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Who Cares About Plain Text Emails?

Valued Contributor

Who Cares About Plain Text Emails?

Plain text emails... they're so bland! If you wanted to read plain text, you'd go to the library, right? After all, you're using Constant Contact - a powerhouse tool for creating beautiful, vibrant, image-driven emails. Seriously, who cares about plain text email? 


Unfortunately, that's just not the case. Plain text emails started the email party, and they'll be here until the last person leaves. But why should you care about the plain text version? Before we can explain the importance, we need to understand the difference.


At its simplest form, a plain text emails is void of any visual formatting. That means you can't add or change:

  • Bold, italics, or underlines
  • font size
  • font style
  • colors
  • images
  • hyperlinked text (also known as anchor text)
  • CSS
  • Forward to a Friend
  • Join My List

HTML-vs-Plain-Text-business2community.jpgPlain text emails are fool proof! Because they are so simple, no information can be lost when they are viewed on different email clients (i.e. Outlook, Gmail, Thunderbird, Comcast, AOL, etc.)


HTML emails are a whole different ball game. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, the same coding used to make websites. HTML emails use a formatting called rich-text formatting, which makes it possible for you to change all of those visual elements I listed above. In essence, with the help of Constant Contact, you are basically creating a mini, one-page website that goes straight into someone's email inbox. 


Now that you know the difference, why should you care about plain text email? Here are 5 reasons to mull over:

  1. Some people prefer plain text. It's cleaner, easier to read, and an efficient use of time.

  2. Sometimes plain text gets the job done. Think of a sales letter or a quick thank you note. Plain text delivers the message in a professional manner.

  3. apple-watch-bjc-branding-email.jpgSPAM filters love plain text versions. Basically, if a plain text version doesn't accompany an HTML version, then it looks like a lazy spammer to Gmail, Comcast, Yahoo, etc.

  4. Some devices and browsers can't handle HTML emails. Whether people set their security settings to only allow plain text emails or they're reading your emails on an old Motorola flip phone, you want to make sure they can read your message. 

  5. The Apple Watch! Yes, that's right, the Apple Watch is a reason for you to consider plain text emails. My colleague, Jake Burns, wrote a great article about the importance of plain text emails with regards to the Apple Watch. I won't steal any of this thunder here, but the Apple Watch poses a serious challenge for image-driven emails. As more consumers adopt the Apple Watch, you'll want to make sure you're effectively communicating with their wrist. 

There you have it. We should most definitely care about plain text emails. Want to learn more about Email Marketing best practices? Maybe you need a new Constant Contact template design? Then, you'll want to click here:


Photos courtesy of


Bryan Caplan
CEO, BJC Branding
Master Certified Local Expert, Constant Contact

Phone: (781) 349-5444

BJC Branding - Master Certified Expert - Constant Contact
Not applicable

Re: Who Cares About Plain Text Emails?

Isn't it impossible to send plain text emails via constant contact unless they're using an email client that strips out HTML?

New Member

Re: Who Cares About Plain Text Emails?

Yeah, landed here because I'm looking for some way to edit the plain text portion of an email campaign. I guess you can't do that anymore? It's been a few years since I've used Constant Contact, lol.

CTCT Employee

Re: Who Cares About Plain Text Emails?

Hi @ChrisS7222,


Thanks for posting in the Community! It looks like you have been utilizing the 'custom code' emails in your Constant Contact account. For assistance with those I would recommend calling in to our support team as they can get you to the correct department that handles those specific types of campaigns! Here is some additional information on custom coded emails.

Community & Social Media Support

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