We recently completed 2 separate projects involving HTML newsletters.
The first project was to design a weekly newsletter and a method of distributing it. Geoff Matheson Design did all of the newsletter design plus the basic HTML programming.
The newsletter needed to be graphically appealing, so it therefore needed to be designed using HTML. Writing the HTML for a newsletter is very challenging because there are a lot of popular mail applications, each of which display the HTML differently. To limit our updating the HTML, we needed to test the design on all popular mail applications throughout the development process.
When creating a newsletter you must not only create a flexible design, you must also be able to code that design in a very basic type of HTML.
Once the design was coded in HTML, we needed to setup an area where the client could generate each week’s newsletter. Our client needed to type the name and the content for the newsletter and have all of the HTML generated. This was done by creating a simple custom admin area that will generate the newsletter’s HTML each week.
The last part was figuring out the best way to distribute the newsletter. After trying several methods, we ended up using Mail Chimp for newsletter mangement and distribution. Mail Chimp has a free plan: up to 2,000 subscribers; send up to 12,000 emails per month.
The next project was also a HTML email newsletter. We were used as subcontractors by Cause Design.
The problem was that the HTML would not display properly on all major email applications. We used email newsletter testing matrices to show us how the HTML would display on different mail applications.
After viewing the original matrix, we realized the HTML needed a complete rewrite. The reason is that certain mail applications do not recognize style driven design. After going through 11 revisions, we were able to create HTML that gave us a consistent look on all major email applications.