Table of Contents Previous Next Index

What’s New for the End User in LISTSERV® Maestro 3.1

What’s New for the End User in LISTSERV® Maestro 3.1
Content Definition Enhancements
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.
Message Content Icon Bar
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.
For more information, see Section 6.1 The Message Content Icon Bar.
Message Templates
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.
For more information, see Section 6.2 Message Templates and the Interface Customization Manual for LISTSERV Maestro 3.1.
HTML Editor
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 HTML Editor.
For more information, Section 6.6 Creating HTML Messages.
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.
For more information, see Section 6.3 Forward-to-a-Friend.
A/B-Split Testing
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 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.
For more information, see Section 4.2.2 Defining an A/B-Split Job and Section 4.2.3 Defining an A/B-Split Job with Sampling.
New System Drop-Ins
A number of new System Drop-ins have been added:
{{*ForwardToFriendURL}} – 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. For more information, see Section 6.3 Forward-to-a-Friend.
{{*FromAddress}} – Represents the email address on the From: line of the message, as defined in the Define Sender interface.
{{*ReplyToAddress}} – Represents the email address on the Reply-to: line of the message, as defined in the Define Sender interface.
{{*SenderAddress}} – 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. For more information, see Section 6.3 Forward-to-a-Friend.
{{*SubscribeURL}} – 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. For more information, see Section 6.3 Forward-to-a-Friend.
{{*UserMessage}} – 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. For more information, see Section 6.3 Forward-to-a-Friend.
Tracking and Reporting Enhancements
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.
Tracking Forwards and Conversions
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.
For more information, see Section 12.6 Forward-to-a-Friend Report.
Click-Rate Visualization
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.
For more information, see Section 12.4.2 Viewing Content Details.
Delivery and Testing Enhancements
Job delivery notifications and text alternatives during delivery testing have now been added to LISTSERV Maestro, expanding your job testing abilities.
Job Delivery and Success Notifications
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.
For more information, see Section 4.1.1 Advanced Options.
Default notification addresses for jobs created by a specific user can also be defined in that user’s preferences.
For more information, see Section 3.2 Mail Jobs Preferences.
Delivery Testing
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.
For more information, see Section 9.1 Delivery Testing for a Job.
Customization Enhancements
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.
Creating and Administering Templates
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.
For more information, see Section 15.1 Managing Content Templates and the Interface Customization Manual for LISTSERV Maestro 3.1.