best practice for html email sending

Hi, experts,
I am looking for solution to send beautiful html marketing emails.
I have following questions:
1. Is there an free html email template which can be used as a start point to base for designing our own html template? The target of this step is to study what should I pay attention to and build up knowledge base for this topic;
2. Can you kindly provide more information on the html email topic: best practices, points should be cared for not be considered as spam etc?
3. How does the simple but looks beautiful and profession html email templates can be used in the outlook express or other email clients(Thunderbird)?
4. can you recommend any good but free or cheaper email news-wire scripts? What is the main feature of this kind of software?

Thanks!
matiascxAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
If you setup your own server and design your own HTML emails, you have a lot to learn.  HTML email is actually more difficult than web pages because of all the different versions of email clients.  And you do not control what is considered 'junk email', the recipient controls that.  This page from Microsoft http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx tells a lot about what is required to be considered a 'good' email source.  Here is Google's guidelines https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81126 and here is Yahoo's http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=topics&y=PROD_MAIL_ML&locale=en_US&topics=TOP_POST .

You need to find out from your ISP how much email you can send out each day.  You need to find out if there are laws you need to comply with.  In the US, that would be the CAN-SPAM Act http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business .

For technical info, see here http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/ about CSS problems.  See here about coding http://www.sitepoint.com/code-html-email-newsletters/ .  You need to have account with all the major email clients and providers like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo so you can test your email page designs.
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suvmitraConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you are looking for third-party softwares which can create and send professional emails for you then there are many. Now posting those softwares here would be un-necessary advertising for the companies.

Since you've requested,  you may try looking this site if you are not already Templates

It may serve your purpose of 1,3,4.

For 2, now a days all email servers have intelligent spam guards so if you are trying to send emails to a contact list with some promotional material most likely they are going to in Junk or Spam folder.

I think attachment, jpg or any pictures, keywords like Sale, Buy, Casino, Lottery, Porn, and other thousand of provoking words are considered as Spam.
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Dave BaldwinConnect With a Mentor Fixer of ProblemsCommented:
Many of us recommend bulk email services like Constant Contact http://www.constantcontact.com/index.jsp who specialize in bulk email and have their own servers.  HTML email is much more difficult than good web pages.  This page http://www.campaignmonitor.com/css/ shows you some of the serious differences in the major email clients.  This page http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/code-html-email-newsletters talks about designing HTML emails.

Most ISPs seriously limit the amount of email that you can send in a day or an hour.  Gmail limits you to 500 emails per day.  The paid version of Yahoo email was limiting at 25 per day and many ISPs allow only 25 per hour.
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matiascxAuthor Commented:
DaveBaldwin,
I mean we will set up our own email server for the bulk message sending.
Is there any proposal for me not let email sent from our server going into the junk box?
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matiascxAuthor Commented:
Thanks
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