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I'm trying to create an email signature that will display differently on a recipient's computer based on what state their IP address is in. I was wondering if there are any known ways of accomplishing this task?

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Depends on the email client. –  TheCompWiz Dec 8 '11 at 15:56

2 Answers 2

If you can insert an image into your email signature that is hosted on a server you control, you can have the image be dynamically generated by your server. And then you can change it depending on the IP address that's requesting it. As long as the viewer is set to show images from your emails, that will work.

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Most email clients block external images... as they can be easily used to track emails, and also verify valid/invalid email addresses. –  TheCompWiz Dec 8 '11 at 15:58
    
It really depends on whom he is sending these emails to. If they are people he knows, they will likely show images from him automatically because he's trusted. If they're unknown folks, then he'll likely be blocked, like you said. –  Tim Dorr Dec 8 '11 at 16:00

Depending on your setup... there may be several ways to accomplish this... and you'll probably have to use several methods to make it work semi-reliably. There's several hurdles you'll have to overcome in order to accomplish this reliably.

  1. The only IP addresses you would have access to are those of the mail servers doing the email exchange. Frequently, people out-source their mail hosting or anti-spam/virii proxy services to 3rd parties that can be in nearly any part of the world... and as such... simply associating an ip address with a location will prove to be highly inaccurate.
  2. Turning to the message header itself might actually contain correct information... but the sheer number of addresses listed there will be near-impossible to correctly identify the actual sender's IP for any automated script.
  3. IP address geo-location information is not very accurate in general. Usually they can track it down to the area the ISP serves... but sometimes it's only as accurate as an entire country. What if they sent the email while using a free wifi at Starbucks or McDonnalds?... or via a smart phone? You'd really be out of luck then.
  4. There is no requirement to identify location information based on your domain. i.e. the contact information contained in the DNS registrar's public database may be completely obscured as to who the actual owner is. It may not have any identifying characteristics at all.
  5. Using dynamic images or javascript/some-other-scripting-language in the vast majority of situations will prove to be a fools errand. Most email clients will block the download of external images without any consideration of the sender... and ALL email clients should block any/all forms of scripting.

Honestly, your best bet is to build a database of known customers' email addresses and put your location information in there and update as-needed. From there you can typically add signatures to emails either at the email client level... or at the mail-server itself... etc...

This is not a simple task... which is also why there is soooo much spam in the email world. Nobody can track down exactly where/who an email came from. I wish you luck.

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