CommuniMail - Erratic Errors in Newsletter Recipients

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Joined: Feb 15, 2007 2:56 pm

Erratic Errors in Newsletter Recipients

#1 Postby msdossett » Feb 15, 2007 3:19 pm

Our church Newsletter is typed and sent from Communimail 1.2 from within our church website ( We sent it out to the distribution list and, depending on the recipient's email server (AOL, Yahoo,, etc), it may be received without errors or it may contain numerous symbols, font changes, deleted returns. We run it through a test distribution first and, if errors are found, we either retype the test toally in the communimail program or type it in Wordpad,, then cut and paste to Communimail. Usually the problems will be corrected but then other font changes or symbols will appear in other areas of the text. Consequently, we get it down to the minimum number of errors possible (usually taking up to six hours) and send it out and hope for the best. We are quite disappointed with the program because our webmaster has shown little interest in correcting the problem or offering assistance.
Is there anyone that can help or offer a solution?

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Re: Erratic Errors in Newsletter Recipients

#2 Postby admin » Feb 16, 2007 11:17 am

msdossett wrote: Is there anyone that can help or offer a solution?

not sure what kind of help do you need?


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Joined: Feb 02, 2007 12:21 am

#3 Postby donb01 » Feb 16, 2007 2:30 pm

I don't know your level of knowledge here, so not trying to be insulting.

Are you providing both a text version and an HTML version of your newsletter for the subscribers? If you are only providing an HTML version and the user's E-mail client is blocking HTML mail or affecting it in some other way this could cause the problem.

I know you said you use wordpad as well, which does not necessarily lend itself to easily crafting HTML, but that does not mean you are not doing your HTML by hand, so I cannot assume you are sending your newsletter only as text.

The other thing to note is that when you send out the newsletter as text, you really have no control over the text - it goes out straight and clean - there are no fonts, etc. The recipient has the ability to select their default font in their E-mail client, and if they display text-only mail it may display in their chosen font, and not one that you see on your computer when you view the message.

If you are trying to enter HTML code into the text only box in the newsletter editor then the program may be trying to eliminate the HTML before it sends the message, or it may be interpreting the HTML code as ALT codes (extended characters) in the text character set that you normally get when you hold down the ALT key and type numbers on the keypad - that could be the source of your goofy symbols.

I hope one of these suggestions may have been of help.

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Erratic Newsletter

#4 Postby msdossett » Feb 17, 2007 4:29 am

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. We are indeed sending both text and html out. The webmaster made a clean template for us yesterday and then the entire newsletter was typed directly into CommuniMail with no copy-and-pasting. The quality of the newsletter was better but still not without errors. There were inserts such as < /span>. Also it removed some centering. Also some of the fonts were increased in size. These errors were not evident when received by AOL or Yahoo subscribers. as-well-as other accounts saw the errors. The errors I discussed above were reduced to that number after numerous (4) test runs where I saw other errors, retyped that paragraph, then resent.
In one case the same version was sent twice (by accident) and the errors were different in each one.
My question is this; If no other user of CommuniMail is having this problem, what could I be doing wrong? Certainly there are the same types of subscribers out there as we have such as AOL, Yahoo, etc.

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#5 Postby donb01 » Feb 17, 2007 6:49 am

I'm not sure if I'm having this problem too because no one has ever sent one back and complained to me, and I have myself on the mailing list for QC purposes and I never see anything wrong.

I'm having trouble understanding how one ISP or another would affect the content of a mail message other than the possibility that their spam filters would have some effect when processing - like by adding headers or something it would screw up the message. I would be more inclined to believe the E-mail client would have an effect - like AOL has the AOL Mail client, and SBC has the Yahoo crap - the average joe blow consumer would probably install all that crap they ship with the internet package, and who knows what tweaks they have done to everything.

What effects have you noted in webmail clients - such as hotmail, yahoo, and G-mail when viewed through their web clients (rather than downloaded with POP)?

This is definitely a head scratcher.

Is it only the HTML versions that are affected, or does the text version get messed up too?

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#6 Postby msdossett » Feb 17, 2007 2:35 pm

The problem is only with html clients. Text clients all seem to receive fine. And web-based servers especially have the errors. AOL and Yahoo are about the only ones coming out perfectly. And, just in case anyone ever asks, I have entered the Communimail site (thorugh our church website) both through AOL, Internet Explorer, and Firefox, just in case that could have been a contributor. It would seem that, visually, everything leaves perfectly. Communimail advertises that "what you see is what you get"... If that's the case there should be no hidden commands such as fonts changes, alignment commands, ets that we do not see in the actual text on the edit page prior to hitting "Send". Do you agree?

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#7 Postby donb01 » Feb 19, 2007 4:32 pm

If you are communicating with the folks having problems can you find out what they are using to read their E-mail? Maybe that is a common ground to start with - if they are all using outlook express for example, and you are using outlook or thunderbird or something, then you have something to go on. MS is gradually crippling outlook express (for obvious reasons) and it could have something to do with how the MIME types are handled.

I'm just guessing here, but there has to be a common denominator someplace.

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#8 Postby rogersjr » Feb 20, 2007 10:40 pm

I cannot help with most of your problems but I did have a centering problem if I used the tags <center> Centered Text</center>

The solution was to use different tags

<p align="center">Centered text</p>