Blog Email Marketing and SMS

What's the purpose of "plain text" in a newsletter?

Category: Email Marketing


There are many people who use email marketing as a communication channel and do not understand the importance of including the plain text alternative version in the campaigns sent as HTML (with format and images).

Do not include the text version in your emails is a big mistake. We explain you why:

Compatibility and reading preferences. Although it is becoming less common, there are mail clients and devices that do not have the ability to render and display HTML, for example the old terminals, the Blackberry 4os, some IOS and PDAs or mail clients like Pegasus. On the other hand, users can set in the preferences of their mail client the format they want to read the messages they receive: plain text, rich text or html. If you do not include the text version of your emails, when one of these cases happens, the recipients of your emails will receive the message "This email does not contain a plain text alternative" instead of the communication you really want make them receive.


Improves deliverability. Most anti spam filters review the message content by accessing to the text version because they understand that if it is not included is because it wants to hide information. Therefore,it is very important that the campaign message should be the same as in the text version. From this will depend be considered a reliable source or a spammer.

Accessibility. The text version is useful for people with reduced visual disability, who need to use software to read your emails. Programs such as VoiceOver, Siri, Dictation ... allow people with disabilities to write, open apps, consult calendars and read emails, accessing most of them to the email text version to do so.

Wearables. This type of electronic devices that are incorporated to accessories or clothing, interact with the user in their day by day, such as smart watches or sneakers with GPS.They are a set of devices that are part of a technology that is increasingly present in our lives. Some of them are changing, for example, how to understand an email: a clear case is the Apple watch, Samsung Gear S, the Motorola 360 or Pebble Steel, all of them smart watches that does not support the emails HTML version and can only be displayed in its text version, to be taken in consideration because it is expected during each month of 2015 be sold 2,5 smart watches1.


Due plain text limitation, which does not allow to apply text styles (such as bold, italics, font sizes,,,) you need to work with other resources that allow your message to be attractive and clear.

Now, how can you improve the text version of your campaigns?

  • Include extra line breaks to generate blank spaces that improve readability.
  • Don't exceed 60 characters per line, except for links that may exceed this limit.
  • Create hierarchies in each email section using numbers or symbols.
  • Use asterisks or dashes to highlight calls to action.


As you can see is very useful to send your email marketing campaigns in HTML and text, so you can reach more public and you will ensure that your mailing will be read by a number of users, thus increasing your conversions.

1 Fortune

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