Visual Email Website
Brighter Team Update
The original idea is here: http://www.brighter.do/visualemail/
Approach #1: Code it Ourselves
I haven't been able to find a plugin or library that allows for dynamically writing text on top of an image. I found a solution for C#, but I haven't seen it in action. Not sure how it handles text wrapping. picfont.com has all the functionality we want and more. The site isn't exactly sexy, but it works. We'd be reinventing a smaller version of this if we build it ourselves.
Approach #2: Newsletter, Not Image (HTML, Not PNG)
My next idea was to use an HTML newsletter. This would be easier to code and we could set the image as the background. This would also improve user experience in the event that the image doesn't load at all - at least there would still be text in this case. There are some cool looking newsletter creators available for free. I'm testing out smore.com right now. Here are seven other newsletter builders. I haven't tried these. I'll bet they all get the job done, but I wouldn't be surprised if many of them were paid services.
My current thinking is that we should talk to a handful of users (HR professionals) before building. Test out if there is a preference for images with editable text or HTML newsletters like this one. In either case, free options already exist, so our differentiator would have to be the pre-built content. If that's what makes this site valuable, perhaps the best option is to simply publish a library of images and canned messages that can be manually pasted into an email or an image/newsletter editor. Then we recreate the editor functionality if we think providing a streamlined email creator will create enough inbound leads to be worth our while.