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Someone asked us last week on Twitter: “Are text versions still relevant?”. Text versions, or plain text versions, are emails which don’t contain any graphics, images or formatting.

Before 2010, they were particularly useful for emails sent to Blackberry users and some other email clients which handled text much better than HTML.

Is there any advantage in using plain text versions now?

As of 2016, all major email clients render HTML on all devices – so their main advantage has diminished.

However, some spam filters still like to see a text version of your campaign alongside your HTML (this is called multi-part MIME), aiding your deliverability. Not only that but plain text versions are important for accessibility. Text versions can be read aloud to those with visual or cognitive impairments, who may otherwise struggle with HTML.

Some people may even prefer plain text; especially if they’re scanning it for use, where visual impact is second to content. The 2016 Litmus Report also shows that the Apple Watch is making plain text important again!