There are several new features that have been added to the message content definition process, making the entire process more efficient and extremely easy to use. These new features can be used while defining the message content on the Define Message screen, which has also received a face lift to make it easier to manage these new features. The new content definitions features are:
The Message Content Icon Bar makes it easier to define different aspects of your message, check which features are enabled, and check which features may require additional work. If a gray dash is displayed, then this features is disabled; if yellow circle arrows are displayed, then the feature requires your attention and is not complete; if a green checkmark is displayed, then the feature is enabled and all requirements are fulfilled.
Where to find: The Icon Bar is found at the top of the Define Message screen. To access this screen, go to the Job Details screen for your job and click on Define Message. The Define Message screen opens.
You can now create professional-looking HTML message without any HTML coding. LISTSERV Maestro 3.1 comes with ready-to-use message templates that contain placeholders that, when selected in the template designer, will let you fill in predefined areas with your own text or images. In addition, all text, including any changes you may make down the road, will be entered into both the HTML and the text part of your message so you only need to enter the text once. Each placeholder can represent one or several instances of plain text or HTML, or a linked or inline binary. When using the template designer, you can also preview each placeholder, providing a full picture of what the template will look like when it is finished.
Where to find: After a template has been enabled for use, you can select it on the Select Template screen. This screen is accessed by clicking on the Template icon at the top of the Define Message screen. Once selected, your message will be based on this template.
For detailed information on this feature, please refer to the Message Templates: Getting Started whitepaper entitled No HTML Coding Experience Necessary! Creating Professional Looking HTML Message without Coding, the Message Templates: Creating Your Own Templates whitepaper entitled Do-It-Yourself Templates: Using Your Own Content to Create Message Templates, and the Message Templates: Advanced Techniques whitepaper entitled Going Above and Beyond: Using Advanced Techniques to Create Customized HTML Templates.
LISTSERV Maestro now contains an HTML Editor, giving you the basic elements for entering or editing HTML code. HTML code can be written using any text editor, but the new HTML Editor gives you many additional features, such as font and text formatting, cut, paste, undo, and redo actions, image insertion, table creation, form fields, and a visual rendition of your HTML code. If you are used to using Microsoft Word as your HTML Editor, then you will certainly feel comfortable using the new LISTSERV Maestro HTML Editor.
Where to find: The HTML Editor can be enabled for use on the Content Preferences screen. From the Toolbar, select Preferences, Mail Jobs, and then Content. Select the Use visual HTML editor option. If you want to enable the HTML Editor Toolbar, select the If visual HTML editor is used: Enable advanced toolbar for form elements option.
The HTML Editor can be enabled for a message by clicking the HTML icon on the Define Message screen. The Message Content Type Settings screen opens. From here, select the HTML Mail option, and then select Visual HTML Editor. Click [OK] to return to the Define Message screen, which will now have the HTML Editor tab available for use.
The Forward-to-a-Friend feature lets you set up a “Forward this e-mail to a friend” link for each message you send to your list subscribers or message recipients. Once setup, this link gives your subscribers and recipients the freedom to share the message with others. Using this feature gives you the ability to reach a wider audience with your message and the ability to build your subscriber list using their friends as a referral.
Once the message is forwarded, an exact copy of the message will be delivered to all of the addressed supplied by the subscriber. Upon arrival, the message contains an additional preamble and personal message (optional) informing the new recipients who forwarded the message to them. The forwarded email will also contain the same "Forward this e-mail to a friend" link that was in the original mail, allowing the recipient to forward this message, yet again, to more friends.
Where to find: The Forward-to-a-Friend feature is enabled while you are defining the content of your email job. From the Job Details screen for your job, simply click on Define Message. The Define Message screen opens. Click on the Forward to a Friend icon to open the “Forward to a Friend” Settings screen. From this screen, select Enable “forward to a friend” for this job. Once this option is enabled, the rest of the screen becomes active. After enabling this feature, you will need to make sure that the conditions described on the screen are correctly met and the settings are configured accordingly.
For detailed information on this feature, please refer to the Forward-to-a-Friend: Getting Your Message Out whitepaper entitled Getting Your Message Out! Helping Subscribers Forward Your Messages to Their Friends.
