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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I was thinking of having a HTML based newsletter. I could make it look really nice, and it would stand out from the traditional text newsletter.

    However, there are still people using older e-mail clients. What amount of people would miss out on the HTML. I am not sending a text version because it would be too much work, but instead I will point to the archived version of the newsletter.

    Also: Is this a wise decision in the first place?

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  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Having HTML e-mails could do other things.....besides looking good. For instance, I could include a poll inside the newsletter, have banner ads, and run other things inside the newsletter besides just content.

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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure most users support HTML email...so I'd go for it...it's always been my feeling that you have to take a step forward and put out a more attractive product even if it means leaving a few people behind...same deal with designing for a 800x600 resolution these days, as I'm starting to do more often.



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  4. #4
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    I would go with text only.
    One concern about using 'enriched' email is, that the HTML code increases the download time for the user. If you really have to use HTML in your newsletter, you should at least provide a text-only version as well. This shouldn't be too hard to implement. (Just write a little script, that strips the HTML tags and does some formatting)
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>you have to take a step forward and put out a more attractive product even if it means leaving a few people behind<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    I agree with this, sometimes you have to make compromises, but: Does an HTML email have to be a more attractive product? I subscribed to so many newsletters, that actually hindered quick reading by their use of fancy colors, tables, images etc.
    Your main goal should be usability. Does it help your readers, if you send out the newsletter in the format you want, or does in only look good. For more information on this, I suggest Jakob Nielsen's www.useit.com.

    Johannes

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  5. #5
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    [This message has been edited by jbb (edited June 07, 2000).]

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    But, a few knowledgable people (and most Webmasters know a lot) use command-line mail clients on Linux and I'd bet that the number would be even higher in your case.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    trcfreebies,

    You're absolutely right...I say go ahead with an HTML newsletter...all newsletters will be in HTML (or something like it) eventually...



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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I don't follow.

    Even if some people use command-line mail clients, the number is surely few. They have most likely recieved HTML e-mails in the past, too. In either case, I would have a text version on the site (linked at the top of the newsletter).

    It seems like I am stuck on HTML format side now, I guess that is what I will go with.

    Please let me know your opinions though!

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  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I also agree with TWTComish...newsletters would eventually typically be in another format (besides text only). In fact, I am surprised how many newsletters are still sent out in text only format.

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by trcfreebies:
    I also agree with TWTComish...newsletters would eventually typically be in another format (besides text only). In fact, I am surprised how many newsletters are still sent out in text only format.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think most are still sent out in plain text because the majority of newsletters are smaller and use systems like ListBot, Topica or eGroups...and as far as I know none of these offer and HTML option...that's likely a big part of it...if you want to send out an HTML newsletter you either have to do so in something like MS Outlook, or you have to use a newsletter script...(like MailMachine - http://www.mikesworld.net if anyone is interested).




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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Even though my email client supports HTML, I still object to recieving HTML newsletters. Offer your subscribers a choice when they sign up. That's what I am doing on my site

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    It's definetly good to have a choice...but honestly: what on earth is the harm of an HTML newsletter, assuming it doesn't take forever to load?



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    Chris Bowyer
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard
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    As far as I know most MUAs don't support HTML email. The ones that do (that I can recall now) are Netscape Messenger, Outlook, QuickMail (simple html only), Eudora, and any other ones integrated with a browser.

    Also HTML email can potentially crash the whole computer or just the app (if you're in a protected enviroment like Win2k or Linux) if there was a Java- or VBscript that went like...
    sub neverending {
    neverending();
    }
    OR...
    while(1) {
    //something simple
    }
    Those both crash IE5 and IE5.5 and Outlook's HTML mail reader is just essentially an IE OCX. I'm sure Netscape Messenger would also be affected.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Originally posted by d3v:
    The ones that do (that I can recall now) are Netscape Messenger, Outlook, QuickMail (simple html only), Eudora, and any other ones integrated with a browser.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Doesn't this make up almost 100% of the audience anyway?

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