Remember last May I was talking about my need for a CRM? Well, in the end, I opted to create my own tailor-made solution, which, for want of a better name, I've called Relate.
Each company I work with gets their own fresh copy, to which they have author access, and we use it as a large forum/file manager. It's basically a secure environment to talk about the project at hand. Feedback from clients who've used it has been good so far and it continues to adapt to my needs (last week I added a bug tracking section).
An integral part of the system is the email notifications fired back and forth to let people know what's going on. I got bored recently and added some branding to the emails, to make them match the appearance of the site itself. Here's an example email in Thunderbird:
What I soon found was that getting HTML to play nicely in email clients is not so simple. Not so much with Thunderbird, but more so with the Notes client. In the end I got both to look the same, like so:
To get HTML to render in the Notes client you have to keep it simple. Forget DIVs, it's back to HTML 3.2-style table-based layouts.
My next rough-cut article is going to cover the methods I used to get this to work and the ins-n-outs of using HTML in emails. Whether that will happen this side of my honeymoon remains to be seen.
If you've done any HTML emailing and learnt any lessons, please share.