How do I prevent my links from wrapping in an e-mail?
Let's say your URL is:
In most e-mail readers, this link will be active (clickable) but probably won't work correctly, because the mail program (and/or the mail server) might force the text to wrap to the next line after a certain number of characters (usually 72 or 76). So, what can you do to prevent this from happening?
Make a shorter URL
If your host headers and/or DNS entries are set up correctly, the first thing you can do is remove 4 characters in www. so the link becomes:
Additionally, you can think about using a shorter subfolder and/or ASP page name, e.g.:
With IIS 5+, you can consider using a subfolder where the page you want to go to is the default page, so that the following would work:
Maybe you could use shorter variable names in your querystring:
Finally, if it's acceptable, you can use an the IP address, which may or may not shorten the domain name part of the URL.
So that takes it from 73 characters to 42!
Use a shorter "stub" link that redirects
If you can't modify the actual page that handles the incoming traffic, you could build a "stub" file like that redirects:
For IIS 4+, place the stub file in your root or in a subfolder, so your link would become:
For IIS 5+, you can use the subfolder method above, and place a default page to do the redirect -- so your link would become:
Then, combining that with some of the techniques from above:
www.tinyurl.com and similar services
About 10 seconds at www.tinyurl.com yielded a much shorter link than any of the above methods:
The only concern I have is longer term -- how long will a free service (a) remain free, and/or (b) keep those links around?
You may want to look at sites like www.shorturl.com and www.makeashorterlink.com, which offer similar services - albeit a bit less convenient. The former requires registration by the person creating the link, and the latter shows their page and logo before redirecting the user(s) following the link.
Use HTML format
So what do you do if you can't control the format and location of the pages on the server, and can't use a service like tinyurl.com? If your clients accept it, you can format your e-mail as HTML, so that the link will surely not wrap. So, for example, you could send this content:
For more information on sending HTML mail, see Article #2474.
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