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Sending Multi-Part Mime Messages (Sending HTML and Text messages in a single email)

Multi-part mime refers to sending both an HTML and TEXT part of an email message in a single email.  When a subscriber’s email client receives a multipart message, it accepts the HTML version if it can render HTML, otherwise it presents the plain text version. Additionally, some recently upgraded clients, such as Outlook 2003, enable users to choose to accept HTML or plain text messages by default.

Why send both?  It is assumed that by sending both an HTML version and a TEXT version you will reach your maximum audience as well as give those who have advanced email client software the opportunity to choose a desirable format.

Technical Details of MIME

MIME -- Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) is an Internet Standard for the format of e-mail. Virtually all Internet e-mail is transmitted via SMTP in MIME format. Internet e-mail is so closely associated with the SMTP and MIME standards that it is sometimes called SMTP/MIME e-mail.

MIME allows you to define multiple parts of an email using the Content-Type header.  For example, the TEXT portion of an email is defined using:

Content-Type: text/plain

The HTML portion would contain this header:

Content-Type: text/html

Below is a sample multi-part email message including all headers.  The text portion is shown in maroon.  The HTML portion is shown in green.  The defining mime header is shown in blue.

X-sender: <sender@sendersdomain.com>
X-receiver: <somerecipient@recipientdomain.com>
From: "Senders Name" <sender@sendersdomain.com>
To: "Recipient Name" <somerecipient@recipientdomain.com>
Message-ID: <5bec11c119194c14999e592feb46e3cf@sendersdomain.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 15:06:49 -0400
Subject: Sample Multi-Part
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary="----=_NextPart_DC7E1BB5_1105_4DB3_BAE3_2A6208EB099D"


------=_NextPart_DC7E1BB5_1105_4DB3_BAE3_2A6208EB099D
Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Sample Text Content

------=_NextPart_DC7E1BB5_1105_4DB3_BAE3_2A6208EB099D
Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<html>
<head>
</head>
<body>
<div style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 10pt; FONT-FAMILY: Arial">Sample HTML =
Content</div>
</body>
</html>

------=_NextPart_DC7E1BB5_1105_4DB3_BAE3_2A6208EB099D--
 




 

 

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