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Send both text and html based email

Is it possible to send an email containing two formats: html and text.  If the recipient opens it in Outlook or some other web mail it will display the html version.  But if they happen to check it with some device/application which does not support html email it will default to the text version.

We need to send confirmation emails.  It is best to always send a text based email for this purpose?  I recently purchased a laptop from Dell and the receipt came in html format.  But a lot of other products I purchase are usually text based.
Confirmation Sender
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
You can do this by setting the MIME type to multipart/alternative. If you Google that then you should get some pointers.
John Topley Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Yes, it is possible, but plain text emails are vastly preferable over HTML emails for any purpose, including confirmation emails. If nothing else, the presence of HTML leads to an increased spam score in some spam filters.

Personally, I dislike HTML emails because it is simply unnecessary and wasteful.
Jeroen Bouwens
Thursday, February 07, 2008
I agree that html mail is wastefull. That is why I only use Gopher and not the wasteful html websites.

Thursday, February 07, 2008
If you are interested in acquiring or developing that capability in C# or Visual Basic then the following page might interest you:

In the examples at the bottom of the page there is a 'Plain Text' only example, an 'HTML' only example and a combined 'Plain Text' and 'HTML' example.
Mike Green
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Sound like you need to read this book:
IT guy
Thursday, February 07, 2008
A little off topic I know, but what the hell!

Anytime someone mentions HTML emails on forums or blogs, a small but vocal minority weigh in on how wasteful/terrible/pick-your-own-negative-adjective they are. This is just NOT true. I used to buy into this crap, mainly because so many 'vocal' people said so, but I've found that the evidence swings the other way.

I'm involved in a number of websites that sell to non-technical people. Which translates as: wouldn't even know what a HTML email was. We send emails to existing customers every 2 months or so, outlining the new product range, special offers, etc. Initially, when these emails were sent as plain text, sales and revenue generated was very small. As soon as we turned to HTML emails (embedded images, logos, tables, etc.) sales shot up by a factor of 5. It just looks more professional.

Do not listen to the plain text purists on this. HTML emails work. Most users (not all) like them, in the same way that most users would prefer to read a properly constructed web page, rather than a text file.

By all means, send your emails in both formats, but to my mind, the antagonism you often find over HTML emails comes almost exclusively from people who would never buy your product anyway. They'd sooner spend 10 hours configuring open source software that does 50% of what they need, rather than spend $30 on software that does 90% of what they need.

This is a perfect example of where advice from 'techie' forums can lead you astray. Listen to the evidence, not the 'expert' advice.
B.K. Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2008
B.K. is right. HTML gets much better response rates than text alone. It doesn't matter that we geeks hate it and would never use it; you've got to do what actually works.
Nate Silva Send private email
Thursday, February 07, 2008
+1 B.K.
Thanks for that input.
KooKoo Kachoo
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

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