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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!
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 ;)
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.
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.
Text emails are the only safe option.
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 ;)
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. ;)
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 ;)
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.:)