As yet another client asks me about the best way for them to implement an email newsletter system, I find myself taking a step back and looking at the whole issue afresh. Some of my thoughts are below and I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas.
A kind of Dos and Don'ts list might even be helpful. I'll start with a couple.
Use dedicated email newsletter/mailmerge software.
Just add your customer database to Outlook and press the send button.
Consider the Pros and Cons of using HTML embedded in the newsletter. It may look great in some email clients, but it will come out as a complete mess in others. Also, some firewalls, security software will bounce it. Consider using plain text, it won't look as good, but it will be readable.
Use use complex formatting or attach non-standard file types.
Think about if you really need to send all this information to your clients/members? Would it be more useful to just write a few lines and then link to more detailed information on your web site? Perhaps consider attaching a PDF?
Embed Flash, high resolution PDFs or JPEGs.
What do people think of those I've started with? In particular the text versus html argument?