Creating An Email Form

Written by Richard Lowe

Occasionally it is necessary to get some kind of information from your visitors. One way to do this is to embed your email address, as a "mailto" tag, directly on all of your web pages. This is not recommended forrepparttar following reasons.

Embedded email addresses are vulnerable to spam spiders. These are special programs which scan web pages looking for email addresses. These addresses are then sent spam emails.

- You cannot format your questions. - You cannot validaterepparttar 109673 answers torepparttar 109674 questions - You have no control overrepparttar 109675 visitor's experience ofrepparttar 109676 data entry.

All right, if you do not embed email addresses into your web pages, how do you get data from your visitors? It's simple - just create an email form.

Before you can begin you must obtain a forms processor. This can be done using a service such as Bravenet or you can install one on your own server (if this is allowed by your host provider). In these examples I will be assuming you are usingrepparttar 109677 Bravenet forms processor.

There are hundreds of different sites that will remotely host forms for you, and if none of those will serve your needs you can set up CGI routines on your own server (assuming your hosts supports them).

Once you have registered with your forms provider (in these examples I am assuming you use Bravenet) you can begin creating your form. You will need some information before you start:

- The name ofrepparttar 109678 forms processing routine - The names of any parameters which are needed by this routine

These items should be described inrepparttar 109679 documentation, FAQ or help files forrepparttar 109680 forms system.

Now you need to includerepparttar 109681 appropriate HTML code on your page to createrepparttar 109682 form. A simple form consists of two tags (there are other tags, but we will not go into them in this article)

- beginrepparttar 109683 form - get some data or define a value

The tag beginsrepparttar 109684 form and definesrepparttar 109685 location and name ofrepparttar 109686 forms processor to use. The purpose of this forms processor is to take any data that was entered by your visitor and format it into an email, then send that email back to you. Some ofrepparttar 109687 better forms systems allow you to confirmrepparttar 109688 data with your visitor before it's sent and to even send a copy of what was entered via email back to your visitor as a confirmation.

An example tag from Bravenet is shown below.

Internet Promotion: Email Signatures

Written by Richard Lowe

Perhaps one ofrepparttar most important methods to promote your web site is including some advertising in each and every email you send and all newsgroup postings that you make. DO NOT spamrepparttar 109672 newsgroups by sending useless messages. Instead, make useful postings which include your signature. People will be interested enough to visit your site as long as you appear to be an intelligent, knowledgeable person.

This is generally done by defining an email signature in your email client. It's pretty simple to cause Outlook 2000, for example, to send a couple of additional lines for each and every email that you send. It's equally simple to dorepparttar 109673 same thing with Outlook Express. Your email signature might read:

Visit my web site at

Anything which helps to promote your site or service is fine (excluding profanity andrepparttar 109674 like). You should keeprepparttar 109675 signature to just a few lines - no more than 6. Also, it's a good idea not to include any pictures and to stick with straight text (not HTML). This way everyone can see your ad, which isrepparttar 109676 whole point.

One additional word of caution about email (and newsgroup) signatures: some words will trigger spam filters. This can be especially annoying on newsgroup postings. I had a 900 number in my signature which caused an automated spam checker for newsgroups to send my posts straight to my ISP! The postings were on topic and definitely not spam, but they were treated as such. Naturally, this could also cause good email spam filters to also block your emails.

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