Since you asked.. I have a few things to say about the idea that HTML email has “benefits”.
Sometimes, in all the marketing noise and thought pollution, you have to stop, think and question some commonly accepted bull shit.
First the obvious stuff. Why send HTML when you can send a link to a website? Beats me. Let me try and understand the benefits of HTML email. Ok, it allows you to create pretty marketing emails.. which I could argue contributed to the complexity, size and increased volumes of spam and the birth of very creative phising activities in some African countries… not to mention the truly delightful quality of HTML markup these MUA’s produce.. have you ever looked at that shit?
Honestly.. and you use the word “benefits”? I would rather eat broken glass than send HTML email.
Maybe HTML email adoption trends correlate to rapid IQ and attention span drops? It’s like bubble wrap for the ignorant masses.. hours of mindless amusement.
Next, allow me use a simple example.
There are two kinds of people in this world. One will buy an all-in-one-fax-printer-scanner-copier-phone and bask in its compact awesomeness. The other will go and buy a fax machine, a printer, a scanner, a copier and a phone.
You could argue there are benefits to both routes.
In this example I like the idea of buying a set of devices that do their job, only their one job and does that job really well and reliably. More zen in my mind.
Which one are you?
Simplicate, don’t spread complexity pollution.
I hope you can see how this relates to the idea of bolting HTML features onto an email client when you have a perfectly fine web browser.
Another reason I don’t like all-in-one thinking is that simplicating and separating jobs avoids inherent faults in each to spill and blend.
“all in one” thinking == “kludge” thinking.
“UNIX improvements aren’t.”
Obviously this is not 100% true, but it brings across a point very elegantly.
You see, there is a distinct difference between true innovation and gradual incremental perceived improvement.
Think about that for a second. Plain vanilla, garden variety (RFC standard) email was an innovation.
These days it’s even more of a challenge to consistently apply principles.
Battlefield life is full of logic traps. HTML email is a trap.