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A couple of months ago you may have noticed—assuming you have signed up for our newsletter—that a “tweet this” button appeared in our email header. Clicking the button results in your browser taking you to Twitter, and auto-filling the message [email title] –The VKI Studios (now Cardinal Path) newsletter: @vkistudios

We implemented this two months ago with a rather tedious work around. Fortunately not two weeks after our first send with this new “tweet this” button Exact Target announced social forwarding for email. However, ET doesn’t have a twitter option! Facebook, Delicious, Digg, Myspace, Stumbleupon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Linkedin and Sharethis, but no Twitter. So for those of you wanting a tweet this button, here is how I went about making one:

edit: ET responds!
“You can also use the ShareThis functionality – this allows you to share to Twitter and a wide variety of other networks.”

First I created a tweet this button with my mad Photoshop gradient skills:

Then marked it up with the following:


Pretty, isn’t it? No? Yeah, I guess you’re right.

Before send we take our last test send, get its URL from the “view as webpage” button, put that into our URL shortener (in this case, and then drop that shortened URL into the code above.

Pretty simple, yah? Sadly, it really is never that easy. See, using this method if they click the “tweet this” button in the tweeted email then it takes you to whatever URL was in there when you sent the test send, frequently the last email.

One solution is simply to send several tests and create a chain. This doesn’t work too well since once some one gets far enough along the chain they will end up back at the original. Fortunately people tend to retweet, and I don’t think many people will be going below three iterations of your email.

Just as easy you could take the code from the “view as a web page” url (view -> page source in Firefox) and drop it into a blank HTML doc on your web server. Then link to that instead of an email, and have its “tweet this” link point to the page it’s on. A bit round about, but probably better.

Neither are perfect solutions, but without being able to gather the URL for the email before you send it, there never will never be one.

Next up: share by Facebook