Every email you send should have a plain text alternative available for your readers to use. It is quick and easy to do, but easily overlooked. Here are the most common questions about creating and editing plain text emails.
Why should I spend time on a plain text version?
Some people just don’t like HTML in their emails. They might be using older systems, or their system is locked down and they just can’t view HTML. Other people prefer plain text for accessibility reasons, or to make their email system run faster.
You should provide a plain text alternative to every email, so that the reader’s own email server or program can choose which version to display, giving control to your reader instead of yourself.
How do I edit the plain text version?
For template-based campaigns the plain text version is generated automatically based on the HTML version created with the content editor in your account. You'll have the chance to preview and edit the plain text version when you get to the campaign snapshot, as shown here:
Just click edit, as highlighted above, to open the plain text editor. To save you some time the system strips out the text content from your HTML version and makes some intelligent guesses about how it should be structured:
You'll almost always want to make your own changes, because you can make smarter decisions about what is important in the text version and what is not. To save your changes click I'm done, return to the snapshot.
Important: If you make more changes to the HTML version, remember that you'll need to come back to edit the plain text version again, too.
Can I add a logo or change the font in the plain text version?
No, sorry. The nature of plain text is that it is purely text, no formatting or images at all. You just type in your text, and that's it. There is no reason you can't do a very simple HTML email that only contains text, or just text and a logo, but you still need a true plain text alternative in place.
How do I make my URLs into links in the plain text?
It isn't something you can do, sorry. Links are part of the HTML markup, and plain text doesn't have any HTML in it. However, many email clients will automatically detect URLs in plain text and make them clickable. Keep in mind that there is no tracking of plain text link clicks, so they won't show up in your reports.
How do I add an unsubscribe link to my plain text version?
Since plain text can't have hyperlinks, there is a separate unsubscribe tag just for the text version. It is [unsubscribe]. That tag will be replaced with just the unsubscribe URL, so you would want to have an introductory sentence before the tag, as in:
If you are no longer interested, you can unsubscribe instantly here: [unsubscribe]
This is especially important if your email is not in English, because the default unsubscribe link will be added for you if you don't have one. It is included along with an English language introduction, which will confuse any reader who is viewing the plain text version.
So make sure to include an unsubscribe sentence and tag in your own language before saving.