Is there any tracking available with plaintext only emails? At least opens?

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I sent an email as plaintext only (end users have strict firewalls) and there are NO metrics available for this email. I understand that tracking clicks probably isn't possible but it would be very helpful to at least know if the emails were opened. This market has a very low open rate normally and we need to know if this is due to firewalls blocking HTML emails or something else.
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Chinook Medical Gear

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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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Hey there! The links in the plaintext version of your email will remain trackable as long as you don't edit them or add them directly in the plaintext version view of your mailing, meaning they simply carry over from the HTML view. Opens aren't tracked in the traditional sense, since there are no images to download. If a contact received the plaintext version of an email, an open would only be tracked if they also clicked a link!
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Chinook Medical Gear

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That is helpful but I think that the plaintext version will be relatively useless to us. The reason I used it is because we are sending these emails to the military and they have told us that the emails arrive as jumbled nonsense. The trackable links in the plaintext version are very awkward (the actual text that would be seen in the HTML version is buried somewhere in the middle so it does not read well) so I remove the HTML links and put in my own.

Know what they click on is not AS important as knowing if they opened the email. Is there anyway around this?
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Emily Hollingsworth, Alum

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There isn't a workaround in place for this. The plaintext links need to remain intact as carried over from the HTML in order to be trackable and for Emma to recognize those clicked links to count them as opens. 

Is it primarily the images in your HTML that aren't coming through for this audience? Depending on what you mean by "jumbled," I wonder if it would be worth building a very simple email specifically for this audience, essentially building a plaintext looking email in the HTML to improve how that email comes across. You could even list your links out there rather than hiding them, allowing you to better control how they look. 
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Chinook Medical Gear

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We could try building a template just for our military customers but they change and update their firewalls pretty regularly so I don't have much confidence that it would remain viable for very long.

Even if I keep an HTML generated link, we still won't get a good idea of how many people open b/c the number of clicks never equals the number of opens. Very disappointing but we are probably in the minority with our need for good plaintext emails.