Also known as Multivariate Testing, A/B-Split Testing allows you to send one job using two or more different versions of a message to random samples of your recipients. LISTSERV Maestro 3.1 offers two types of A/B-split testing jobs – a normal A/B-split job and A/B-split job with sampling – that will help you achieve a higher success rate with your messages.
An A/B-Split Job lets you define a list of recipients with several different message content and tracking definitions in the form of variant jobs, which are sub-jobs of the A/B-split job. During delivery, the list of recipients will be evenly split between all of the variant jobs, and each variant job will then be delivered to its recipient share.
An A/B-Split Job with Sampling is a special version of a normal A/B-split job. It contains two types of job categories – Sampling Variants and a Main Variant – and, combined together, they create the sub-jobs of the A/B-split job. The bulk of the recipients are reserved for the main variant, while only a smaller part of the recipients are evenly divided among the sampling variants. The sampling variants are authorized and delivered first, while the main variant is held back. The tracking results of the sampling variants are then used to assess the "success" of each variant (just like a normal A/B-split job). With these results, you can copy the content of the most successful sampling variant into the main variant (maybe with some additional changes). After this is done, you can finally authorize the delivery of the main variant (which contains the bulk of the recipients). By holding off the delivery of the main variant, you can use the insight gained from the sampling variants so that the bulk of the recipients receive the message that has proven most successful (in contrast to normal A/B-splitting, where the insight can only be utilized for the next job). The drawback of A/B-split sampling is that some recipients will get the message earlier (the recipients that are used in the sampling variants), while the bulk of the recipients will receive the message later (when the main variant is authorized and delivered).
If tracking is defined for the variant jobs, then the tracking results can later be used to assess the "success" of each variant job in comparison to the other variants. These results give you valuable insight into which kind of content has the most impact and which should be used to optimize future jobs.
Where to find: To define an A/B-split job, click on the Mail Job menu and select New. The Start New Job screen opens. In the Initial Job Settings section, select the All new job option, and then click the Job Type drop-down arrow and select A/B-Split Job.
To define an A/B-Split Job with Sampling, click on the Mail Job menu and select New. The Start New Job screen opens. In the Initial Job Settings section, select the All new job option, and then click the Job Type drop-down arrow and select A/B-Split Job with Sampling.
Once you’ve finished entering the rest of the job’s information, click [OK]. The A/B-Split Job Details screen opens. This screen lets you access the details of an A/B-split job so that you can view and edit the various job parts and variant jobs, if applicable.
For detailed information on this feature, please refer to the A/B-Split Testing: Stop Guessing and Start Knowing whitepaper entitled Stop Guessing and Start Knowing: How to Increase the Effectiveness of Your Messages.
A number of new System Drop-ins have been added:
When Forward-to-a-Friend is enabled, this drop-in will be replaced with the link to the Forward-to-a-Friend web page for the hosted list used in Define Recipients.
Represents the email address on the From: line of the message, as defined in the Define Sender interface.
Represents the email address on the Reply-to: line of the message, as defined in the Define Sender interface.
Available only in the Forward-to-a-Friend preamble. This drop-in is required and will be replaced by the email address of the forwarder.
Available only in the Forward-to-a-Friend preamble. This drop-in will be replaced by a link to subscribe to the list that was used to define the recipients for the original mailing.
Available only in the Forward-to-a-Friend preamble. If this optional drop-in is present in the preamble, users of the Forward-to-a-Friend feature will be invited to enter some text, which will be inserted into the preamble in place of this drop-in.
New tracking and reporting options include tracking Forward-to-Friend activities and resulting subscriptions (“conversions”), as well as a click-tracking view of sent messages that lets you visualize recipient responses relative to the message layout.
Due to the addition of the Forward-to-a-Friend feature, you now have the ability to view reports based on this feature. When Forward-to-a-Friend tracking is enabled in the Tracking Details screen, a new Forward tab reporting the forwards and conversions becomes available on the Completed Job Details screen. The report shows the total number of forwards that were made through the forwarding interface and the number of new confirmed subscribers as a result of individuals clicking on the subscribe link in the forwarded email. The report also breaks this information down by “level” of forwarding – level 1 indicates forwards initiated by recipients of the original email, level 2 indicates forwards initiated by the level 1 forward-recipients, and so on.
