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Email and Name Opt In

Topics: ASP.NET 2.0, Controls, Themes
Feb 4, 2009 at 3:24 AM

I'm a newbie at most of this stuff and was looking for some guidance.  I've installed BE.Net 1.4.5 onto a webserver and have it working using the XML option of storing posts and comments.  Now my wife would like for me to create what she calls an opt in box on the side for an individual to enter there email and name so that they can receive information.  Here is an example of a blog site she found and now wants to mimic this site's opt in functionality.

Can someone point me in a direction on how to implement such a feature.  At I'm figuring that a control might be required, but I'm not sure.  I'm looking for the fastest and easiest way to accomplish this.  I really don't need to store the information on the server.  Sending the contact information to another email addess would work for her application. 

However, having it also stored in a SQL database would be nice so that checks could be performed to determine if they have requested information previously.  But, this is not necessary. 

The other thought I have is simply create a new 'ASP master template' with some asp controls to provide this functionality and then create a new theme based on this.  I don't believe this is the best way to do this however.  Hence the reason I'm asking for some guidance.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated!  Additionally, if someone wanted to help by creating a turnkey solution for us I would entertain that, depending on the cost.

Feb 4, 2009 at 5:00 AM
BE already has something close to what you're looking for -- the Newsletter widget.  If you're logged into your blog, there'll be a dropdown box containing widgets you can add to your blog's sidebar.  One of those widgets is the Newsletter widget.

The newsletter widget allows visitors to enter their email address.  Their email address is stored in an XML file.  All email addresses go in the same XML file, newsletter.xml in the App_Data folder.  Whenever you create a new blog post, all email addresses in that XML file are sent an email letting them know a new post has been put up.

The newsletter widget files are in the widgets\Newsletter folder.  Probably the easiest approach is to copy that widget and make customizations to it.  It could be customized to store the name/email address in a DB instead of an XML file.  It could also be changed to send you an email when someone signs up, etc.
Feb 4, 2009 at 6:00 AM

Thanks, I might be able to make that work.  I appreciate your guidance to the widget.  The amazing part is that I didn't even notice that little menu on the right that allows you to add widgets! :)

One more question.  Where do you set the values of the SMTP server, like the server, user and pw to send the emails.  I didn't notice it in the files in the newsletter widget.

Feb 4, 2009 at 5:18 PM
Yeah, widgets can be very useful.  When you're logged into the blog, if you go to the Settings tab in the Control Panel, there's an Email section where you can set SMTP server, username, pwd, etc.
Feb 4, 2009 at 8:43 PM
Thanks again Ben!

I believe that I'm staying up way to late at night working on various projects.  I went to the tab and I've already set up the informaton.  I'm soooo dumb!  Only if I would have typed in my email address correctly I would have been received the messages.  Now I'm off to change it and see how it all works.  Thanks again!

Feb 4, 2009 at 9:41 PM
At least you had some recollection of previously setting up the information ... you must not be too far out of it ;-)