I'm looking into how I'd get something like this contracted out. A list of clients getting sent a email. The email contains a list of options. Client clicks on one of the options in the email and then an email is generated on a server with the clients option marked. Would PHP be the way to do this (I've no experience in this)? A database with all users, with unique IDs that are are embedding into the links so when the clients hit the link it brings them to a browser page saying "thanks etc".
If this system was practical, how long would it take to set up for e.g. 700 users?
Its not the most complicated thing to do and yes PHP is one option for a solution.
Essentially you would need some type of page to be able to add users to a DB and generate flyer emails to be sent to them. The links/options on the email would like off to another script that simply recorded the option selected. You would probably call the same PHP script passing in the user id and option number as part of the url. This is all fairly straight forward stuff and wouldn't take long to program. The long paret would be the data entry of the users to the DB unless you have them in some other format such as CSV.
I'm no expert but i think where you could run into an issue is on the email sent to each user. You mention that you want a link in the email so the user can make a selection. This could be messy. You don't know what type of mail client the users is using. Some strip out links and/or do strange things with formatting. Some email systems only accept plain text. And you have little or no control over this. I'd day you have seen emails that provide a link and also mention that if the link doesn't work then paste it into a browser.
in my opinion the better option would be to send an email to each user with a single link to a webpage that then lets each user select an option.
you cant have options php/scripts in the email
so ESSENTIALLY what you can do is set unique links for each user/email,
so if ID-311 click on link A, you can flag that into the database
option 1-= www.domain.com/something/mark?option=1&id=311
option 2-= www.domain.com/something/mark?option=2&id=311
option 3-= www.domain.com/something/mark?option=3&id=311
I wouldn't put any scripts in the mail it will just get rejected by spam filters.
i still think most reliable method is to provide a link like...
Click Here to Select an option...
(Add Link Here)
Then add a message saying if the link does not work then paste it into a browser. What you want to do is just not going to work properly with all the mail clients and spam filters etc...