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The Power of Plain Text Emails

So, you've poured some serious time and effort into coding the perfect email template. Your fonts are just right, the spacing has been laid out to perfection and you've resized all your images to be exactly the same height. Before you hit send, add one extra step to your to-do list: create a plain text version of your email.

Plain text emails are exactly what they sound like – they're literally just text. There are no frills, no fun colors and no GIFs. It may sound like you're taking a step back into email's early days, but with the increasing popularity of smart watches and shrinking phone screens (looking at you here, Apple), devices that only render text are making a resurgence in the marketplace.            

And if that's not enough to convince you, here are three more reasons to include a plain text version of your email:

1. Decrease your spam score. If you only have an HTML version of your template, you're going to set off alarm bells for many email clients and spam filters. Having a matching plain text version to correspond with your body copy is a simple way to get around this problem. You can review your spam score before and after implementing a text version of your email using the test feature in a ClickDimensions email send.

2. Give yourself a back up. Some email clients will provide an option for users to automatically display the plain text version of an email, and some devices simply don't render HTML well. Keep in mind that not everyone will have their set up configured the same way you do. Make sure that you are able to reach all of your contacts, regardless of their preferences.

3. Avoid the dreaded raw code rendering. In the scenarios mentioned above, sometimes your email may come through as blank. Other times, your raw code will be presented, which could inadvertently lead a recipient to think the email was spam. A plain text version of your email keeps your contacts informed and your bounce rates low.


So now that you're convinced that you need a plain text version of your email, here are a few tips and best practices for making the most of it:

1. Auto-generate. Make this process quick and easy. Using ClickDimensions' email editors, you can generate a text version of your email with just one click.

2. Make it easy to scan. Include a clear call to action and space out your links. People should know where to click and not have any trouble doing so. Symbols and bulleted lists are great for laying out easy-to-read emails.

3. Link to your HTML version. By including the link to view the HTML version of your email, your recipient knows that an email is rendering as plain text is because of their settings, not any lack of effort on your part. Any interested readers can then go on to view the full message you intended them to receive, if they have the capability.

Happy Marketing!

Written by Suzannah Howell, Marketing Success Manager

About the Author:

Suzannah Thompson is a Lead Product Consultant at ClickDimensions.

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