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How to Create and Send an HTML Email Form Using PHP
An HTML email form is often used in email marketing to generate a greater response from potential customers. However their is not much information on how to actually create an interactive html email form or template to achieve this.
Part 1 of this article discussed how to create and send simple html email. In this article we will create an interactive html email form.
Benefits of creating an html email form
*generate immediate interactivity with your customers. *use of visually appealing graphics, icons and forms. *all the most popular email software now support html email. *ability to track responses *create interactive questionaires, surveys and newsletters.
Here is the step by step process how to create an html email form:
1. Create your interactive html email form page in your favorite html editor including any graphics or icons to make it look attractive.
Make sure you always use absolute urls for graphics (ie http://www.ihost-websites.com/htmlmail/header.gif ) and an absolute link for your formmail script ("http://ihost-websites.com/htmlmail/formmail.php"), otherwise they won't appear correctly.
Here's an example of an interactive html email form viewed as a web page.
If you want to see the html code used for the form, click on Internet Explorer and go to: view - source.
2. Name your html formmail page (ie newsletter.htm) and save it.
Keep your html email simple by eliminating the meta tags (ie title, description, keywords). Don't use large graphics as these will slow down the loading time of your email plus quickly fill your customer's inbox capacity.
3. Obtain a copy of the php formmail script and save it to the same directory as your newsletter.htm page.
(You can get a copy of this script by sending an email to email@example.com).
4. Name this script.. formmail.php - this script will process the html form page (newsletter.htm) you created above. You can also use this script in combination with an html form on your web site.
5. Edit your newsletter.htm page - make sure you have the correct form action otherwise your form won't work ie
(form action="http://www.ihost-websites.com/ formmail.php" method="post" target="_blank")
Insert different titles and images for your newsletter or contact form.
6. Edit the php formmail script. Replace the title, email and confirmation comments with your own.
7. Create a new directory on your current web site named htmlmail (ie www.ihost-websites.com/htmlmail/).
8. Place your html formmail page, graphics and script into the html directory. This will help keep all your files organized.
If you don't currently have a web site, then register a Domain Name first, design your html email form and upload all files (form, graphics, script) to your new web host (make sure your web host carries the php feature).
9. Upload the html directory to your web server.
10. Test the new html email form on your server first. Check that your html email form page works corrrectly when submitting your form - you should receive a confirmation immediately upon submission.
You are now ready to send your html email.
11. Open your Email Software - in outlook express (since it's the most popular) go to:
Create mail Fill out the to and subject fields Place your cursor in the body of your email message Check insert - text from file In "files of type" box scroll to "HTML Files" In the "look in" box scroll to the saved html page on your computer. (newsletter.htm)
12. Email a test to yourself and friends who have different email programs before you send it to your subscriber list. This will ensure your html email will appear correctly to all your customers.
Now you have a template you can use to send out your html emails. You then won't have to repeat this process again.
You can also alter the look of your html email template by changing the graphics and/or fields, then uploading the changes to your server.
Try using an html email form for your future questionaire, survey, ad or newsletter.
You will be pleasantly surprised!
PHP formmail script Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a copy of the script.
Groupmail - free version allows a list of up to 100
Free HTML Templates
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Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) owner and author of http://www.iSiteBuild.com
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Subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter for more original articles. email@example.com. You can read more of his in-depth articles at: http://www.isitebuild.com/articles