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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Coding HTML email newsletters

    Hi all, Does anyone know which email program or webmail is the most 'unforgiving' when it comes to reading html emails in a legible way please ?

    Some say Gmail has the less chance of reading an html email correctly, others say aol.

    Any ideas please ?

    Dez.

  2. #2
    Now available in Orange Tijmen's Avatar
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    You can find a nice list of html/css support for webmail and email clients on this site
    This article from Sitepoint would also be a good read - Code html email newsletters
    Travel Photos on Flickr - Twitter

    “Never give up. Never surrender”

  3. #3
    .•*º draziW tnioPetiS º*•. bronze trophy
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  4. #4
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    Many thanks Tijmen and Mhulse - it's appreciated.

    It seems as though Lotus notes is the one to code for - if it gets read ok in that one, it 'should' get read ok in the others ?

    Quite a few websites talk about multipart mime emails, so that the recipient can still read the email legibly, even when they have html switched off - but haven't seen any that actually show you how to construct them - anyone here come across a website that shows you how to do that please ?

    Dez.

  5. #5
    .•*º draziW tnioPetiS º*•. bronze trophy
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    Well, I would do that using PHP... basically send an HTML and Text version of the newsletter...

    I think this article covers multipart emails:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/print/advanced-email-php

  6. #6
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    Many thanks for that link Mhulse - I use Outlook 2003 to send emails - is it possible to use php somehow as well ?

    Any help appreciated.

    Dez.

  7. #7
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    Hi,

    I do not use Outlook, so I will do my best here...

    Found this on the net:

    Mistake #2: Trying to send HTML email with Outlook
    Lots of people try sending their HTML email newsletters with Microsoft Outlook, or Outlook Express. This is a big mistake. For starters, Outlook won't send your email in "multipart-alternative" format. Multipart format means that an HTML email is sent with a plain-text alternative embedded along with it. That way, if someone's email application can't read HTML email, the plain-text version displays instead. Also, Outlook will send all your images along as attachments, which won't always work. Images in HTML email must be hosted on a web server, and your HTML code should point to them with absolute paths. Add to all that the fact that Outlook won't help you track email clicks and opens, manage unsubscribes, or process and clean bouncebacks from your list. Finally, using your desktop email application to send email marketing campaigns is a bad idea because your ISP may suspend your account after a certain amount of bandwidth has been reached.
    http://www.mailchimp.com/resources/t...mistakes.phtml
    Sounds like Outlook does not play nice when it comes to multipart emails...

    This article looks like a good read:

    http://www.thinkvitamin.com/features/design/html-emails

    The comments look like they might have some good tips...

    I dunno, my first thought when I read your last post, was for you to useThunderbird... Great email app, and sounds like the best app to send multipart emails from.

    This article also looks good:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/cod...il-newsletters

    Hmmm, looks like what I would do is create your HTML and text version of your newsletter, then download Thunderbird, then combine and send that email from Thunderbird...

    Just found this:

    http://www.mailchimp.com/resources/templates/
    and a pdf

    Not sure if any good, but maybe worth a gander.

    Well, I am not finding any good info on Thunderbird atm... if I find anything I will post here... please do the same.

    If others know how to send multipart emails via Thunderbird, please let us know how.

    Cheers,
    Micky

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhulse
    Hi,

    I do not use Outlook, so I will do my best here...

    Found this on the net:



    Sounds like Outlook does not play nice when it comes to multipart emails...

    This article looks like a good read:

    http://www.thinkvitamin.com/features/design/html-emails

    The comments look like they might have some good tips...

    I dunno, my first thought when I read your last post, was for you to useThunderbird... Great email app, and sounds like the best app to send multipart emails from.

    This article also looks good:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/cod...il-newsletters

    Hmmm, looks like what I would do is create your HTML and text version of your newsletter, then download Thunderbird, then combine and send that email from Thunderbird...

    Just found this:

    http://www.mailchimp.com/resources/templates/
    and a pdf

    Not sure if any good, but maybe worth a gander.

    Well, I am not finding any good info on Thunderbird atm... if I find anything I will post here... please do the same.

    If others know how to send multipart emails via Thunderbird, please let us know how.

    Cheers,
    Micky
    Many, many thanks Micky. I had 2 of those links already, but I didn't know that Outlook wouldn't send multipart ;-(

    An interesting point about mailchimp, is that they don't include multipart in their templates either ? ? ! !

