bulk email.

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So, to use plain text or HTML (or other rich formatting) – that is the question! This is a hotly debated issue in email sending circles, because many large email senders maintain (and probably accurately) that they simply get a much better response rate with HTML mail.

One thing is certain; if you decide to use HTML, it’s important that you also always include a plain text version of the message in the same email, because an increasing number of end users are turning off the HTML display option in their email readers. This is called text/HTML multi-part mime format.

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This article originally written on September 28, 2012, and is as relevant now as when it was first written.