Section 1

Section 2
The Maestro Interface

Section 3
Defining a Job

Section 4
Defining Recipients

Section 5
Defining Content

Section 6
Defining Tracking

6.2 Types of Tracking

Section 7
Sender and Delivery Options

Section 8

Section 9
Delivered Jobs

Section 10
Reporting and Statistics

Section 11
User Settings

Appendix A
24 Hour Clock

Appendix B
International Character Sets

Appendix C
Comma Separated Files

Appendix D
AOL Rich Text

Section 6

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.

Tracking and recording recipient and user information has ethical and legal implications. L-Soft expects that each user will utilize the software responsibly. Responsible use of the software includes, but is not limited to, observation of all laws and legal requirements that apply to use of the software and specifically privacy concerns of the recipients. It is the full responsibility of the user to be apprised of all relevant ethical and legal implications regarding use of the software.

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 10.2 of this guide.

Note: It is not necessary for tracking to be enabled to send out an e-mail job.

Let recipients know that they are being tracked and how tracking information is being used by providing a statement in the company or institution's privacy policy. Post the policy on the Web and provide users and recipients the URL for reference.

6.1 Defining Tracking Behavior for a Job

There are five basic steps to define tracking for a single e-mail job:

  • Turning tracking on or off
  • Selecting the tracking details
  • Selecting the type of tracking to record
  • Selecting the type details
  • Generating a summary of the tracking selections for the 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 ->.

Figure 32 Tracking On or Off

Turn tracking on or off

6.1.1 Tracking Details

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.

  • Click-Through Tracking

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.

Figure 33 Tracking Definition

Tracking definition screen shot

Click Next ->to continue or Define Tracking URLs to define click-through URLs to be tracked.

6.1.2 Defining Tracking URLs

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 starting with the "http://" or the "https://" protocol. The page is divided into four separate frames:

  • Top Frame – Gives several general options:
    • Highlight tracked links – Select this option button to highlight tracked links. (Due to the nature of image maps, links selected for tracking within them will not be highlighted.)
    • Do not highlight tracked options – Select this option button to turn highlighting tracked links off.
    • Show HTML page – Click this link to show the HTML message in the center frame.
    • Show alternative text – Click this link to show the alternative text of a message in the center frame.
    • OK – Click the button to save all the tracking selections and return to the Tracking Details screen.
    • Cancel – Click this button to discard any tracking selection and return to the Tracking Details screen.
  • Main Center Frame – Displays the body of the e-mail message. All trackable links in the message body (either text links or image links) are clickable. When a link is clicked, it will appear in the bottom frame under "Selected Link:". If the URL is clicked from the bottom frame, a separate browser window will open to that URL. This is a good way to check the validity of URLs in the message. If the body is composed of plain text (or the alternative text of an HTML message), then all links enclosed in quotation marks and start with "http://" or "https://"are clickable.
  • Right Center Frame – Contains the link Track all links, a fast way to select all links for tracking. Records each selected link to be tracked and an alias if one has been created. Edit an alias or remove a tracked link by clicking Select Link under the URL.
  • Bottom Frame – Shows the details of the selected link and allows the user to define whether the link will be tracked or not. If the links will be tracked, define aliases to help distinguish different links that go to the same URL from one another. The buttons in the bottom frame change depending on previous selections.

Figure 34 Click-Through Tracking Definition

To track a link:

  1. Click on the link in the message in the main center frame. The link will appear in the bottom frame.

  2. Click Track with Alias or Track without Alias.

  3. For tracking with an alias, enter an alias in the text box labeled "Define New Alias" or select an existing alias from the pull-down menu. Click OK to save the alias definition. The new definition will appear in the right frame.

  4. Links tracked without an alias will appear in the right frame. It is possible to add an alias by clicking Select Link under the URL in the "Currently Tracked Links" table in the right frame and then following step three.

  5. To edit or remove a tracked link, click Select Link under the URL in the "Currently Tracked Links" table in the right frame and then click the Edit Alias or Do not track this Link button in the bottom frame.

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.

Figure 35 Tracking Details

Click Next -> to continue.

6.1.3 About Link Aliases

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. LISTSERV 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 <"> (""). This formatting tells LISTSERV 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.