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how to set up an html newsletter

html newsletter design

     
3:13 pm on Nov 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'm am faced with having to design my first html newsletter. I'm mac based and I use Dreamweaver/Fireworks to design web sites.

I've never set up an html newsletter so I was wondering how to approach it. Do I design the newsletter in Dreamweaver and somehow import it into an email provider like Outlook Express. The client is determined to have an html newsletter, even though a plain text would be more practical.

Any help would be appreciated!

4:15 pm on Nov 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Hi, zoebella, I'm not sure if I understand the problem correctly, but would changing the background color work? The content could be in a table set to a different color. Or have I missed the boat entirely? :)
4:28 pm on Nov 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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everything I've read says 400 or a little over is the right width.

I think narrower is better - this will probably not be viewed in the same space as a traditional web page, so you want to be sure (in my opinion) that the entire width is viewable in the preview pane of an e-mail client. If you're using 800 X 600 as your "default" resolution, I think that would point to something in the 400 - 450 px range.

Of course, the client is always right - at least mine are ;)

6:27 pm on Nov 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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zoebella, Your client is nuts.

But malicious obedience may the way to go. Set it up at 600 and if there are any complaints, he can pay you to change it back to 415.

6:50 pm on Nov 19, 2002 (gmt 0)

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One other thing you can do (for IE at least) is in the BODY tag of the HTML mail set the 4 margins (top, bottom, left & right) to zero, and do a background colour or image as previously mentioned.

That way, you would have literally NO space around the edges and you can still use a centred table if you want for the actual text of the mail.

7:42 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Yet another reason not to send or received HTML email.

[informationweek.com...]

8:22 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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To be honest, I DETEST html emails.

Their biggest trick is to include a transparent GIF of 1 pixel size hosted elsewhere. By checking who pulls in this image they can see who's opening their mails.

ActiveX is an abomination I disable immediately on any IE installation.

Java and JavaScript are good stuff but again I switch them off.

Text emails are the only safe option.

10:27 pm on Nov 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I throw out just about all HTML email because I know from experience its 99% likely to be spam.
12:10 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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its 99% likely to be spam.

Or well formatted mail including tables, spreadsheet data, color for clarity, bulleted indents and other items to make it usable for the reader. ;)

I guess if your communication needs are simple (no disrespect intended) plain text may work well. I often have to send clients fairly lengthy and detailed e-mails which often include every element I listed above. Or I could mail them a letter. I prefer HTML mail.

But as I said earlier, those who don't like HTML mail, really don't like HTML mail.

As useful as it is for me to send it, it is tempting to turn off the option to receive HTML mail, though ;)

1:11 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Reasons why you should give your readers the option of choosing for themselves:

  • According to Jupiter Media Metrix, 60% of online users have the ability to receive and read HTML e-mail.

  • Jupiter's testing has shown that HTML messages deliver twice the response, on average, of plain text e-mails.

  • Valentine Radford's study of US Internet User Attitudes Towards Commercial E-Mail Formats yielded the following perspective:

    72% enjoy rich media email
    60% prefer HTML e-mail over text

    The bottom line is this... let your own readership decide. Anything else is folly.

    Folks that dislike HTML tend to be very passionate about it, while those that are HTML friendly have far less vested in the issue, while quietly clicking the rich format box as they subscribe in droves.

    All too often I see publishers swayed by a handful of strongly stated views in public forums. While every voice is valid and worthy of consideration, these are hardly the views that matter most.

    All that matters is the view of your readers.

    By offering both formats, you won't alienate the passionate anti-html brigade, while still reaping the rewards of all that rich format publishing can offer to those that prefer it.

    If the above seems to suggest that I am an evangelist for HTML email, you couldn't be more wrong. Like many of you here, I prefer text. :)

    To me, savvy marketing means not discarding out of hand the awesome branding power, response rate, and increased revenue potential that HTML can deliver based on any perpective other than that of our own readership.

    Savvy marketing also means, on many occasions, learning how to look past our own preferences and think of our audience first.

    Amateurs guess. Professionals test.

    And testing is something I definitely am and evangelist for. ;)

  • 2:21 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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    I don't really test - I do send out plain text and HTML versions for bulk mail... Although I am about to start testing by putting trackers in to see how many people actually view the mail on-line in HTML. I've frittered away a perfectly good Friday evening getting that set-up correctly.

    No sinister purposes - just want to see if people are getting the message the way I intended.

    I do think you are right about the preferences of the audience - there are many super-geeks who frequent this site who assume that because they surf the web in a certain way, that everyone surfs the web, or reads e-mail, or whatever, the same way (not that I've ever fallen victim to that sort of thinking ;)).

    In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who has helped clients with a computer problem knows the denizens of this community are the exceptions to just about every rule you will find in the general net population.

    And we all think differently, which keeps it interesting ;)

    5:38 am on Nov 30, 2002 (gmt 0)

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    zoebella, Outlook Express/Entourage on the Mac will let you create HTML email only in a real limited way. So instead just download the latest version of Netscape (anything version 6+) or Mozilla. Netscape or Mozilla will let you paste in your HTML source code and you'll be off and running.
    4:27 pm on Dec 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

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    Our company has been sending HTML and text versions for awhile. We love Verticalresponse. It is about as cheap as you can get. Pay per mailing (no contracts :) ) They will manage your email signups, bounces and opt-outs for free. Fabulous tracking. And best of all, super, super, super easy to use. Write you HTML & text and just cut & paste or use their templates.

    I would highly recommend testing. We've tested just about everything you can. Getting tracking results is really important. It will let you know if you are ticking off your subscribers or not.:)

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