Improve the Plain Text experience, please!

Here's what one of my contacts just said about Constant Contact's Plain-Text email:

 

"The minute I opened the year-end message, I saw that yet another of

the 501C# orgs that I support is being disserved by Constant Contact.

"Their disdain for your email results in me getting the message 
reproduced below. For security reasons I use a text-only mail reader.
Constant Contact sends multipart-alternative messages supposedly to
provide plain-text mail in addition to pretty HTML. But the way
they extract plain text would draw a low grade in a freshman
computer-programming course: simply run together all the text
parts of the HTML. Any beginning programmer could do a better job
with a few hours work. Their dereliction reflects badly on
their customers."

9 Comments
Employee
Status changed to: Voting Open

Hey @AndrewK645, thanks for your feedback! I've opened this idea up for voting. If you agree with this idea, please kudo it! 

 

Thanks again for sharing your feedback!

Occasional Visitor

It's great that CC keeps adding features, but why is it also taking away a capability that is important for some users?

My understanding is that the latest editor does NOT let the user fully control the ASCII or pure-text version of emails, instead sending a default version the user cannot edit. This can result in poorly formatted messages that are not attractive to the recipient, and thus reflect poorly on the sender.

Many of those on the lists I manage are on high-security networks that favor pure-text emails over HTML-rich versions, or include recipients who simply prefer text. Until now, I have always been able to fine-tune the text versions that CC sends out. The new editor seems to remove that capability. As much as i like Constant Contact, I can't justify staying with a service that forces me to send out emails that are counterproductive for a significant percentage of recipients.

Occasional Organizer

I roll my own email using the Advanced Editor, and thus my text-formatted messages aren't auto-generated from text I type into the 2nd or 3rd gen editors. Previously, up until about 2 months ago, I could send myself a test email of my campaigns both in HTML and Text formats, as a sanity check.

 

Now, there's apparently no way to see what the Text message will look like, either in the Preview dialog itself, or by sending a text-format email to myself. This is problematic.

 

Retail

This is a big problem for us also. Have they responded to you from support?

New Member
it would be great to have the format of the email exactly how it appears in a gmail or office email... i am only sending it to 1 person at a time and all i really need is the tracking information versus any special formating capabilities ... Thanks!
Frequent Visitor

Hi -

 

I know it seems backward. But while the number of recipients using plain text email may be small (and perhaps even declining for all I know), they are not non-existent. And they are fiercely loyal to the format! People who choose to read in plain text are committed to it for some pretty serious and personal reasons. So I don't think we're going to convince them to stop using it.

 

That's why I think it's important for CC to bring back support of the plain text editor. We discovered how important it was to our audience when we recently switched one of our daily emails to use a newer template. We got complaints. We can't be the only ones. Has anyone else had this same experience? Would anyone else like to see this feature return to the editor?

 

I just got off a support chat to find out how we might have access to the plain text version editor with new templates. Apparently it no longer exists. We took one of our daily newsletters and recently moved it into a new campaign template in order to make it more usable on mobile devices. We had been using one of our old campaign templates that we'd been using for years, and it was not mobile friendly. So we were happy to move the campaign to a newer template. Unfortunately, after several recipient complaints we found that the plain text versions of our emails were simply not usable at all. The quote from one recipient was, "if you can't find a way to fix this I will unfortunately have no choice but to unsubscribe because in my email program I only read plain text emails."

 

And now we can't fix that problem at all. I understand the number of people using plain text format may be declining. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. And do I want to lose even 1% of my list due to this sudden lack of support of the format by CC? No I do not. Not even 1%. Not even 0.5%.

 

We can't be the only ones who counted on that part of the editor, nor can we be the only ones who care not to lose any contacts from our lists over it.

 

Thanks,

Bill

Visitor
Would LOOOOOVE a plain text template! Been using CC for a long time and love your service. But, yeah ... that would be amazing. Something that looks more personal and less like marketing email.
Occasional Organizer

Just got "strongly suggested" that I switch over to the new Custom HTML Code editor, as the one I've been using goes away in a week.

 

Previously, I complained upon deaf ears that they took away the "preview text" feature. Now they've doubled down on that by taking away the ability to enter a text version that you can't preview!

 

Presumably, it auto-generates a text-only version by magically extracting what it thinks is the plain text from my HTML. Which wouldn't be good in the first place ("Did it do it correctly? How would I know, there's no easy way to see what it's doing."), and is a particular problem because my HTML doesn't have any text to display! Yes, I know that deliberate, pixel-perfect design is frowned upon these days, but I have my reasons.

 

Occasional Organizer

Note: I was able to work around the lack of a specified, not-auto-generated text-only version by sticking a DIV with 'display: none' at the very top of message (after the BODY tag, before the [[TrackingImage]] thing) and filling said div with text (broken up by P tags) to keep it all from wrapping together into one giant paragraph).

 

Text-only users will see a nicely formated text at the top, followed by a number of blank lines (also inserted into the invisible DIV), followed by a pile of gibberish (the IMG links from my HTML version) that can't be hidden.

 

So it's hardly ideal, or a proper substitute for an actual Text-Only editor version and editor (and ability to Preview same!), at least I can send this month's newsletter... so yay.