[thelist] HTML Email

James Parsons jp at batworks.com
Mon Sep 15 22:36:14 CDT 2003

>Diane Soini wrote:
>> I was asked recently for some help on some email marketing. The person
>> was doing a somewhat complex layout in HTML for the purpose of sending
>> by email. Problem is, I don't know anything about email clients and
>> their ability to render HTML, so I wasn't sure about what you can and
>> can't do. I looked on the web but had a hard time finding anything
>> useful. Does anybody have any info about how you can write HTML for
>> email, the dos and don'ts?
>Google for: email+html+AOL and read the info for AOL's html email. Make
>your stuff fit that and all others will be handled. Do pay attention to
>the 'multipart/alternative' content type and having plani text and html
>in the same email so non-graphical readers will get the message too.
>Ron D.

Mostly, I'd say DON'T send HTML mail. Not unless you're very very certain
the recipients are going to welcome it. Some people, such as your's truly,
absolutely do not want HTML email showing up their inboxes, even if it's
something I've signed up for. HTML mail is instant anathema and I get very
little of it that isn't just spam. If I look at the source code and it's
evident they're using tracking gifs and things, then I get really annoyed.
If it's HTML mail and it somehow makes it past my procmail system, it goes
right in the trash bin, unread and unwanted and the company that sent it
gets multiple black marks. Ezines & lists that, for some inexplicable
reason, switch to HTML mail that do not have an option for plain text will
be unsubscribed to. If there's no plain text option, they won't even get
subscribed to in the first place. The only people who get to send me HTML
mail without it going straight to the trash bin are those who, like clients
and customers, are paying me. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of clients
and customers who are all that big on HTML mail. They tend to be more like
me in that respect.

If one must, I would suggest that messages be sent in plain text with a
link to an html version that's on the sender's website for those who like
that sort of thing.

...Yes, it's one of my hot buttons.

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