I've been seeing a lot of you sending beautiful newsletters and non-spammy promotional emails, that almost always end up on my promotions tab in Gmail. This means essentially no one will see them (and even less will click-through).
However, I've been using an ingenious hack that makes my open-rates shoot-up, to almost double of what they should be when compared to the average email benchmarks.
And how do I achieve this?
By always send e-mails using only plain-text. Always.
And 9 out of 10 times, they get over 40% open-rates, with very high CTR's aswell.
Now, let's go over the pros vs cons of plain-text.
PROS of Plain-text:
1. Gmail doesn't usually consider them promotional because they have no images or altered HTML. This means they almost always get delivered to the main tab, and because of that, they get much higher open-rates.
2. Being in plain-text makes them look just like any other important business e-mail, meaning they receive a focused reading. The proof of this is the high CTR on my promotional e-mails (see image above).
3. Because they look like regular emails, people are compelled to respond, and they do so more than in promotional emails filled with images. My emails look like conversations and not like sales catalogs saturated with images - this makes people want to reply and know more, even if the content is clearly promotional.
CONS of Plain-text:
1. This same philosophy can be problematic regarding transactional e-mails. I would be alarmed to see my credit card information or passwords being sent in plain-text (I would feel someone had hand-typed my information and therefore kept it for themselves).
2. I also wouldn't advise conventional e-commerce stores to follow this strategy. Regular e-commerce emails are literally sales catalogs - images and altered HTML were made for them, so they've got to use it.
Now, when I say plain-text, I do sometimes use the bold and italic functions.
And yes, while this does inject a bit of HTML into my e-mails, I haven't noticed any drop in either open rates or CTR's - so I'll keep adding a bit of it to make my emails look attractive, readable and natural.
So far I've done this strategy for EcommerceRanker.com and my personal website newsletter, and it's been working great - the open-rates remain the same.
Now, are you indie-hackers doing the same for your e-mails?
And are you having similar results?