SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Why not send email newsletter as an image /graphic??

    Send newsletter as image?
    To circumvent any and all problems with email newsletters rendering on multiple clients/ platforms why not send the whole thing as a graphic?

    That way the recipient would get a screen shot of the newsletter. The graphic would be linked to the online version of the newsletter. Any “link” on the graphic would be linked to the online newsletter by virtue of the fact that the whole graphic is linked to the online version.

    The recipient would see the line below and directly underneath that the email as an image. If images are blocked or the recipients mail is set to text only then they will just see the link:


    Click to read the September newsletter: http://yyyzzz.com/newsletters/news-2...ember_2012.htm

    So, just do the newsletter in the usual way for example in a web editor, render it in the browser, do a screen shot, paste to graphics program, trim and save as an image.
    Put the HTML version on the web and put the image in the email just below the line above.


    Problem 1
    Letter is too long for one screen shot.
    Solution: Make 2 or three screen shots (images), all linked to the online version. The images should but up against each other (no spaces) and all appear as one newsletter.

    Problem 2
    One graphic will take too long to render.
    Solution: Same as 1

    Problem 3
    What about text only people and those with images blocked.
    Solution: They will see the link to click for the online version which is what they would see anyway with html newsletters that provide a link at the top

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,299
    Mentioned
    460 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    I'm not convinced that a link to another version is a viable justification for posting an image. You are telling people with images off, or text-only clients, or those using a screen reader that they don't count. You are relying on them being botherd to click the link and wait for another page/program to load up, too. It's not a real email, IMHO. And the point of communication primarily text, in my view. Anyhow, I do get emails from companies that are just a graphic, but I always see an email without images at first, and any that give me nothing without images loaded I delete with contempt.

    My 2c.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So the winner of community spirit of the year 2011 deletes with contempt...

    Settle down mate,
    1 "text only" comes out as times new ( looks great on paper and godawful on a screen) roman
    2 the vast majority of newsletters are html anyway and most provide a link to the online version (html) for text only folks, because if your email is set to text only you will usually see a mess
    and pictures
    a) tell a lot of the story (worth a thousand words they reckon)
    b) put you in a good frame of mind, 'cause it (hopefully) looks pleasant
    [Imagine a magazine with nothing but print. No one would buy it.]
    c) Even basic formatting without pics wont work in ascii - you wouldn't even see a coloured line of text
    Me little rant )

    So it seems there is no good reason why a one image newsletter would not work and it would smoothen up the whole process and mean recipients would all see the same thing.
    Anyone else have any input?
    Thank you

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    just noticed since joining in 2009 you have typed up 17,651 posts!!!
    wow! You live here! That's dedication

  5. #5
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,299
    Mentioned
    460 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rockerz View Post
    So the winner of community spirit of the year 2011 deletes with contempt...
    It's not based on how I behave outside the forums.

    Settle down mate
    No worries, I've had two months to settle down.

    the vast majority of newsletters are html anyway and most provide a link to the online version (html) for text only folks
    But only a small % of people have the time or interest to read marketing emails anyhow (you're lucky to get a 20% open rate) so I suspect even fewer are going to bother to click through to another version, wait for it to load ... and so on.

    because if your email is set to text only you will usually see a mess
    You should always build it so that it looks acceptable with images off, IMHO—especially as many people see it with images off initially anyhow.

    pictures ... tell a lot of the story (worth a thousand words they reckon)
    Not to someone who's blind, or has images off etc. (which is common in email clients).

    put you in a good frame of mind
    Possibly ... but with so many emails to get through, people probably don't care anyway. (Only the designer ogles over the design, usually. )

    Imagine a magazine with nothing but print. No one would buy it.
    They'll buy it if they want the content.

    Even basic formatting without pics wont work in ascii
    Not sure what you mean by that.

  6. #6
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    A Maze of Twisty Little Passages
    Posts
    6,316
    Mentioned
    60 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My mail client doesn't load images on default, fake images and links to them can contain viruses and other unwanted tracking related side-effects.

    I'd be very unlikely to wait for an image-only newsletter to download - I'd probably delete the email. I'd also be very unlikely to visit the site that sends me the (screenshot only) newsletter just with a link to see the actual newsletter. The email itself would also be mainly unsearchable too. You do not know what fonts I have chosen to view my emails in either.

    If they [sender] cannot present the content in a mainly textual fashion in an email they are wasting their time with me. Now if they sent me a mixed media email (mainly readable text and some illustrative images) and provided a link to an online alternative view (for email clients that may have difficulty with the layout) there would be a slim possibility I might consider looking.

