Emailing users - plain text necessary or does everyone receive html?

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
I have been emailing users using plain text, on the assumption that some people do not have html email clients or have heavy spam filters that get flagged by html.

Is this still the case in 2020, I would ,love to be sending html newsletters but am wary in case this doesn't work for a significant perctanteg of members.

Any thoughts? Thanks
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
What tool are you using to send your newsletters?
xenforo

There is a choice of either html or plain text (unlike mailchimp that lets you compose html and a plain text alternative for those who do not receive html)
 

Sim

Well-known member
XenForo does automatically generate a text-compatible version by stripping the HTML tags from the body - is that not good enough?

1579032130205.png

I just googled a few articles about whether plain text emails are still necessary now and one of them made a very good point - with the advent of smart watches, we now need to convey messages to people who have a very small screen device and won't be able to view rich HTML emails.

That being said, I don't know anyone who would want to read a newsletter on a smart watch!

There are some people who choose to view their emails in text-only mode, but I think the mail clients that 99% of users are using are quite capable of displaying HTML (smart watches notwithstanding).

Personally, if I was that concerned about it and the auto-generated text version from XenForo was not good enough, then I would go ahead and start using a 3rd party tool like MailChimp.

Otherwise, I think the percentage of people who would find XenForo's emails unreadable would be so small that it's not worth worrying about?

Would be interested to hear the perspective of other forum owners who send newsletters!
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
XenForo does automatically generate a text-compatible version by stripping the HTML tags from the body - is that not good enough?
I don't know , maybe I need to test it and see what happens. Problem is I haven't found a way to do that. In mac mail I can compose in plain text but haven't found a way to set it to read only plain text
 

Sim

Well-known member
Most mail clients allow you to view the original email source (eg in Gmail, you can do "show original" from the menu) - you should be able to see the rendered plain text version there. It's not quite as good as a proper mail client rendering text emails - but it should give you an idea about how it will look.

The trick is to look for the multipart boundary ... eg in the header below:

Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="_=_swift_v4_1579034730_f2b96e72ba9c394922b34e057a9af763_=_"

The string used for the boundary is the delimiter between the plain text and HTML versions of the email.

The = at the end of lines is a soft line break - the mail client would handle that.

The following email is the notification email I received about your post. You'd want to test it on your newsletter emails to see how they get rendered as plain text.

Code:
Subject: Emailing users - plain text necessary or does everyone receive html? - New reply to watched thread
From: XenForo community <contact@xenforo.com>
To: Sim <simon@_______>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="_=_swift_v4_1579034730_f2b96e72ba9c394922b34e057a9af763_=_"

--_=_swift_v4_1579034730_f2b96e72ba9c394922b34e057a9af763_=_
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Mr Lucky (https://xenforo.com/community/members/mr-lucky.60988/) replied to=
 a thread you are watching at XenForo community (https://xenforo.com/commun=
ity/).

****** Emailing users - plain text necessary or does everyone receive html?=
 (https://xenforo.com/community/posts/1397030/) ******

Sim said:
XenForo does automatically generate a text-compatible version by stripping =
the HTML tags from the body - is that not good enough?
I don't know , maybe I need to test it and see what happens. Problem is I h=
aven't found a way to do that. In mac mail I can compose in plain text but =
haven't found a way to set it to read only plain text

View this thread (https://xenforo.com/community/threads/emailing-users-plai=
n-text-necessary-or-does-everyone-receive-html.175002/unread?new=3D1) - Wat=
ched threads (https://xenforo.com/community/watched/threads)

Please do not reply to this message. You must visit the forum to reply.

This message was sent to you because you opted to watch the thread Emailing=
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ro.com/community/threads/emailing-users-plain-text-necessary-or-does-everyo=
ne-receive-html.175002/) at XenForo community with email notification of ne=
w replies. You will not receive any further emails about this thread until =
you have read the new messages.

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you may disable emails from =
this thread (https://xenforo.com/community/email-stop/4264/content?t=3Dthre=
ad&id=3D175002&c=3D000) or disable all emails =
(https://xenforo.com/community/email-stop/4264/all?c=3D000).

-----------------------------

Visit XenForo community: https://xenforo.com/community/

--_=_swift_v4_1579034730_f2b96e72ba9c394922b34e057a9af763_=_
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang=3D"en-US" dir=3D"LTR">
<head>

...
 

Mr Lucky

Well-known member
OK thanks I'll try that. It's all those = signs that kind of render it a bit gibberishly.

So if I look at raw source, is that exactly how people with plain text email clients are seeing it?
 

Sim

Well-known member
So if I look at raw source, is that exactly how people with plain text email clients are seeing it?
Yes, pretty much - text is text.

Some clients might do auto-linking of URLs, but that won't change the message because there's no link text, it will only ever show the raw URL regardless of whether it converted to a link or rendered plain.
 
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