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View Full Version : Sending html web page email.



trigger_tre
10-09-2007, 04:25 AM
My pastor asked me to help him with this. I have never experimented with it before so I did a few hours of research before posting for help here.

I run the website for our church. My Pastor is the new district leader in our region and will be heading up a newsletter soon. He has about 12 people he wants to send a newsletter to monthly. Because its such a small contact group, the contact list won't change, and I can host his images on the church website free, I didn't think there was a need to pay for a newsletter/distributer service.

I have tried to mess with this and for some reason all the tutorials I have read the past few hours don't include the step by step instructions I am looking for.

Here is an example of what I am looking for:
http://www.mailchimp.com/resources/templates/free_templates/html_email_newsletter_template_a.html

The source code for this:

<html>
<body leftmargin="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0" marginheight="0" offset="0" bgcolor='#99CC00' >

<STYLE>
.headerTop { background-color:#FFCC66; border-top:0px solid #000000; border-bottom:1px solid #FFFFFF; text-align:center; }
.adminText { font-size:10px; color:#996600; line-height:200%; font-family:verdana; text-decoration:none; }
.headerBar { background-color:#FFFFFF; border-top:0px solid #333333; border-bottom:10px solid #FFFFFF; }
.title { font-size:20px; font-weight:bold; color:#CC6600; font-family:arial; line-height:110%; }
.subTitle { font-size:11px; font-weight:normal; color:#666666; font-style:italic; font-family:arial; }
td { font-size:12px; color:#000000; line-height:150%; font-family:trebuchet ms; }
.sideColumn { background-color:#FFFFFF; border-right:1px dashed #CCCCCC; text-align:left; }
.sideColumnText { font-size:11px; font-weight:normal; color:#999999; font-family:arial; line-height:150%; }
.sideColumnTitle { font-size:15px; font-weight:bold; color:#333333; font-family:arial; line-height:150%; }
.footerRow { background-color:#FFFFCC; border-top:10px solid #FFFFFF; }
.footerText { font-size:10px; color:#996600; line-height:100%; font-family:verdana; }
a { color:#FF6600; color:#FF6600; color:#FF6600; }
</STYLE>



<table width="100%" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="0" bgcolor='#99CC00' >
<tr>
<td valign="top" align="center">

<table width="600" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
<tr>
<td style="background-color:#FFCC66;border-top:0px solid #000000;border-bottom:1px solid #FFFFFF;text-align:center;" align="center"><span style="font-size:10px;color:#996600;line-height:200%;font-family:verdana;text-decoration:none;">Email not displaying correctly? <a href="*|ARCHIVE|*" style="font-size:10px;color:#996600;line-height:200%;font-family:verdana;text-decoration:none;">View it in your browser.</a></span></td>

</tr>

<tr>
<td align="left" valign="middle" style="background-color:#FFFFFF;border-top:0px solid #333333;border-bottom:10px solid #FFFFFF;"><center><a href=""><IMG id=editableImg1 SRC="img/logo_2column.jpg" BORDER="0" title="Your Company" alt="Your Company" align="center"></a></center></td>
</tr>


</table>

<table width="600" cellpadding="20" cellspacing="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
<tr>

<td width="200" valign="top" style="background-color:#FFFFFF;border-right:1px dashed #CCCCCC;text-align:left;">
<span style="font-size:11px;font-weight:normal;color:#999999;font-family:arial;line-height:150%;">

<span style="font-size:15px;font-weight:bold;color:#333333;font-family:arial;line-height:150%;">Grooming Tips:</span><br>

Tick picking novice? Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, <a href="#">consectetuer adipiscing elit</a>. Sed at erat. Phasellus condimentum. Nullam sed magna. Donec quis tellus in neque congue porttitor. Proin sit amet ligula id leo porta rutrum.

<br>
<br>

<span style="font-size:15px;font-weight:bold;color:#333333;font-family:arial;line-height:150%;">Waterhole Dangers</span><br>
Watery oasis, or crocodilian cesspool from hell? As the dry season approaches, lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, <a href="#">consectetuer adipiscing elit</a>. Sed at erat. Phasellus condimentum. Nullam sed magna. Donec quis tellus in neque congue porttitor. Proin sit amet ligula id leo porta rutrum.

</span>
</td>


<td bgcolor="#FFFFFF" valign="top" width="400" style="font-size:12px;color:#000000;line-height:150%;font-family:trebuchet ms;">

<p>
<span style="font-size:20px;font-weight:bold;color:#CC6600;font-family:arial;line-height:110%;">Why Are Tigers So Mean?</span><br>
<span style="font-size:11px;font-weight:normal;color:#666666;font-style:italic;font-family:arial;">by Frederick Von Chimpenheimer</span><br>
Recent psychological studies and brain scans have shown that tigers have naturally violent tendencies toward chimpanzees. "There's sort of a banana-envy thing going on, which makes the average tiger very self-conscious around chimpanzees" says Dr. Chimpfried Brown. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, <a href="#">consectetuer adipiscing elit</a>. Sed at erat. Phasellus condimentum. Nullam sed magna. Donec quis tellus in neque congue porttitor. Proin sit amet ligula id leo porta rutrum. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In suscipit, pede a rutrum malesuada, lacus massa euismod neque, a hendrerit justo ante at eros. <a href="#">Clickitus heritus.</a>
</p>



<p>
<span style="font-size:20px;font-weight:bold;color:#CC6600;font-family:arial;line-height:110%;">Plantains vs. Bananas</span><br>

