There are multiple methods of developing content in which to send your direct mail message. The message format controls the type of format into which the Collaboration Data Object (CDO) translates the results. Direct Mailer supports three types of message formats: text, MIME, and MHTML.
- Text. Formats the mail in ASCII format.
- MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions). An official Internet standard that specifies how messages must be formatted so that they can be exchanged between different e-mail systems. MIME is a flexible format, which extends the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to permit data, such as video, sound, and binary files to be transmitted by Internet e-mail without having to be translated into ASCII format first.
- MHTML (MIME Encapsulation of Aggregate HTML Documents). Sends portions of a Web page or an entire Web page as a message. The message can include all or portions of the HTML formatting, graphics, and other elements contained in the original Web page.
MHTML builds on top of MIME to provide a more flexible communication of HTML documents. The message can include other linked documents in a MIME multipart/related body part. Links in the HTML to other included parts can be provided by CID (Content-ID) URLs or by any other type of URL. The linked body part is identified in its heading by either a Content-ID (linked to by CID URLs) or a Content-Location (linked to by any other type of URL).
If you want to prevent the Direct Mailer service from formatting e-mail as MHTML, and strictly send the HTML output of the ASP page without any change in the e-mail, see the Direct Mailer ComposeDMLMessage component in the "Compose e-mail" stage of the DMLPipe.pcf file at <drive letter>: \Program Files\Microsoft Commerce Server 2002. The ComposeDMLMessage component is responsible for formatting the message body.
The following examples display e-mail messages for the three message formats (text, MIME, and MHTML) when they encounter HTML content for the following ASP page:
<h1>SPRING SALE !!!</h1>
<img src=http://<server name>/SKY.JPG height=100 width=100 />
- The following screenshots are from Outlook Express. They may look different in other e-mail clients.
The following figure shows a message that was sent using the text message format. It strips all of the HTML objects, and only sends the text.
The following figure shows a message that was sent using the MIME message format. It encodes the HTML objects in MIME format, retrieves the SKY.jpg image from the location in the ASP page, and adds it as an attachment. The message only contains the text message.
The following figure shows a message that was sent using the message format MHTML. It encodes the HTML objects as images in MHTML format, and retrieves the SKY.jpg image from the location in the ASP page. It encodes the image in BASE-64, and gives the image a CID, to which it internally links the image SRC attribute.
- The three message formats (text, MIME, and MHTML) that are available in Business Desk when you create your direct mail campaign are the default values, and are only used if the user-specific e-mail format is NULL. If a user specific e-mail format was specified when you created or imported the mailing list, the user-specific format will be used when sending the direct mail.
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