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When sending emails to users of your system, it’s important that clients be able to read your messages. Even with modern technology advancements, not all email clients support HTML –some users actually prefer text messages. For this reason, it is important that we deliver content that a standard email (non-HTML) client can read. One way of doing this is by delivering a multi-part MIME message with alternate body parts –one part being a standard email, and another being an HTML message. It is then up to the email client to display the richest part that it can render.

Starting with 2.0, the .NET Framework includes an AlternateView class, exactly for this purpose. Following is the code necessary to send a multi-part MIME message containing both standard and HTML parts:

static void SendMessage()
    SmtpClient client = new SmtpClient("");
    MailMessage message = new MailMessage();
    AlternateView plainMessage = AlternateView.CreateAlternateViewFromString("This is a plain text message.", null, "text/plain");
    AlternateView htmlMessage = AlternateView.CreateAlternateViewFromString("This is an <b>HTML</b> message.", null, "text/html");

    // Basic message properties
    message.From = new MailAddress("");
    message.Subject = "Alternate View Test";

    // Add the alternate views to the message


Posted on Wednesday, August 12, 2009 9:53 AM | Back to top

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