  7. #7
    Community Advisor silver trophybronze trophy
    dresden_phoenix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    2,816
    Mentioned
    34 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    So the winner of community spirit of the year 2011 deletes with contempt...
    lol... so do I.


    So do many users, myself included.

    Security and the morals of accessibility aside, as a marketing/advertising/media professional, am often surprised by the fact that clients often assume their product/service is desired by default, as is they figured that (in the case of a newsletter, for example) these people were sitting by their computers all day, hitting their email-refresh... salivating... waiting to read it. I I assure you way more often than not this isn't the case. This no judgment on t the newsletter, btw, just an analysis of a statistical curve.. Your assumption should be: "I am not a particularly high priority, and how can I change that". Any additional hoop that you put a user through is just one more reason you give them to delete with contempt...or worse to make that their e default behaiviour. So the goal should be to have the newsletter read, not to merely deliver it to their email boxes. As you accurately noted, these kinda thing do have a low reply/readership rate even when the content is accessible, why lower the ROI even more?

  8. #8
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Argyll, Scotland
    Posts
    6,364
    Mentioned
    268 Post(s)
    Tagged
    5 Thread(s)
    I'm another one who has images off by default in my e-mail and deletes "newsletters" which consist of nothing else. And no, I don't use the link to visit the website to see what I'm missing. I'd actually be more likely to do that if I received a brief, text-only e-mail listing new products/articles/other items on the site that might interest me, with relevant links to each. Then I can decide which, if any, I want to follow.

    I would also have thought you risk alienating all those folk who now check their e-mail on their phones. (I don't.) Why make them waste time and bandwidth downloading huge images?

  9. #9
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,862
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Most mail programs are set to not load linked images by default (as spammers use such images to track who opens their spam).

    While most email programs will open an embedded image by default (most don't even provide a way to disable embedded images) such an email will be many times the size of equivalent text in most cases - and the image gets downloaded as a part of the email whether the person actually opens it or not.

    Of course some people set an upper size limit on allowing emails to download automatically and will examine the first couple of lines of text that is all that gets automatically downloaded for emails above their limit size before deciding whether to click on the link that downloads the rest. If your entire content is an image there will be no text for them to see to make the decision and so they'll probably delete the email rather than downloading it.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  10. #10
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,892
    Mentioned
    123 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rockerz View Post
    To circumvent any and all problems with email newsletters rendering on multiple clients/ platforms why not send the whole thing as a graphic?
    How about...

    (i) because lots of people won't be able to see the graphic at all
    (ii) because lots of people's email systems will automatically block it as spam
    (iii) because plenty of people who can see the image will have a screen/window the wrong size or shape and it won't fit
    (iv) because it's a massive bandwidth overload that people don't want in their email
    (v) because people who sign up to newsletters want to receive newsletters that sit in their inbox, and they don't want to have to load up a web page to perform basic functions like copying a line of text, or even just reading the wretched thing.

    That way the recipient would get a screen shot of the newsletter. The graphic would be linked to the online version of the newsletter. Any “link” on the graphic would be linked to the online newsletter by virtue of the fact that the whole graphic is linked to the online version.
    It then becomes much more difficult to give specific links within the newsletter, which you would have to do as an imagemap – are you really going to put the time in to set that up? Because if I clicked on what was clearly intended as a link to another site and all it did was open up the newsletter I was looking at in a browser, I would be mightily pissed off.

    Problem 1
    Letter is too long for one screen shot.
    Solution: Make 2 or three screen shots (images), all linked to the online version. The images should but up against each other (no spaces) and all appear as one newsletter.

    Problem 2
    One graphic will take too long to render.
    Solution: Same as 1
    Doesn't solve the problem of massive downloads, and doesn't solve the problem of people on mobiles who can't see the entire width of the graphic on their screen in one go.

    Problem 3
    What about text only people and those with images blocked.
    Solution: They will see the link to click for the online version which is what they would see anyway with html newsletters that provide a link at the top
    And they will wonder why they signed up for a newsletter from someone who is so inconsiderate and self-important that he thinks his pretty graphics are more important than their facility to read the newsletter in plain text.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockerz View Post
    So the winner of community spirit of the year 2011 deletes with contempt...
    The winner of the community spirit award knows how to interact with a community and develop a community spirit within that community, and he knows that if you treat your community with contempt and show no regard for their ease of interaction, they will likewise treat the community with contempt and will delete messages without reading them.

