The ability to track information about e-mail jobs is a powerful resource for understanding how recipients respond to messages, when messages are accessed, and what types of recipients are actually seeing messages. By understanding who are the recipients opening messages, when they are opening them, and clicking on links contained in them, senders can precisely tailor future messages to specific recipients. Recipients who are genuinely interested in the information contained in a message are much more likely to open and interact with the message. Senders who understand their recipients needs and interests and target messages appropriately, will experience higher levels of user satisfaction and enhance their own reputation.
LISTSERV® Maestro can track a variety of different information about recipients and how they interact with a sent message. Tracking statistics reports are available in a number of formats. Tracking data can also be downloaded so that it can be used in other statistical and reporting software packages. With a special Microsoft® Excel Add-in, downloaded statistics can be easily imported to generate tables and graphs in Excel. For more information see Section 10.3.
Note: It is not necessary for tracking to be enabled to send out an e-mail job.
There are five basic steps to define tracking for a single e-mail job:
To begin defining tracking for an e-mail job, click on the Define Tracking icon from either the Workflow or Summary diagram on the Job Details screen. Select the option button "Yes, I want to enable tracking for this job" and then click Next ->.
LISTSERV® Maestro will track two different types of user interaction with a message called "Open-Up" and "Click-Through" tracking.
LISTSERV® Maestro will register each time an e-mail message is opened by its recipient and will log each event, together with date, time and recipient information (who opened the e-mail). Open-up tracking is only available for HTML messages.
LISTSERV® Maestro will register each time a recipient clicks on a link in the message and will log each event, together with date, time and recipient information (who clicked the link). Only those links that are specified in the e-mail body will be tracked. To specify which links to track, click Define Tracking URLs.
Click Next ->to continue or Define Tracking URLs to define click-through URLs to be tracked.
This page defines which links in the e-mail message are to be tracked. LISTSERV® Maestro is able to track all Internet links that have a URL that starts with the "http://" or the "https://" protocol. The page is divided into four separate frames:
Selecting "Highlight tracked links" will display all links that are currently marked for tracking on a bright yellow background in the body of the message. This makes it easier to tell which links have already been selected for tracking and which have not. Images that are links will be shown with a bright yellow frame when they are selected for tracking. Since this frame makes the images a bit larger, it may impact the overall page layout. Switch off the link highlighting to restore the original layout.
Once the tracking links have been chosen and aliases defined, click OK to continue. A summary of the tracking details will be presented. From this screen, re-edit the tracking definitions by clicking Define Tracking URLs, remove any of the links by clicking the Remove link adjacent to each URL, or remove all the links by clicking the Remove All link at the bottom of the listing.
Click Next -> to continue.
A link alias gives each tracked link a special name that can be distinguished from other links, even if they go to the same URL. This becomes significant when there is more than one link to the same URL in a message, and if it is important to find out which links have been clicked.
If aliases for tracked links are not defined (which is possible, since aliases are optional), LISTSERV® Maestro will only be able to find the URL of the link in the tracking data. This is adequate if each URL appears only once in the e-mail message, or if there is no need to track which of several instances were clicked. If the same URL appears in several links in the message, it will not be possible to know which of the links was actually clicked without defined aliases.
For example, a message may have both an image link and a textual link in the running text body, both of which link to a company homepage. When looking at the tracking data, the company would like to know if more people click on the image link or on the text link. To get this information, mark both links for tracking and give them different aliases. Maestro will then be able to report which of the links was clicked when reviewing the tracking data.
Other examples include finding out if links at the top of a message are clicked more often than those at the bottom, or if bright flashing animated GIFs motivated more people to click on a link than smaller, more conservative images. Aliases can also be used to group links with different target URLs. For example, all image links in a message can be given the one alias and all text links in a message can be given another to determine if people click on image links or text links more often.
Note for plain text messages: To track links in a plain text message (or in the alternative text of a HTML message), enclose them in quotation marks <"> ("http://www.lsoft.com"). This formatting tells Maestro that this is a link that can be tracked in a plain text message. The quotation marks will be removed from the message before it is delivered if the link is actually selected for tracking.