I've been trawling around trying to find some up-to-date stats on this, but does anyone have or know where I can find some recent statistics regarding rough figures for how many people receive plain text formatted emails versus those who receive HTML formatted? This isn't so much a question of mail client, as the vast majority support HTML these days, but more so I can get an idea of how many still open plain text over HTML (whether by preference or company policy or whatever). My gut instinct would be that the figures will be skewed heavily in favour of HTML these days, but it would be great to have some rough stats to back that up, see how big the divide really is.
Anyone able to shed any light?
Hi Jan, welcome to the forums! We don't have any stats on hand at present, I'm sorry to say. It doesn't help that we can't record opens when the email is received as plain-text, either. However, it's important to note that 1) a lot of mobile devices (eg. older Blackberry handsets) still display text-only, and 2) some folks simply prefer plain-text.
Off the top of my head, I'd say the vast majority of folks view the HTML version over plain-text (as you said), however this ultimately varies from list to list - if for instance, you're sending updates to a corporate audience, you can most probably expect there to be an unusually high number of Blackberry users amongst them.
Ultimately, don't give up on creating a plain-text version - they don't take a lot of time to create and can make all the difference for folks who consume email that way, either out of preference or by default.
Thanks for your reply, it's a shame you don't have any statistics on this. It seems to be a bit of an information black-hole as far as the industry goes, the only stats I've been able to find online date back to around 2006, and naturally things have changed a lot since then. It would be really helpful to get some indication of what percentage of our subscribers we were reaching with plain text vs HTML, whether via stats you were able to generate internally, or from current, industry recognised research, if anyone else is able to offer suggestions or point me in the right direction?
All the best.