Dealing with Plain-Text Email Recipients

June 20, 2017 Perkuto

Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon and Caryl Mostacho, all Senior Consultants at Perkuto, responded to user questions during Perkuto Public Office Hour. Amarjit asked them how to manage plain text emails. Amarjit reports that the html links are being stripped, probably on the client-side server, as a security measure, for example, when subscribers have a government email address. They receive the emails but aren’t able to click through. 

Plain Text Emails

Caryl hasn’t seen this happen personally, so she recommends that the full URL be placed in the content, since she doesn’t know what mechanism is stripping the links on the user’s end.  Ashley has experienced this and says that whenever you’re emailing users at government domains, put the URL in brackets for a registration page or download page instead of placing a hyperlink so they still have the information. Amarjit, however, is concerned about this solution. He doesn’t want the email to look ugly or unprofessional for subscribers who are able to see the html version. Caryl agrees, and says it’s going to be tough to get around. She recommends leveraging things like dynamic contents so that the non html users can get a different version of the email that has a different format so that the call-to-action is legible and clearly defined in the absence of hyperlinks.

In addition to Caryl and Ashley’s responses, it’s worth noting that one of the main difficulties in marketing to clients who can only access plain-text emails is that tracking pixels aren’t accessible, so marketers won’t know if an email has been read.  Setting up a separate list for plain-text recipients may mean creating custom URLS to track their activity once they click through.  Marketo allows you to set up tracked links for text-only recipients, and it does take a little more time to manage a separate list but if a significant portion of your clients are on servers that strip the html content from their emails, then it may be worth the extra steps to create plain-text versions for those clients. 

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