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Should I build newsletter in HTML or PDF?

Pros and Cons?

     
4:10 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you had the choice - what would you build and send your e-newsletter out as? PDF or HTML? I can do both - but I would like to hear the opinions of others, and what your thoughts would be regarding this situation. I could make the newsletter as a straight HTML doc that would be read in the consumers inbox - or just email a link to where the PDF resides. Would you say most people have Adobe Acrobat on their computers these days? What about mac users?

Thanks!

6:42 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I have Acrobat reader but wouldn't personally use it to read newsletters. In fact, I usually opt for plain text newsletters in email. Giving a choice of preferences would be a good idea.
9:11 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If it is an email newsletter, don't use a PDF. They tend to take up more space hogging your end user's bandwidth and they'll be less likely to open it up and read it.

Go with what Marcia suggested, plain text (unless you have an option set up if they want plain text or HTML).

Plain text doesn't have to be attached, downloads very quickly and is the "safest" way to send emails (if the email is set up as plain text then you cannot put in hidden code for viruses etc..).

9:40 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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My previous company (a few years ago now) didn't provide web access but did give us external email. I used to hate people who sent me emails that assumed that email implied a browser. When I arrived at my present company we had web access but email was still forwarded to a mainframe system. (I am still not convinced that Outlook was an improvement)

My own newsletters are plain text because I started them when I had these problems and assumed that others at work may be in the same position.

3:11 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I suggest plain text instead of HTML or PDF.

Or offer the subscriber a choice between plain text or HTML with plain text being the default.

Avoid PDF if you want to maximize the number of people who will read your newsletter.

FarmBoy

5:18 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't agree more with farmboy. Plain text offers the least amount of hassles for your users: the consumer of the newsletter.