Why We Need Plain-Text Emails – 5 Best Practices of Plain-Text Email Optimization [Part I]
Plain-text emails are made plain-Jane emails written in plain texts. These emails are found as plain letters typed without any graphical elements such as images, rich fonts, or hyperlinks. Though these plain-text emails may not contain attention-grabbing graphics as HTML-based emails do, but marketers have found hidden gem opportunities in these emails and they are working on perfecting the craft of plain-text emails.
But, first things first, why do marketers need plain-text emails?
Plain-text emails are a great alternative to HTML emails, which can be converted into plain text version by Multi-part MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) in addition to the actual HTML copy of the email. Unless marketers are sending plain-text emails, the MIME needs to be integrated to all types of email campaigns. Here are some good reasons why –
- Spam filters scan emails for plain-text versions of HTML versions. That’s why HTML-only emails are red flagged by spam filters because spammers may not spend time in creating plain-text versions. That’s why plain-text emails are a necessary.
- Also, many users prefer plain-text emails sans any images or rich fonts which may prolong email loading time and contain distracting elements. Sending HTML-only emails will repel these subscribers, deter success of the campaign.
- Many email clients are limited to plain-text versions and subscribers who have opted for these email clients will not receive your email at all, without a MIME format of the HTML emails.
- Another reason why people stress upon integrating plain-text emails to HTML version is because many subscribers see HTML versions as potent privacy threats and disable the image display option on their email clients or even filter hyperlinks. In such cases, the emails’ HTML-only formats will not load the email content properly and subscribers cannot see the message embedded within messages.
- Also, intermittent or poor bandwidth of mobile networks prevents loading images and other graphical elements in HTML versions. An option to load plain-text versions will enable subscribers for opening, reading and possibly, taking actions as intended.
Now, you might wonder what and how HTML-only or HTML email version will look and function without a plain-text email version alternative? Before your email marketing campaign starts suffering from loss of subscribers or bad email delivery risks, consider following bullets to find out what will happen to your HTML-only email versions.
What happens when marketers do not send plain-text alternatives?
- When HTML-only emails reach subscribers’ inboxes, they might fail viewing the email, whether by their choice of settings preferences or features of email clients. Also, when emails only load plain-text emails and if your HTML emails are sent without text versions, the emails will load only raw HTML codes and tags. In such cases, no text of email messages will be visible.
- Many companies send HTML email with multi-part MIME, however they often send these HTML versions with a blank plain-text version. Blank plain-text copies of emails leave subscribers confused when they receive empty emails with no messages.
- Many marketers are not using multi-part MIME in their HTML emails. These email marketing campaigns greatly suffer from deliverability issues, accessibility issues and in the long run, they are marked for negative reputation of poor email delivery from email clients.
That’s why inclusion of plain-text emails are a necessity to ensure delivery, email opens as well as the accessibility of email messages and improve the performance of the campaign, irrespective of the email clients used, settings preferences, poor internet connection etc. However, including plain-text versions is not a guarantee of success of an email campaign, unless text versions are perfectly crafted and optimized to the right segments with the right messages and other precise specifications. In the next part of this plain-text email, we have shown how to optimize text versions to make these more deliverable, accessible, readable and usable.