Design and Workflow Blog

Designing for a branded email's text only version

How to account for your email design's text-only output.

An example email design and its text only version.

Example of the text only version of a branded email.

When you send out a branded email, a text-only version is normally included in the email’s header information. Your email provider will usually automate a text-only output from your design. If something doesn't look right in the automated output however, you'll have to manually do some clean up and ensure content is accurate to your email's design.

Here are some tips to help ensure your email's template design outputs well automatically so it requires little to no manual review altogether.

Best practices

As you design your email, keep in mind proper content reading flow. How content elements are laid out left to right, top to bottom determines the order they appear as text only. You can use your email's mobile view for reference as it will usually have the same content flow.

When coding, be sure to use semantic code. This allows content types like headlines to be highlighted a certain way in the text-only formatting.

And of course, double check to make sure alt tags are included for your images and are descriptive. They will often be output in place of the images themselves.

What it looks like

Here’s an example text-only output of this newsletter email:

Plus: personalization, strategy, and common mistakes ** Organizing your email design process ------------------------------------------------------------ October 2022 ( Image: Team collaborating on design workflows ( 3 steps to make your email’s production more systemized: 1, set design goals; 2, maintain consistency; and 3, develop a framework for your work. Read the blog post → ( ** Captivating customer attention with email personalization ------------------------------------------------------------ A good overview of how to personalize emails along with some great examples of thoughtful personalized experiences. Watch video presentation → ( ** 10 email marketing strategy tips from G2's own email expert ------------------------------------------------------------ Email marketing strategy benefits and things to consider when building out your email marketing strategy. View guide → ( ** 10 more common email marketing mistakes — and solutions ------------------------------------------------------------ Common mistakes with fixes that are slightly more involved, but still very much worth your attention. View the list → ( Built and edited using Blocks Edit. © 2017-2022 Blocks Edit, 13415 N 20th St Unit 9, Phoenix, AZ 85022 You are receiving this because you signed up for the newsletter! Unsubscribe (#)

You can see how links are output immediately after a content piece along with alt text in place of images. Line breaks add spacing between content.

Some email providers may not include alt text for images in the output which you may want to check for. How headlines and line breaks are handled may also vary and may not always be ideal.

The Blocks Edit visual editor includes a text-only export option of your branded email that outputs image alt tags and formats content in a clean, easy-to-read format.

Photo of Ovi Demetrian Jr Ovi Demetrian Jr