Email - Message Body (also known as Content)

1 - About

The last part of the email message is called the body or the content of the message and is what the user will see.

3 - Format

An email have a content with a mime type that is set with the mime email header.

If the content mime type is a multipart type:

  • the email body content is then composed of multiple part that have also a mime type
  • otherwise the content is composed only of one part

3.1 - Multipart

Multipart. ie an email may be composed of several part where each part has another associated mime (format)


  • multipart/alternative when sending HTML and TEXT
  • multipart/mixed when sending TEXT and attachments.

3.1.1 - Alternative

The format of advanced designed email are created in special email html document but plain text is always added in the message as fallback because:

  • not every email client support html
  • or not every user want to see fancy email page

The content of the various parts are interchangeable. Te client will show the LAST part if possible.

A body is then composed of a content that has the mime type multipart/alternative where:

  • the HTML part is shown if possible
  • otherwise, the plain-text part is shown

See RFC2046 (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types) for details of the structure of such a message.

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