Lynette Rambo | October 13, 2015
The plain text version of an email may not be as exciting or fun as designing the HTML version, but it is still an important part of a well-rounded email marketing program.
While HTML emails generally feature images, different fonts, a variety of color options, as well as clickable links, the text only version is plain text. The purpose of including a plain text email is so that your message still gets through to people who have HTML turned off or have a device that doesn’t accept HTML – like the Apple Watch. Including a text alternative to HTML is also looked upon more favorably by Spam filters.
Most spammers do not include a text only version with their emails. It takes too much time, and lazy spammers are too busy throwing out lines and seeing who they can reel in with the least amount of effort. Therefore, spam filters like to see a text version in conjunction with the HTML version of an email. That’s one less red flag, and your email is more likely to reach the inbox.
When sending your emails, make sure “Multi-part MIME” (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is checked on whatever email platform you’re using before you hit Send. Multi-part MIME bundles together both the HTML and text versions of your email as it sends. Unless you are sending ONLY a text email (not HTML), multi-part MIME should be a part of every email campaign.
Believe it or not, some email clients and apps still can’t handle HTML. Or, if they do, the display may be messed up. Therefore, having a plain text version of your email will make it easier for the recipient to read regardless of the device they’re using. And, besides, some of your subscribers choose to only receive text only emails, so if you’re sending only HTML, they won’t receive them.
Text emails may not be that exciting, but they don’t have to look boring. You can do a lot from your keyboard to jazz them up. Here are some things to keep in mind:
This second screenshot shows how Multi part MIME interprets this in the plain text version. If your email platform automatically adds a text version to your HTML email, this is what it’s going to look like. Not only is this a lot to navigate through, but it’s wasted space. Most likely, the receiver of this text email is going to ignore it.
A better way to present this would be to utilize keyboard characters and spacing to make the text easier to read … like this:
However, it looks like this in the plain text version.
So, be sure to change special character codes to the equivalent character from your keyboard. In this case, a regular dash: “THE ENGAGER – September 2015”.
This format uses asterisks as well as a row of dashes.
Here are a few more ideas:
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Lynette Rambo is a Salesforce Certified Marketing Cloud Consultant, Administrator, Email Specialist, and Trainer. She has worked in marketing and communications for more than 20 years and with Salesforce Marketing Cloud since 2012. As a Marketing Consultant and Trainer for ListEngage, Lynette helps clients learn Marketing Cloud functionality, email marketing best practices, and effective campaign management. She also works with the Salesforce CRM and connecting Sales and Marketing initiatives. You can contact Lynette at firstname.lastname@example.org.