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| UWYO Email News Send
The University of Wyoming was already sending out daily (weekday) emails of the latest news to people that had subscribed for the service. However, the design had not been updated much since its creation. A "face-lift" for the daily news send was a quick way to boost traffic to the UWYO News website for people that already received the email as well as those that signed up later due to word-of-mouth.
The UWYO News Release website is stored entirely within an Oracle database. As items are written for release to news agencies they are also then uploaded to the database for publishing on the web. The News website simply pulls the latest releases from multiple categories and displays them on the screen. The daily news send email works much the same way. You can sign up for the email by clicking on the image link above, or simply preview what the email looks like when received.
Since email clients are not as advanced as web browsers the layout for the page had to be created using HTML tables. The header is included in the email as a graphic and embedded using some ASP code when sent through the ASP email system. Each category of news is represented with a separate, gold-backed banner. If a category does not have news for the day a banner is not displayed at all. Since the Athletics information is published separately by the Athletics department the email script pulls information from the Athletics RSS feed to redisplay here.
This was a relatively simple update to make for UWYO. The scripting to gather the majority of the new items and to send the final email were already in place. I needed to research the best way to include the banner graphic so that it would appear embedded within the email rather than just as an attachment. The design was successful enough that it was later adapted for a separate news send email that was sent to area news agencies on a daily basis.
"Simpler is better."
All content © Brian Spradlin, 2009, unless otherwise