When to Use Plain Text vs. HTML Emails

When creating your email templates in Lawmatics, you may be wondering which of your emails will be better suited as HTML vs. plain text. First, let's examine the differences between these two types of emails.

HTML Emails

The main reason to use this type of email is for design elements like images, colors, buttons, blurbs, etc. These emails will be much more visually appealing and eye catching than a plain text email.

HTML emails still offer all the same functionality of plain text emails, like merging in fields, option to include attachments, etc, but they also include design and formatting elements. When you first create an HTML email template in Lawmatics, you will do so by selecting the Create Template button, shown below.

Note the two different sections shown above on the Emails page. First we see the Your Templates section, with the Newsletter template, and then we see the Your Emails section beneath it. A big difference between HTML emails and plain text emails is that HTML emails have the ability to be saved as a template, as opposed to an individual email. This is useful to save your key design elements in a template, and then you can simply go to that template, update the copy, and save as a new email.

All HTML emails will first start by creating a template, and you can then save individual emails from the template. Note that you cannot send a template directly, it would first need to be saved as an email.

After you select the option to Create Template, you will be prompted to give your template a name, and select from the available template bases to get you started. Once you select a base, as shown below, you will see a preview of that HTML base. Remember that further customizations can always be made to the base, this is just to get you started.

While you are editing your template, you will see options at the bottom to save the template, or save it as an individual email, as explained above.

As a general rule, HTML emails will almost always be your go-to for marketing content-driven emails. These emails often contain graphics, links, buttons, etc. 

One drawback of HTML emails is that they are slightly more likely to go to a recipient's spam folder. There is unfortunately no way to avoid this possibility, since most common spam checkers are scanning emails for HTML as the main method for looking for spam. Using Lawmatics to send automated emails does not increase your likelihood of going to spam, but since HTML emails are more likely to go to spam in general, it is a good idea to use plain text emails for emails that don't require design elements and content.

A further drawback of using HTML emails vs. plain text emails is that they are simply more time-consuming and labor-intensive to create.

Plain Text Emails

A major benefit of creating a plain text email template is that it will appear to be personal and individualized to the recipient, it does not have the same "templated" vibe of an HTML email. 

For that reason, plain text emails are a great option for any emails that you do not want to seem templated, such as appointment confirmations, reminders, check-ins, follow ups, etc. When your matters receive these types of emails from an automation, they are going to think that you just sat down and wrote them an email, since it will look like a regular email.

This is important to give your emails that personal touch, and it helps make each of your matters feel important and prioritized by your firm.

When creating a plain text email, you will not need to take any of the design elements into consideration, but you can still merge fields and use simply formatting elements like bold, colors, bulleted lists, hyperlinks, etc.

When deciding whether to create an email as an HTML or plain text email, ask your self: which is more important, the way this email looks (attention grabbing) or the transactional information I need to share with a lead or client? If the answer is the latter, then a plain text email is the way to go.


Can I change an email from HTML to plain text or vice versa after it has been created?

No, you cannot change an email from one type to the other. You would need to create the email as the other type.

Can I transfer HTML from an existing email template in another software to Lawmatics?

Yes. When editing an HTML email you will see an HTML block in the content section. Drag this into your email, and then paste in your HTML.