    Just to clarify where I am on this : the html emails that I send out equal about 20 a week, going to existing clients and maybe about 15 a week to potential clients and don't need any images etc within the emails, to let me know that they've received them.

    BTInternet.com seem to be mangle up my html emails - anyone here on BTInternet.com ?

    Perhaps we could start up a user group made up of people who were on the various email progs/webmail interfaces, where we tested html emails on each other ?

    Anyway Micky - you've been a great help on this - wouldn't it be great if we could get this solved ?

    All the best.

    Dez.

  9. #9
    .•*º draziW tnioPetiS º*•. bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dez
    Many, many thanks Micky. I had 2 of those links already...
    Doh! Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dez
    An interesting point about mailchimp, is that they don't include multipart in their templates either ? ? ! !
    Interesting. Hmm, well, maybe they rely upon folks to visit the newsletter online... for example, check out these newsletters:

    1. www.campaignmonitor.com
    2. www.statelinemmug.com
    3. outbreakadventureholidays.cmail1.com


    Notice the text at the top of each:

    1. If this message does not display correctly, click here
    2. View this newsletter online.
    3. If you have trouble reading this email, click here


    I do not currently subscribe to the above newsletters, so I am not sure exactly how they send their newsletters, but maybe just including "Click here if having troubles" at the top of your HTML newsletters will suffice?

    Ah, I do subscribe to Sitepoint newsletters, and here is what they put in the source of one of them:

    Code:
    ...
    ...
    (mail header info here)
    ...
    ...
    <html>
    <head>	
    <!--
    
    Your email client can not read HTML. To change your SitePoint Tribune
    subscription to the text version, go to:
    
    http://sitepoint.com/newsletter/textplease.php?email=my@email.com
    
    To unsubscribe, go to: http://sitepoint.com/newsletter/manage.php
    
    Don't worry about anything else below this paragraph.
    It's for those with HTML e-mail clients.
    
    -->
    <title>SitePoint Tribune</title>
    </head>
    ...
    ...
    (html body)
    ...
    Ah, so it looks like they have an option for one to recieve a "text only" version of their newsletter... good idea.

    So, maybe a combination of "Click here if having troubles" and a text-only version of the newsletter is the best way to go???

    Quote Originally Posted by Dez
    Perhaps we could start up a user group made up of people who were on the various email progs/webmail interfaces, where we tested html emails on each other ?
    I am game. If you want someone to test these things on, feel free to conact me off-forum... go to my profile and send me a personal email. I use Thunderbird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dez
    Anyway Micky - you've been a great help on this - wouldn't it be great if we could get this solved ?
    That would be nice! Hehe. Hopefully. I will keep posting back to this thread if I find-out more info.

    Have a good night, cheers,
    Micky.

  10. #10
    .•*º draziW tnioPetiS º*•. bronze trophy
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    Oh, also, another option might be to send a .pdf or .html attached version of your newsletter... like this:

    http://www.appleleaf.org/pdf/07-Page21.pdf

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Some good tips there Micky.

    One thing - they say to put absolute paths to images on your own domain - a lot of people read their emails off-line, so how would they see the image ? ?

    Dez.

  12. #12
    Guru Meditation Error gnarly's Avatar
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    They wouldn't - unless the mail client asked if they'd like to download them.
    Olly Hodgson
    thinkdrastic.net

  13. #13
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    Multipart emails in MailChimp

    I've been looking into MailChimp, and they can do the multipart configuration for you. You just paste the text-only version into the provided space in their web interface. Watch the demo movie linked from their home page.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the info wavelet - I did look through their site a while ago, but don't remember seeing the page you mention - can you let us know the exact website page for that demo please ?

    Dez.

  15. #15
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    The MailChimp demo movie

    Just go to http://mailchimp.com/ and click the "video tour" button at the top right, there on the home page. MailChimp has a lot of resources. I'm just playing around with the free trial currently, but I'm impressed with everything so far -- their Email Design Guide, their blog, their whole interface. I haven't used them for a mailing yet, but I'm reading practically everthing they have. I just ran across them in a link in a SitePoint article. Does anyone else have an opinion about MailChimp?

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Thanks for that link - I see it now, maybe I missed it before.

    It's a shame that Outlook 2003 isn't quite up to producing fully compatible MIME emails

    Dez.


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