Plain Text Version

How can I find out how many of my email recipients are actually looking at my plain text version?

I know, this should only be a tiny percentage, but is there a way to find out how many?

I would like to find out if I should start putting some info into the Plain Text version, since I am focused on the HTML only at the moment.


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I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner than this. Unfortunately there isn't any way to track views of your text version. Publicaster tracks opens or views the same way that every other ESP does. The process is very standard. To track opens you insert a blank 1x1 image somewhere in the HTML version of the email and then for those clients who view the HTML version with images enabled requests for that image are logged in your account. The text version does not contain any images, and therefor there are no means for tracking those views.

I have one idea that you might try to give you some idea of how many people are viewing your plain text version. If you make the assumption that your click to open ratio would be the same or similar in the HTML and Text versions, then you might try including unique URLs in the text version that aren't found in the HTML version. If you used unique URLs in your text version, maybe you just append &version=T to all your text links, (please test to make sure this doesn't break anything for you first), then you could count the clicks for those links and extrapolate an estimation how many views the plain text version might have received.

I would definitely try to include a plain text version of your email in all your distributions if possible, even if it's bare-bones and mainly contains a link to the web version. One thing I've seen in my own experience is that with Apple's mobile devices the plain text version is used to create the preview listing and then when you select the email to view it the HTML version is displayed.

Publicaster Product Manager



Thanks for your response, Mark.

I really like your idea with the unique URL in the text version and I am going to test that sometime.

Regarding Apple's mobile devices: I just tested one of our emails on an iPhone 4 trough "Mail". It showed the pre-header text from the html version as the preview.
Was there a specific Apple device, that you've experienced this problem?


The iPhone 3G uses the plain text version in the preview.  My comment about Apple devices was not really meant as a comment on their devices specifically, instead it was just a general comment that the plain text version sometimes appears in places that you don't anticipate which is why its a good idea to give it some attention.


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