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I'm building app that will be deployed on HubExchange that produces custom images for each email recipient/viewer. The app will let the user insert an image link (specific to a user) into an email/page.

From a conceptual point of view, the image is included by something like what is below. This is not ideal however, I would like to encode or replace emailaddr with an ID and not have it as part of the URL.

<img src="http://dynamic.images.com/?email=%%emailaddr%%">

I am confused about the best way to do this. Since the images are dynamic, they cannot be uploaded before they are opened and need to be stored on our server.

What I would like to do is make the process as easy for the user (email/page creator) as possible - ie, drag image place-holder onto the email, or select a property and insert, or click a button. Second best is for the user to copy and paste a string into the email which will generate a link to the image.

I'd greatly appreciate it if anyone can suggest a better way to let a user embed a dynamic image in their emails. I am new to ExactTarget but have read through a lot of the docs (but there are many docs to read).


Some Approaches

The best option I've found so far is the copy-and-paste approach, using AMPscript and use HttpGet to send some parameters to our server to generate the link.

  %%= HttpGet(Concat('dynamic.images.com?email=',v(email))) =%% 

I looked at DynamicContent - but that appears to be a rule based system that is limited to serving existing static content based on user attributes. I didn't see how it would be possible to link to our dynamic images.

I could create a user profile property to do this, but it seems tedious to pre-populate the ET database with links to our server. If I did that, the use could use the dropdown insert functions on the top of the email editor or paste in the following string

  %%CustomImageTag%%
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Your application could create a series of content areas when it's installed. These items would then be available in the email creation UI as drag/drop content. The biggest issue with this, is after installation, they can still be edited, so you would want to think about how to approach that (perhaps offer a method to create the content areas in your application on demand, as opposed to one-time only).

Here is a sample SOAP body to get you started on creating a ContentArea.

  <soapenv:Body>
    <CreateRequest xmlns="http://exacttarget.com/wsdl/partnerAPI">
      <Objects xsi:type="ContentArea">
        <BackgroundColor>blue</BackgroundColor>
        <BorderColor>black</BorderColor>
        <Content>Exacttarget Content Area Demo</Content>
        <CustomerKey>ET_ContentArea_Demo_Key</CustomerKey>
        <Layout>HTMLWrapped</Layout>
        <Name>ET ContentArea Demo</Name>
      </Objects>
    </CreateRequest>
  </soapenv:Body>

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