Saturday, June 1, 2002

Format URLs correctly


By David Gewirtz

It's time for another of our famous "lessons learned the hard way" tips. This time it's about formatting and checking URLs correctly in an email message.

Last week, we ran a Quick Click ad for eGrabber, one of our advertisers. Unfortunately, neither the advertiser nor our production folks here bothered to look at the URL formatting. We just cut and paste it into the message. The stage was set for our little "oopsie." You see, we formatted the URL as:


Notice that the URL isn't highlited in the message. URLs are correctly formatted with an http, followed by a colon, and two slashes, like this:

Most email clients know to look for the http-colon-slash-slash sequence, and know to turn the rest of the string into a link.

David Gewirtz is Editor-in-Chief of the ZATZ publications. You can contact him at In a desperate effort to prove he does, indeed, have something of a life, you can visit his personal Web site at You be the judge.