Where to find: To access the Forward tab on the Completed Jobs Details screen, click on the Mail Job menu and select Completed Jobs. The Completed Jobs screen opens. From this screen, click on the Job ID of the job you’d like to view the report for. The Completed Job Details screen opens. To view the report, click on the Forward tab.
When viewing the message content of a completed job, new options are available for determining how the message is displayed. Among these is an option for Show Click Rates, which places “pins” on all the tracked links showing the click-rates for each of the links. At a glance, you can see which links attracted the most attention in a particular mailing. Seeing this in the context of the message can help you improve your messages’ overall design by pointing out which links attracted the most attention visually. This report type is similar to the “eye tracking” reports used to study the effectiveness of user interfaces and advertising media. By studying which links on the page tend to attract the most attention, you can improve your layout design to highlight your most important links and downplay the lesser ones. Combine with A/B-Split testing to determine the best layout and mix of image and text links.
Where to find: These new options are located on the Detailed Content Information screen. To access this screen, click on the Mail Job menu and select Completed Jobs. The Completed Jobs screen opens. From this screen, click on the Job ID of the job you’d like to view. The Completed Job Details screen opens. On the Summary tab, click the View link associated with the Content section. The Detailed Content Information screen opens. Place a check next to the option you’d like to display.
Job delivery notifications and text alternatives during delivery testing have now been added to LISTSERV Maestro, expanding your job testing abilities.
During job creation or job editing, you can now request that email notifications be sent to any number of addresses when delivery is attempted. These email notifications will inform the notification recipients of the success or failure of the job’s delivery.
Default notification addresses for jobs created by a specific user can also be defined in that user’s preferences.
Where to find: To enter an email address for delivery notification when creating a new job, click on the Mail Job menu and select New. The Start New Job screen opens. Click on the Show Advanced Options link. In the Delivery Notification box, enter all email addresses for those who wish to receive information on the job’s delivery.
To enter a default notification email address, click on the Preferences menu, select Mail Jobs, and then New Mail Job. The Job Definition Preferences screen opens. In the Default Delivery Notification section, enter all email addresses for those who wish to receive information for every delivery.
If the message is an HTML message with a text alternative, then a new option on the Delivery Test screen lets a separate email be sent to each test address with alternative text. If this new option, Send additional plain text mail with alternative text, is checked, then the test mail will be sent out in two versions. The first version will be the normal HTML mail (including the text alternative) and the second version will be a plain text mail that contains only the alternative text. Each test delivery recipient will receive these two mails, allowing the test recipients to view both the normal HTML mail as well as what the alternative text would look like for a recipient where the email client strips away the HTML part and only displays the text alternative.
When sending a test for a job with Forward-to-a-Friend enabled, several copies of the test will be sent to each address: the normal message, the message as it will look when forwarded without a user-supplied preamble, and the message as it will look when forwarded with a user-supplied preamble. If the Send additional plain text mail with alternative text option is also checked, then each of these test messages will be sent in both forms. This means that each test address may receive up to 6 different versions of the message.
Where to find: To enable this option, go to the Job Details screen for a job, and then click Delivery Test. The Delivery Test screen opens. From here, check the Send additional plain text mail with alternative text option.
Several enhancements have been made to make system administration easier to perform. These enhancements are described in the following sections:
In the Administration Interface, there is a new screen for managing all of the user rights in a group at once, instead of having to access the user rights page for each account.
Where to find: To access the User Rights Management for Maestro User Interface screen, click on the Administer User Accounts icon on the homepage of the Administration Interface. The Administer User Accounts and Identities screen opens. Click the User Rights Management for Maestro User Interface link to open this new screen.
Due to the addition of the new Message Templates feature, a new user right is available to limit who is allowed to administer Content Templates. Once a user has this right enabled, then they will able to create and enable templates for use when defining a message.
