Guide to reviewing email text-versions

Text versions of emails, or plain-text emails, are the fallbacks individuals will see if your HTML can’t be displayed. Subscribers can also opt to view your emails as plain text, if they prefer. If you’re thinking, wait, I don’t ever create a text version of my email; it’s because your ESP often automatically generates them. But do you trust your ESP to make a good one?

If you’re curious about what your ESP generates automatically, we recommend importing your email into Parcel during your next email send using your import email address. When reviewing the ESP-generated text version, you might be surprised at what you see!

Most likely, it will be a jumble of links, sentences, and various line-breaks. Not necessarily a simple email by any means.

ESP auto generated text on an imported email

With Parcel, you have the ability to generate and customize this text-based fallback yourself.

Generate text for an email with Parcel

Regardless of whether you want a plain-text email to be included to your subscribers, you should make sure to consider this experience. Some subscribers prefer it!

For some subscribers, a text version enables them to consume content that otherwise may be difficult due to over-the-top designs, harsh color palettes, and various font sizes.

The beauty of text-based emails is that all content is the same, images are removed, and URL’s are expanded.

Best practices for text-based emails

When customizing your text version, the key thing to consider is keeping the content simple and easy to consume. We recommend:

  1. Create white space to separate out content.
  2. Use titles or headers to break up heavy batches of text.
  3. Avoid duplicate text
  4. When referencing calls to action, break out titles and URL’s to avoid large walls of text
Code with a Parcel generated version of plain-text next to it
Code with a Parcel generated version of plain-text next to it

Concluding thoughts

Although this simplistic style of email isn’t always the prettiest, ensuring you are considering all environments of your subscribers can lead to healthier engagement and higher conversion!