5.3 HTML Messages
There are several ways to compose HTML messages in LISTSERV Maestro:
HTML messages can be created locally in any HTML editing program and uploaded to LISTSERV Maestro.
In order for any links to be tracked in an HTML message, they must be enclosed within quotation marks. Generally speaking, most good HTML editors will do this automatically, but it is possible to create a link without quotation marks that will be read in Internet Explorer (because this browser is very forgiving of HTML coding errors). If in doubt, or if there is trouble selecting a tracking definition for a seemingly good link, double check the HTML coding of the links. An example of correct coding appears below:
<a href="http://www.lsoft.com">Link text goes here</a>
Omitting the quotation marks would result in incompatible coding for LISTSERV Maestro tracking, as in the example below:
<a href=http://www.lsoft.com>Link text goes here</a>
In order to upload HTML files into LISTSERV Maestro, it is necessary to have either the Microsoft® Java Virtual Machine (MS JVM) or Sun Microsystem's The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed. This ensures that any accompanying image files for backgrounds, banners, icons, diagrams, and pictures will be automatically uploaded with the source code. Most Windows systems manufactured before 2003 already have MS JVM already installed. If a system does not have a java virtual machine, the user will be prompted to download one. Download The Java Virtual Machine from: http://java.sun.com/getjava/index.html
The first time a file is uploaded after the Microsoft Virtual Machine is installed, a Security Warning dialogue box will appear asking for permission to use the L-Soft applet to upload HTML. Grant permission and check the box "Always trust content from L-Soft international inc" so that the grant dialog box will not reappear. If this box is not checked, it will be necessary to grant permission to use the applet every time HTML files are uploaded in a new instance of Internet Explorer. Another dialogue box will appear to browse for the file. Select the file to upload and click OK. If there are any image files that are linked remotely or embedded from local files, a dialogue box will appear listing each and asking whether to proceed with the upload. Click Yes. The HTML message will then appear in the HTML box.
The LISTSERV Maestro applet will also check to ensure internal and external references to linked or embedded image files are valid. Linked files are not sent with the message; embedded files are sent with the message. One advantage of using linked files is that the message will be smaller in size. However, a live Internet connection is necessary to view linked files. If the image server is down, they will not be visible. Also, some firewalls strip HTML messages that contain links to outside sources thus rendering the image invisible. Embedded files, on the other hand, will be visible without a live Internet connection and if the image server is down. They will make the message larger, but they will not, in most cases, be stripped from the message by a firewall. Consider the use of images, linked or embedded, carefully to avoid complications for the recipients.
Any invalid links will be counted as errors and will be reported in the "Load Results" dialog box. If Yes is clicked, LISTSERV Maestro will continue uploading the HTML file even if it contains link errors. The error report is only a warning to remind the user that there are currently problems but the upload is not suspended. The reason that uploads are not halted when the HTML contains errors is that the linked files simply may not be available yet. Sometimes, referenced Web sites are under development or are being updated as the e-mail message is being created. Once the linked site is complete, the message will be valid and can be sent out.
Some e-mail clients do not receive HTML messages well, if at all. Many people also elect not to receive HTML e-mail for a variety of reasons. To include those recipients who cannot or do not elect to receive HTML e-mail in a job, create an alternative text message to be sent with the HTML message.
Check the "Alternative Text" box next to "Body:" on the Define Content screen. This will activate the Alternative Text tab. Click on the tab to add the alternative text message. The message can be uploaded or copied/pasted into the box. Any trackable links in the alternative text message must be enclosed within quotation marks the same way as the plain text message trackable links are enclosed.
Note: LISTSERV Maestro can support alternative text in a format that is compatible with AOL. If the system administrator has enabled this function, a set of option buttons will appear on the Alternative Text tab. Please see Appendix D AOL Rich Text in the guide for more information.
Any type of file can be included as an attachment to an e-mail message. There is no limit to the number of files that can be attached to a message, but there may be a limit to the size of each attachment set by the system administrator. Large attachments or numerous attachments can slow down the delivery of the message and use up bandwidth. Consider using a link to the information, if possible, instead of an attachment. That way, processing time is faster, less bandwidth is used, and the link can be tracked.
To attach a file to a message, click the "Attachments" tab on the Define Content screen. Click Add Attachment to browse for a file from a local drive. Attachments are copied as part of the message content when content from one job is copied to another job.