What is the difference between an HTML and a plain-text email campaign?

It is important to know the difference between HTML and plain-text emails, and how they affect the delivery and engagement of your campaign.

HTML  stands for HyperText Markup Language. It’s the way web pages and email templates are coded so that text is formatted and images are added.

Plain Text is regular text, with no formatting options such as bold, italics, underlines, or special layout options.

How does this affect your campaign?

Emails can be received and viewed in both HTML or Plain-Text formats. Depending on the email client or particular settings your recipients are using, an HTML campaign may or may not be able to be displayed.

If HTML is recognized, your recipient will see the campaign with images, text, and designs you may have chosen when you created your campaign.

If the HTML is not recognized (which may happen if the recipient is opening the email on a mobile phone, for example), it is important to have a plain text version of your campaign as well so that an email client can default to it.

Remember that plain text emails are not as easily trackable. We also recommend you try to limit the characters in the length of the URL – not only will it look sloppy when not masked by a title, but anything over 80 characters will cause the URL to break.

Your plain text version can include URLs, such as http:// and ftp://

Hints:

  • Generate a plain text version based on your HTML version by clicking Generate from HTML on the Edit plain-text version section in the Email Campaign Builder. Additional formatting is still required.
  • If you would like to know what HTML code works best for particular email clients, you can refer to the Email Standards database and Litmus
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