Where to find: This user right is located on the User Rights Management for Maestro User Interface screen (lets you enable this option for one or more users in a group) or the User Right Settings screen (only lets you enable this option for a specific user). To enable on the User Rights Management for Maestro User Interface screen, check the Admin Content Templates box associated with a specific user, or click on Admin Content Templates to enable for the entire group. To enable on the User Rights screen, check The user may administer Content Templates option. Once this user right is enabled on either screen, then it becomes enabled on both.
Creating and managing what your subscribers see has never been easier. LISTSERV Maestro 3.1 gives you the ability to create and manage message templates, along with the ability to further customize these templates. In addition, your subscriber pages now include customizable pages for the Forward-to-a-Friend feature.
Due to the addition of the new Message Templates feature, you can now create and manage these templates. After the administrator has given you the right to administer content templates, then the Utility menu will contain two new options – New Content Template and Content Templates. The New Content Templates option gives you several ways to create a new user-defined template by using your own content or previous job content; the Content Templates option lets you manage and copy any existing templates.
Where to find: To create a template as a copy of system template, click on the Utility menu and then select Content Templates. The Manage Content Templates screen opens. In the System Templates section, you’ll find a list of the system templates that you can copy. Click on the system template’s name to open the View System Template screen. From this screen, you can preview the system template. Click the Create New Template link in the upper right of the screen. The Create User-Defined Template Based on System Template screen opens, which is where you can give the new template a name and subject, and define the template settings. Click the [Create Template] button to create the new user-defined template. The new user-defined template will be displayed in the User-Defined Templates section of the Manage Content Templates screen.
To create a template as a copy of an existing user-defined template, click on the Utility menu and then select Content Templates. The Manage Content Templates screen opens. This screen contains a list of all user-defined and system templates. To copy any of these templates, simply click the Copy link next to the user-defined template you’d like to copy. A copy of the template is added to the User-Defined Templates section. Once the copy is complete, you’ll want to rename the template. To do this, click on the name and rename it on the Edit Content Template screen.
To create a new, empty template, click on the Utility menu, select New Content Template, and then select Create Empty Template. This opens the Edit Content Template screen with a new "blank" template. This template can be used to create a plain text or HTML template.
To create a template based on an existing job, click on the Utility menu, select New Content Template, and then select Create Template Based on Mail Job. This opens the Create Template From Mail Job screen. Click the Existing Job drop-down menu, select the job you want to use for your template, and then click [Create Template]. The Edit Content Template screen opens with the new template pre-populated with the same content as the selected source job. From this screen, make any changes to the template.
To create a new template by uploading pre-defined text, click on the Utility menu, select New Content Template, and then select Upload Template. The Upload Content Template screen opens. Enter the filename of the content template ZIP-file located on your local system or use the Edit Content Template screen, which is where you can make any additional changes to the uploaded template before saving it. button to browse for the file, and then click to upload the template. Once you have uploaded the template file, you will be taken to the
To manage your templates on the Manage Content Templates screen, click on the Utility menu from the Toolbar, and then select Content Templates.
For detailed information on creating templates, please refer to the Message Templates: Creating Your Own Templates whitepaper entitled Do-It-Yourself Templates: Using Your Own Content to Create Message Templates.
After enabling the Forward-to-a-Friend feature, you can customize all of the web pages the subscriber will encounter. The first page you will want to customize is the default Forward-to-a-Friend web page, which coordinates with the hosted list that was selected when the job’s recipients were defined.
In addition to the default Forward-to-a-Friend page, there are also several new Forward-to-a-Friend message pages. These messages include the “Forward to a Friend” Cancelled message, the “Forward to a Friend” Confirmation message, the Processing “Forward to a Friend” message, the “Forward to a Friend” Not Possible message, the No Unsubscribe After “Forward to a Friend” message, and the “Forward to a Friend” System Error message.
Where to find: To customize the default Forward-to-a-Friend page, go to the dataset of interest, and then click on the Membership Area Layout tab. Click on the “Forward to a Friend” Page link located in the Pages table. The Customize Page Layout screen opens with the Forward-to-a-Friend page displayed.
To customize any of the Forward-to-a-Friend messages, go to the dataset of interest, and then click on the Membership Area Layout tab. Click on the Advanced Customization (Message Pages and Input Validation Errors) link The Message Page Text table contain a Forward to a Friend section that lists all of the Forward-to-a-Friend messages.