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So, what is email? It's what shows up in my inbox, right? Well, not exactly. Like web pages, email is both content and code used to organize and display that content. In this video, let's explore exactly what HTML email and plain text email are made of, and how it impacts your email deliveries. If you don't know, the Internet is made up of interlocking standards for web pages, email, video, and all the rest. There are two types of email: plain text and HTML.
These are called MIME types, for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. MIME describes his standards for creating and sending email on the Internet. You might see the HTML version or the plaintext version and not realize that hidden in the exact same email is the other version. All email, whether it's text or HTML, is made up of certain blocks. The first block that you'll see in the code is the header data. The second significant block is the content type description for the email, and a boundary definition.
This definition number is unique to each email, and you'll notice when I highlight this number, Notepad++ highlights all the other instances. In other words, this boundary is being used to separate the text email portion from the HTML email portion and then end the definition of the email. Here we have the first boundary, and right beneath it we defined this portion of the email as a text email. Now, we put in text email here.
That content will look something like this, a very straightforward text email. Then we set the boundary again within our email. This time we define it as text HTML, and then we put the HTML underneath this boundary, and that HTML will look something like this. Finally, we close off the boundary for the bottom of the email.
Every single multipart email that includes an HTML email and a text email has this basic structure. If you want to help yourself avoid being labeled as a spammer, you will send a text email version of every HTML email you send, and the reason is that most spammers don't bother to send text email versions. Now that we understand the basic structure of a multipart email that contains both text and HTML, let's look at an actual email.
Now, this is not meant to frighten anybody, but let's look at the structure. If you notice--we'll scroll down here, all the way down to here--this corresponds in our structure to the mail header data. This information is simply giving you the date the message was sent, where it was sent, who it was sent to, all of the information about this email. And notice here we have our content type defined as multipart, the same structure as here.
And if we were to scroll down in this email, you would find the bottom of the text email right here. This is the border where the HTML email starts. This is the border for the text email. And down at the very bottom of the email is the last instance of this marker that defines the areas of our email.
Happily, we don't have to dig any further into MIME types to understand that when we send an HTML email, we also should send a plain text version.
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