As a developer, I have always hated doing plain text versions of email, cursing Blackberry users along the way. They were the annoying the little thing that I always forgot until the last minute. I have used premailer.dialect.ca week in, week out for years – it takes a lot of the pain out, but it’s still a low point of the day, tidying up links, adding in rows of ———————————, replacing bullet points with ‘>’, taking out any footnotes that refer to images ZZZzzzz
I had always hoped that ONE DAY we would no longer have to worry about plain text versions as no one bloody reads them! Just a note for anyone unaware, the reason we bother to do all this seemingly tedious nonsense is because if you don’t include a text version alongside your html email it can affect deliverability – Like bad code, or lack of engagement by the recipient it’s just a way to cut out laziness which is a big trait of spammers.
So to my horror I found myself writing a blog post back in December predicting the return of the plain text email due to wearable tech like the Apple Watch. And yes I was right, they aren’t idiots, the Apple Watch does in fact favour plain text.
So it will likely be worth optimising text versions now for Apple watch (other smart watches are available). It won’t take a lot of effort, reduce your character count in your preheader, and copy your main CTA to just below it (above your unsub and view online links). The rest of the email sits below that as normal.
And as the way spam is scored is changing, (they’re trying to not punish so much of the good along with the bad) it probably won’t be long that an optimised text version will become a good thing in the scorers eyes.