    Settle down mate,
    There's no call to be patronising and condescending when talking to someone who knows way more about the subject than you do and is highly respected here just because you don't agree with his response. If you want to remain an active member of these forums, you will treat all other members with respect.

    1 "text only" comes out as times new ( looks great on paper and godawful on a screen) roman
    Only if you have set your mail client up to display in Times New Roman. Most people are smarter than that.

    2 the vast majority of newsletters are html anyway and most provide a link to the online version (html) for text only folks, because if your email is set to text only you will usually see a mess
    and pictures
    a) tell a lot of the story (worth a thousand words they reckon)
    b) put you in a good frame of mind, 'cause it (hopefully) looks pleasant
    [Imagine a magazine with nothing but print. No one would buy it.]
    c) Even basic formatting without pics wont work in ascii - you wouldn't even see a coloured line of text
    Most email newsletters come in both plain text and HTML formats (multipart), meaning that people who can only see plain text emails can read the plain text emails (with the option to view the formatted version online if they prefer), and people who can read formatted emails get to read the formatted version. Someone who goes above-and-beyond would include a "plain text or HTML" choice in the sign-up to ensure that people got messages in the correct format. They key thing here is giving your readers the choice, rather than forcing them to fire up a web browser to read an email. There are plenty of times when I don't want to do that, I don't want to wait for it to load the page and download the pictures, I just want to read the content. Take that choice away from people and you've made it much less likely that they will want to engage with you in the future.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,283
    Mentioned
    51 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    My email client is called mutt. It's a bazillion times faster than that crap my old email address is on called Lycos. I'm signed up to newsgroups and mailing lists so there's just no way in hell I would get through them in time on any graphical web client. Those things are a pain in the butt to use, especially if you only have a trackpad.

    1 "text only" comes out as times new ( looks great on paper and godawful on a screen) roman
    No. See screenshots.
    2 the vast majority of newsletters are html anyway and most provide a link to the online version (html) for text only folks, because if your email is set to text only you will usually see a mess
    This is fine for me. If they send me HTML I get a bunch of HTML, which I usually don't bother trying to figure out where the actual text is between tags. Usually these emails are created in some horrid Microsoft product so there's a lot of mso-prefixed junk.

    [Imagine a magazine with nothing but print. No one would buy it.]
    I do, from time to time. Though they're usually a little thicker and have harder covers, and cost quite a bit more money than the things with the pictures in them. But the content is better.

    Here is my mail index. Victims' names smushed for protection:
    http://stommepoes.nl/mutt1.png

    Here is a newsletter I actually signed up for (99% of newsletters I get, I did not sign up for. I was merely unfortunate enough to have used the service once, long ago). You can tell they use some automated generator because this is a Dutch newsletter for Dutch-speaking people, but the default is English. Fail.
    http://stommepoes.nl/mutt2.png

    The link (smudged because we pay for it) is simply to a protected, normal HTML webpage on their site which has images and everything. Since the page is regular HTML, and expects to be seen by web browsers rather than email clients, they honestly didn't have to worry about making an HTML email that works in all clients. I assume they tried anyway, for those who want to read whole web pages in their mail client, but honestly I can't see myself enjoying that much.

    My bank sends me text newsletters. After each subject, there's usually a link to the bank site with more information about the whatever.
    http://stommepoes.nl/mutt3.png

    Instead of fighting the innumerable bad email clients, try Campaign Monitor instead.

  12. #12
    Barefoot on the Moon! silver trophy Force Flow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Northeastern USA
    Posts
    4,615
    Mentioned
    56 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Most mail programs are set to not load linked images by default (as spammers use such images to track who opens their spam).
    I use thunderbird and this is the default behavior.

    Unsolicited newsletters get deleted on sight.

    Stuff I subscribe to gets filtered into subfolders with various rules. I easily get a dozen a day. I usually skim the subjects and actually read maybe two out of the bunch. Out of those two, I sometimes load images on one of them (but only if I'm really interested).

    If a newsletter simply has a link to a webpage, I don't usually bother. Sending me an email with just a link in it is just laziness. If I'm not worth your time for even a summary or excerpt, you're certainly not worth mine.
    Visit The Blog | Follow On Twitter
    301tool 1.1.5 - URL redirector & shortener (PHP/MySQL)
    Can be hosted on and utilize your own domain

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sydney Australia
    Posts
    90
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you all for the trouble taken to answer in detail. I must confess I have not been here for a while. Yes, something like campaign monitor or mail chimp might be worth looking at as suggested. The email newsletter to which I refer is sent three times a year to people who have subscribed.
    Cheers,


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •