Flash Your E-mail
Flash Your E-mail
Would you like to have a signature file on your emails that instantly tells recipients you are a good designer? Would you like to bring your client's newsletters to life with all the capabilities of Flash animation? Then this simple technology is for you.
In addition you can:
- Create email stationery for your clients that automatically writes in whatever size, color and typeface they want.
- Create different animations for each department in your client's company, or for each staff member if necessary, and change any number of them remotely whenever you like.
- Use GIF animations instead of Flash if, for instance, you have an existing one you want to use.
The only thing required to use this technology is an email client that can send messages in HTML format, and allows you to use "Stationery." However, Outlook will be the email client used as an example in this article.
The first thing you need to do is make your own HTML file to be used as the Stationery, which will hold your Flash animation. I find it easier to make my HTML file and then insert the Flash code using the Object and Embed tags, as spelled out in Flash help. But you can certainly use the "HTML" selection in the Flash "Publish Settings" window for this purpose instead.
Make sure you are using the latest Flash templates when you create your Flash animations. If you have Flash 5 then you already have the latest Flash templates. If you have Flash 4 or earlier then you will have to download the newest Flash templates from the Macromedia site. They enable your animations to automatically ask anyone who receives your email or newsletter and doesn't have the Flash Player, if they want to install it. All they have to do is click "Yes" and in five seconds or less they see your animation. It is a painless process they have to do only once.
After you've built your new Stationery you need to save it in your "Stationery" folder. With a Microsoft operating system the path is C:/Program Files/Common Files/Microsoft Shared/Stationery.
Now you have a choice. You need to go into your email program and either select your new HTML file as your Stationery, or as your Signature. The main difference is that when you use it as your Signature you can set your email program to add it to Replies and Forwards. With Stationery this will not happen. But when you use it as your Stationery you can change the color of your entire page, which won't happen if you use it as your Signature.
To use your new HTML file as your Stationery in Outlook Express click - "Tools," "Options," and "Compose." Put a check mark in the box beside "Mail," and click the "Select" button. Select your new HTML file, click "OK," "OK."
To use your new HTML file as your Signature in Outlook Express click - "Tools," "Options," and "Signature." Click the "New" button. Click the radio button beside "File," and browse to select your new HTML file in your Stationery folder. When you get to the Stationery folder your HTML file will not be visible until you select "HTML files," or "All files" in the "Files of Type" field. Select your new file, click "Open," "OK." You must put a check mark in the box beside "Add Signatures to all outgoing messages," and you probably want to deselect "Don't add signatures to Replies and Forwards."
Created: February 22, 2001
Revised: February 23, 2001