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I personally don't think HTML newletters are a very good idea... but if you want to offer one, your subscription process could include two options: let users check whether they'd like the HTML version or the text version... depending on which box they checked, their name would be written to separate databases. Then you could mail the HTML verison to the folks who signed up for that option, and have a separate text version to mail out to the 'text-only' database.
Here's a link to the W3C conventions for HTML email [w3.org]. Good luck with your project.
I personally set my mail client to text-only a while back, as have many people I know. So, I'd say mivox has given you good counsel.
I create one email newsletter for a client, but we do a text only mailing with links to specially created web pages for the highly formatted information. This can be another easy alternative, if you feel the message needs to be dressed up visually, and it avoids lots of pitfalls. But even so, AOL addresses can be a problem, so heads up on that one.
Many people (like us) have HTML turned off in our email progs,, to save on donlad times, gratuitous multi media adverts and possible js virals.
Some people (like us) just dont subscribe to newsletters where HTML is the only option.
We serve all our own newsletters in plain text. URL's are still clickable in both Eudora and Outlook at least.
Email is much better in plain text... and is one reason why it is the most popular interent application. let the design artists stick to the Web.
My feeling is any extra advantage from HTML email is lost, and then a lot more.. from the loss of functionality..
They're clickable in Netscape Mail too. If you have a LOT of AOL subscribers, you may want to take the extra steps to make sure you have AOL clickable URLs... but otherwise, a plain text email with links to online HTML content would be best, I think.