Accessibilty issue: how to get a more usable content-type: text/plain section in generated emails?

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Hello, I am working with a long-time Constant Contact customer. They are sending out an email using the api (/emails endpoint with format-type 5, custom code). 

There are complaints from their recipients who need to read the plain-text version of the email, which is automatically generated by Constant Contact into the Content-Type: text/plain section. The plain text is one massive line with no line breaks. Unreadable and unusable for those who need to use plain text.

Because the API only has a place to send HTML section, it seems I cannot control the plain text section, and Constant Contact generates that. 

Can you please tell me how I would accomplish having a plain text section with at least line breaks?  I believe CRLF is recommended.

Seems that either there would be an api way to  a) specify the plain text section separately or b) set up the html that will cause Constant Contact to generate the plain text section with line breaks. I haven't found any info on how to do either of these things.  

0 Votes

Hello TinaI37,


Thank you for reaching out to Constant Contact API Developer Support. My team is here to assist outside software developers with questions about building into Constant Contact's API.


We currently have an open request for the ability to edit the plain text version for Custom Code HTML email campaigns, for custom code emails created via both our API and website UI. I have tracked this feature request with your account. Your feedback and experience with this request is essential to improving our product, so thank you for reaching out to us regarding this matter.


A few things you could potentially do would be to generate/host a read only version that is linked at the top of the email (something like "access the following link for text only version") and/or you can use the tag that we offer to add a "View as Webpage" link, which is accessible once the live send has completed.


<a href="[[viewAsWebpage]]">View as Webpage</a>


If you feel that redirecting to an external web page (in either of those cases) would not be an option for your customers viewing the text only emails, you could also do some testing to see if there is a way to reformat the text content so that it displays as desired using different tags (like using the Line Break element if you currently have the lines separated in a different way). 


Otherwise, if that would affect the appearance of the layout in an undesirable way, you could try adding a hidden section at the top (using a differently formatted version of the text (possibly using something like style="font-size: 0px;") so that in the text only version it appears correctly before the rest of the content that you are seeing now.


While our expertise is with our API itself as opposed to its implementation within any particular programming language, we are happy to answer any questions pertaining to Constant Contact’s API endpoints, functionality, and documentation.


Please have a look and let us know if you have any other questions!


Courtney E.
Tier II API Support Engineer

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