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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Do You Prefer Plain Text E-mail?



I used to really love Plain Text e-mail. I'm not just talking about e-mails without any formatting; I'm talking literally about e-mails which are sent in Plain Text format, without any HTML code in them.

In recent years, I've gotten over it, as HTML becomes the standard, and it actually becomes more and more difficult to read e-mails in Plain Text. My day-job, for example, forces me to use a signature at the bottom of every e-mail I send, and that signature contains images and hyperlinks behind buttons, etc. Many other companies do the same... sometimes without you, the employee, even knowing it, so even if you did send an e-mail in Plain Text, by the time your recipient receives it, it's been converted to HTML so that your corporate mail server can attach the signature.

Plus, many e-mail clients use HTML as the default way to display and send e-mails, and it can be very difficult, if not downright impossible, to configure it for Plain Text.

In recent weeks, though, it has occurred to me that I haven't given any thought to the Plain Text format of the e-mails I send to my mailing list. I did think about them years ago, when I first started, but back then I was using MailChimp; I had no idea what MailerLite did.

I went back to some of my old campaigns and tried to view the Plain Text version of the e-mail. The first thing I noticed was that there's no way to do that. None. MailerLite quite simply does not let you view the Plain Text version of a previously sent e-mail. So I created a new, dummy campaign, and then told MailerLite to show me the plain text e-mail that was about to be sent. This is what I saw:


Hello,

You have received a newsletter from Graham Downs.

However, your email software can't display HTML emails. You can view the newsletter by clicking here:

{$url}

You're receiving this newsletter because you have shown interest in Graham Downs.
Not interested anymore? Click here to unsubscribe:
{$unsubscribe}



Well, that's not ideal.

Still, it's probably not a big deal, because nobody's ever complained before, and I highly doubt any of my current subscribers are actually interested in the Plain Text versions of my newsletters. And at least MailerLite actually does provide you with a way to edit that version. I added it to my to-do list, and moved on.

Until the other day, when I saw someone subscribing to my list. I happen to know the guy, and I know that he definitely prefers to read all his e-mails in plain text.

I immediately went and carefully crafted Plain Text versions of all my automation mails, and from now on, will make sure all my campaigns have readable, usable Plain Text versions.

Even if I did it just for this guy, it's enough. But I'd like to hear from you - how do you feel about Plain Text e-mail? Do you still send and read e-mails in Plain Text? Is it your preferred format?

Hit me up in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

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