I've been collecting a list of email addresses of ppl with online activities who might be interested in what i provide in my forums as a user to user trading community.

So, i thought that i should be sending the email as an HTML format to look more attractive and stuff, but i was afraid some of them "the users" will be using some email service providers that might NOT support the HTML email.

What i did is sending the email as plain text and attached a PDF file with the interface i had in mind instead of sending it as directly in HTML format.

My Question:
- Did i do the right thing, cuz till now i am getting very low responses from TARGETED ppl "as they should be already interested in what i am providing on my website, so i should be having better responses as a percentage of the outgoing emails i am creating"

- I was told to make things easier and direct a bit, send an HTML format email cuz no one nowadays will ever download an attachement "even a pdf file" from some sender who is not in his mailing list ... is that right?

thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post

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A couple of years back I would have said to definitely send plain text emails. However, nowadays, HTML emails are supported by just about every email client out there. The only thing you have to worry about is some email clients block images from loading by default, but even these can be enabled with a single click.

If you're that concerned, you can let your users opt-in to either a plain text or HTML version, where they can select what they want to receive.

As far as expecting the user to download a pdf attached file ... sorry, out of the question nowadays. So many nasty emails hide viruses in the form of attached PDFs. Not only that, but there is an amazingly greater chance of an email client supporting HTML than there is that a person has Adobe Reader installed on their computers (to view PDFs).

I can't thank you enough for this very informative reply. will let you know the result of the html email as soon as it is done.

actually we are getting better results within these holiday days after sending the HTML form email, plus we asked one of our members if it is possible to supply us with a list of his friends' emails who might be interested in our forums and he gladly helped us and gave us permission to send the invitation email from his Nickname@FromOurWebsite.com, starting with "Nickname is inviting you to join ... etc"

i think both ideas helped improving the users' repsonses but i think we could've gotten even better results if it hadn't been for the holiday season.

If I were you I would keep sending them to every body who shows any interest every week and I would keep sending them to everyone else on a monthly or quarterly basis because it could take two, three or even four emails before someone actually bothers to read it.

We are keeping logs of inactive users who register and not come back from their registration date till now to re-send them a reminding email about their registrations and lack of activities after 1 month from the registration date. But I don't want to turn into a spammer resending the email every interval of time to unregistered users for the same of extra traffic. May be Twice a year is a good thing, but every 3 months? I think that'll be considered too much, what do you think?

Yeah, fair point. Maybe you should sent it twice a week apart and then send it twice a year if you think you will get more visitors. I would make sure you take your current members of the list though.

I just wondered cscgal what do you do with your members if they don't make posts after a year or so if they only have a couple under the belt anyway? Have you ever deleted any members for this reason?


I have a policy of never deleting any user accounts. Firstly, it's silly to delete a username if they have any posts because then their posts revert to being written by "Guest" with no information anymore. And it's very pssible that someone has zero posts but might have PM'ed people along the way. And then there are the people who just are too shy to post but still use the subscription and other features that membership offers. And then, of course, the people who haven't visited in a very long time but then return back to the site as much as a year later to get back into it. There is no harm in leaving the users in the database.

That is a good way of looking at it. I think I was off this site for 6 months - 1 year but I am now back and staying! I never though of the PM bit. I suppose that might make sense. But please people don't be shy we are all very nice people :)

Thanks for the info

putting it this way makes it sound like a very good way to preserve your hard work finding traffic and also reminding the relatively old website registrants of it to look back at it an see the new improvements "if any"

and yes, i agree .. we are all very nice people :P

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