I get this question frequently and have addressed it in my small business marketing forum but, I thought I would share my answer here as well.
“I have been sending out an email newsletter for a couple of years in text only. I am thinking of converting to HTML and including a few small photos and a logo. Do you think I should continue to send out text, or upgrade to HTML?”
No doubt spam filter are harder on HTML because spammers have long used it to hide their words in images, but – HTML newsletters allow you to present your message in a way that is more compelling to the readers.
The best way to present your newsletter is to do both – HTML and Text. Right off the bat this knocks your HTML spam penalty in half and allows readers that don’t have HTML turned on in their email to see your message as well.
There are many ways to do this but, here’s what I do.
I use AWeber Systems to deliver my newsletter. I can create both HTML and text in the same message. My HTML message is the full blown issue and the text message is a teaser of what’s in the ezine. Then I also upload and archive the newsletter on my website so that the text readers can view the HTML version through a browser and the search engines have new content to spider. I include a link to the online version in the text portion of the message .
About.com Guide to Email, Heinz Tschabitscher, presents some good resources on the topic.