I am working on a site that will have a "send to email" feature for semi-personalized content (think something like a short shopping list). We already will have a print-friendly view of this content available on the site. We are having an internal debate about what the user should receive in their email if they use the "send to email" feature, and have come up with two options:
The email includes a PDF of the print-friendly view as an attachment, as well as a link to the web page that will include pass any dynamic info with it.
The email itself is specially formatted to be visually similar to the web page and include all the same content that also exists on the page. (No PDF attachment.)
I am having trouble finding any studies about email usability in this regard, but anecdotally it seems that the majority of the time sites that have this functionality are just sending you a link, unless it is for something like a receipt.
We have concerns about how different email clients will render content, as the client wants a highly stylized page as opposed to simple text, and are leaning toward option 1, but I'd love to know if anyone has any data to back this up. Our gut is that using a PDF is nice because it also allows the user to save the info locally, and it is also much more predictable how it will be rendered.