Re: HTML-format e-mail newsletters?

Subject: Re: HTML-format e-mail newsletters?
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 16:56:55 -0400


I do this all the time (send out html email newsletters that is, not do it using Word/Outlook) ...

If you think about it for a minute, you'll realize that you can't "embed the graphics in the file" because html doesn't work that way. The graphics have to sit on a server somewhere. I just stick them on our Web site and link to them there, while I'm working in Dreamweaver. If you let Outlook rule your html world, the graphics will be served from your Exchange Server, instead, a prospect that leaves our sysadmin quailing in trepidation.

If you are convinced you want to use Outlook (something I do not recommend), the way you do it from Dreamweaver is to preview the page in Internet Explorer (F12 in Dreamweaver), Select All in the browser (Ctrl-A), and paste into a blank Outlook html message. (You have to select html as your message format in Outlook before this will work.)

If you go that route, send the messsage to yourself. When you receive the message, check all the links to make sure they behave the way you want them to. Also, omit any kind of javascript behavior (you don't want the hassle, believe me). If everything works the way you want, you can either copy and paste the message contents into a new message or you can forward the message (just delete the forwarding header--no further editing is required).

However, if you View Source on the Outlook html message, you will see all sorts of ugliness that bears no relation to what you constructed in Dreamweaver. So you may not want to go this route.

I use a cheapo bulk email package called Prospect Mailer. There are others that are functionally similar. In fact I just got an email ad the other day for a $79 package. These programs aren't great, but they're adequate. (For example, I have not found one that can do mult-part MIME. They all do either text or HTML. (The HTML has a default multi-part MIME header, but it is not accessible for editing.)

The advantage of these programs is that you can control the rate at which the posts go out (multi-threaded), you can control what SMTP server they use. They don't touch your code (just point to your saved html file), and they give you simple tools for managing the mailing list, all without going near Exchange Server or tying up your corporate Outlook mail.

As for going from Word to Dreamweaver, that's not too painful. Mostly I copy and paste and do all the formatting and table layout in Dreamweaver. But it is also possible to save the Word as html, paste that into DW, and use the Clean Up Word HTML function to remove a lot of the crud.

Let me know if you have any other questions.


Hart, Geoff wrote:

We're in the early stages of developing an e-mailed newsletter for our
clients, with the contents in HTML format. (We've done the audience analysis
to confirm that this is acceptable.) Currently, we plan to produce the
newsletter template in Dreamweaver, then subsequently pour in the text for
each issue. The text would be created, edited, and reviewed in Word 97.

Here's the problem: We're working in Outlook 2000, and can't figure out how
to pour the newsletter into a message so that it's an integral part of the
message rather than an attachment. Similarly, we'd like the graphics to be
embedded in the file rather than externally linked. Copying and pasting
doesn't work, and inserting the newsletter as a file turns it into an
attachment. Obviously, we're missing something, and as usual, the online
help isn't. <g>

Any suggestions?

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HTML-format e-mail newsletters?: From: Hart, Geoff

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