<span style="font-size:11px;font-weight:normal;color:#666666;font-style:italic;font-family:arial;">by Francine Chimperson</span><br>
Throwing a party? There's no better way to anger your dinner guests than by accidentally serving them plantains instead of bananas. Avoid the poo flinging with these handy guidelines. Plantains look like over ripe bananas, and must be cooked before eaten. Bananas are softer, and don't cook very well (they get mushy). In suscipit, pede a rutrum malesuada, lacus massa euismod neque <a href="#">Clickitus heritus.</a>
</p>

</td>


</tr>

<tr>
<td style="background-color:#FFFFCC;border-top:10px solid #FFFFFF;" valign="top" colspan="2">
<span style="font-size:10px;color:#996600;line-height:100%;font-family:verdana;">
*|LIST:DESCRIPTION|* <br />

<br />
<a href="*|UNSUB|*">Unsubscribe</a> *|EMAIL|* from this list.<br />
<br />
Our mailing address is:<br />
*|LIST:ADDRESS|*<br />
<br />
Our telephone:<br />
*|LIST:PHONE|*<br />
<br />

Copyright (C) 2007 *|LIST:COMPANY|* All rights reserved.<br />

<br />
<a href="*|FORWARD|*">Forward</a> this email to a friend

</span>
</td>
</tr>

</table>










</td>
</tr>
</table>






</body>
</html>

I could easily create the actual web page, but to get it to display in emails is a different story. Either I am missing a step or maybe its Yahoo.

I use yahoo, but it just recognizes the code as code and does not interpret it.

-trigger

rmedek
10-09-2007, 05:44 AM
Hello Trigger,

Constructing the HTML code isn't enough to send an HTML email…you need to either configure the server sending the mail to send it as HTML—you can do this by setting the headers in the script you are using—or constructing the email itself in something that supports sending HTML email.

How are you sending the email? That will determine what route to take.

trigger_tre
10-09-2007, 05:46 AM
Another hour of random testing....

Using yahoo!mail I sent the code to myself as an attachment. Viewing in yahoo!mail it displayed the page correctly.

How many of the big email clients does this method work with?

-trigger

trigger_tre
10-09-2007, 05:53 AM
Hello Trigger,

Constructing the HTML code isn't enough to send an HTML email…you need to either configure the server sending the mail to send it as HTML—you can do this by setting the headers in the script you are using—or constructing the email itself in something that supports sending HTML email.

How are you sending the email? That will determine what route to take.

To be honest these newsletters won't use any server side scripting if I can help it. The reason is that the Pastor of our church will be editing these emails himself and will just send them manually to the people in his contact list.

My plan was to build him a template html page that he could plug info and/or images into and send it via email.

I am using the KISS method for him though I am sure he would pick it up eventually.

-trigger

rmedek
10-09-2007, 06:08 AM
For the level of experience that you and your pastor have I'd just suggest something like Campaign Monitor. It's $5 per email plus 1¢ per recipient…for 12 people the price is worth waaaaay more than the time you will spend trying to hack some other system to work.

trigger_tre
10-09-2007, 06:53 AM
For the level of experience that you and your pastor have I'd just suggest something like Campaign Monitor. It's $5 per email plus 1¢ per recipient…for 12 people the price is worth waaaaay more than the time you will spend trying to hack some other system to work.

Thanks for the heads up on Campaign Monitor. That is something I will pass on to him. However,.............

I might be confused but I don't see the need to hack any system.

I'll better explain. In steps....

1.) I am going to build one simple newsletter.html page on our church website.
2.) This page will have a header, footer and 2-columns.
3.) Simple text, a few images, and possible links. No scripting at all. No menus, Calendars, just basic html code.
4.) I then plan to give him access to the folder holding the newsletter.html file (so he can alter text, links, and upload images via FTP).
5.) I then want to instruct him how to manually send a email to his 12 contacts so that when they receive the email it will display the newsletter.html file within their email.

I actually already succeeded in doing this (check previous post).

I just don't know how compatible this method is with all the different email clients. What other disadvantages are there with just attaching the newsletter.html file to the email he sends out.

-trigger

rmedek
10-09-2007, 07:23 AM
The thing is, you're not actually sending an HTML email. You're sending a regular email with an HTML attachment. So, to get someone to view the email you'd a) have to get it past their spam filters (which it is more likely to be caught in thanks to the .html attachment), and b) get the user to download it and view it. I'm not sure that your method would even work in the majority of email clients (that is, viewable as HTML in the native client); at the least I know it doesn't work in Mail (OS X) or Gmail.

I say "hack" because that is exactly what you are doing here—you are sending something that approximates HTML email, but it's not. But if it works for you and you are determined to do it, go ahead. It's just not a method I would recommend.

trigger_tre
10-09-2007, 04:31 PM
The thing is, you're not actually sending an HTML email. You're sending a regular email with an HTML attachment. So, to get someone to view the email you'd a) have to get it past their spam filters (which it is more likely to be caught in thanks to the .html attachment), and b) get the user to download it and view it. I'm not sure that your method would even work in the majority of email clients (that is, viewable as HTML in the native client); at the least I know it doesn't work in Mail (OS X) or Gmail.

I say "hack" because that is exactly what you are doing here—you are sending something that approximates HTML email, but it's not. But if it works for you and you are determined to do it, go ahead. It's just not a method I would recommend.

Yes, that makes more sense now, thanks. I wouldn't want to do it this way personally I was just weighing out all the options. The easiest for me is to just have him use Campaign Monitor though I was trying to make this as easy and inexpensive for my pastor as possible.

I guess my real question is how do companies such as Campaign Monitor distribute these newsletters? Do they use scripting and/or just html code, or are they already setup as not spammers with email clients such as yahoo or gmail. How do they distribute these emails and have them cross-browser compatible?

As far as spam, all the contacts are associates of my pastor so they already accept emails from him. I wonder if I also sent a text file along with the html file (would it decrease the chance of being filtered)?



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