LISTSERV at Work L-Soft
Special Issue 2012

Top Performance in 2013: Checklists and Resources for L-Soft Customers

With 2013 almost upon us, it's a great time to gear up for a new, better year of opt-in email list communication with L-Soft's solutions. Whether you're running LISTSERV, with or without the Maestro add-on, licensed or hosted, you want to get the best possible performance and results from your email list solutions. Be sure to check out these to-do checklists and resources to skate into the new year with confidence.


LISTSERV

If your lists are running on LISTSERV

1. Make sure your anti-virus protection is up-to-date

Below are the official F-Secure installation kits for Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows XP/Vista/7 and Linux. Windows 2000 is no longer supported. F-Secure has withdrawn support, including anti-virus signature downloads, for all versions of its anti-virus products older than 9.0. F-Secure Anti-Virus version 9 is a free upgrade for customers with an L-Soft maintenance contract and can be downloaded at:

ftp://ftp.lsoft.com/f-secure/ess920.exe
(FSAV Windows Server Security 9.20 for Windows 2003, 2008 including R2)

ftp://ftp.lsoft.com/f-secure/fsav4wks9.32.rtm.exe
(FSAV Windows Workstations 9.23 for Windows XP (SP3), Vista, Windows 7)

ftp://ftp.lsoft.com/f-secure/f-secure-linux-security-9.13.1893.tar.gz
(FSLS 9.13 Linux-x86 and Linux-x64)

The LISTSERV 16.0-2011a level-set upgrade is a pre-requisite for FSAV version 9. The level set also enables you to enjoy the additional fixes, patches and product enhancements of the latest LISTSERV version. This is a free upgrade for customers with an L-Soft maintenance contract and can be downloaded at:

http://www.lsoft.com/download/listserv.asp

For more information on LISTSERV and F-Secure Anti-Virus, please see the LISTSERV/F-Secure FAQ found at:

http://www.lsoft.com/manuals/f-secure-faq.stm

2. Stop spam from ever getting to LISTSERV

Recent versions of LISTSERV for Windows have allowed the LISTSERV SMTP Listener (which accepts incoming mail and delivers it to LISTSERV) to use a local SpamAssassin installation to check whether incoming mail is likely to be spam. Using this feature means that LISTSERV won't have to waste time processing any spam that SpamAssassin intercepts and that your list owners and moderators won't be bothered by the blowback from spam being sent to LISTSERV. Information about this feature can be found in Section 5 of the LISTSERV Advanced Topics Manual:

3. Be certain that your licenses are up-to-date

In recent LISTSERV versions, you can do this by going under "Server Administration" to "Server Dashboard" and looking under "License Information". The "Version" field should say 16.0, and if you have a maintenance contract with L-Soft, then the "Maintenance Until" field should be a date in the future. Finally, there should be a green shield with a check mark at the bottom of this area and in the "Technical Support" area. Note that the anti-virus feature also requires an up-to-date maintenance license. If any of these things are not the case, then contact support or your sales representative at:

L-Soft Support: support@lsoft.com
L-Soft Sales: sales@lsoft.com

4. Consider participating in training classes

If you feel that you haven't been getting the most out of your LISTSERV installation, or if there are LISTSERV features that you have heard of but haven't had time to educate yourself about, then perhaps you would find a training class useful. Information about the available classes and their costs can be found at:

5. Check out our technical support discussion lists

L-Soft hosts several discussion lists for our customers and users of our solutions. These mailing lists are a great forum to share experiences and advice and to allow our customers to help each other. Go through the archives or post a note of your own to get a discussion going.

  • LSTSRV-L – for site administrators
  • LSTOWN-L – for list owners
  • LISTSERV-LITE – for LISTSERV Lite users
  • LISTSERV-DEVELOPERS – for customers using some of the more advanced features in LISTSERV, such as TCPGUI and list exits
  • More information about technical support can be found at:

    6. Explore your web interface preferences

    If you haven't ever explored your LISTSERV web interface preferences, why not do it now? Log into the web interface and click on "Preferences" in the upper right-hand corner. You might, for instance, want to change your Mode. The default is "Basic Mode", but changing to "Expert Mode" will result in some additional options becoming visible on some screens, and picking "Tutorial Mode" will result in additional help text being displayed on many screens.

    If you frequently find yourself changing things like the way posts are sorted in the archives, or the amount of time covered by activity reports, clicking on the "Archive Preferences" and "Report Preferences" tabs will reveal many customization options.

    On all of the preference screens (and many other pages of the web interface as well), you can click on the question mark icon next to any item to get more information about it.


    LISTSERV Maestro

    If you are using the LISTSERV Maestro add-on

    1. Revisit your backup strategy

    By default, LISTSERV Maestro makes a nightly backup of its data and keeps backups for seven days. Make sure that you're copying those backups to an off-site location in case of a disaster.

    2. Configure notifications in the LISTSERV Maestro Administration HUB

    LISTSERV Maestro can notify you of successful (or failed) backups, as well as notify you of any critical system errors.

    3. Archive old mail jobs, and set up auto-archiving in the LISTSERV Maestro Administration HUB

    By default, mail jobs are retained in LISTSERV Maestro indefinitely. To boost system performance, log in to the LISTSERV Maestro User Interface (LUI) as "admin" and archive old mail jobs that are no longer needed. From the LISTSERV Maestro Administration HUB, configure LISTSERV Maestro to auto-archive old jobs after a set number of days. You may retrieve archived jobs at any time, but moving them to the archive will speed up many LISTSERV Maestro operations.

    4. Revisit your log file retention policies

    By default, LISTSERV and LISTSERV Maestro log files are retained indefinitely. Consider putting a script in place to compress or delete old log files on a regular basis in order to preserve storage space.

    LISTSERV Maestro has frequent updates, including bug fixes and new features, so it's a good idea to double-check and make sure that you have the latest version. You can always see the latest version at:

    5. Simplify your team collaboration process

    If you find yourself assigning the same team collaboration rights to the same users over and over again, you can automate this as follows:

    1. Log into the LISTSERV Maestro User Interface.

    2. Go under "Preferences" > "Mail Jobs" > "New Mail Job".

    3. Under "Default Team Collaboration", click on "Edit".

    4. Select the options you want new jobs to have by default.

    5. Click on "OK".

    6. Click on "OK" again. (Skipping this step will result in your changes not being saved.)

    Note that changing the default team collaboration settings don't affect jobs that you have already created. However, any new jobs that you create will have the team collaboration setup you specified.


    ListPlex

    If your lists are hosted with ListPlex (LISTSERV in The Cloud)

    1. Update your administrators

    When someone leaves your organization, or is reassigned to new duties, they should be removed as a list owner or editor from any mailing lists that they administer. Just to make sure that this hasn't fallen through the cracks, it's not a bad idea to occasionally check your lists' configurations to make sure that everyone who is currently an administrator is supposed to be. Fortunately, in recent LISTSERV versions it's easy to generate a report of the current list owners as follows:

    1. Go under "List Management" to "List Reports".

    2. Under "Report Columns", click "Uncheck All", then select "Owners", "Editors" and "Moderators".

    3. You can view the report on-screen, or if desired, you can export it to a CSV file that you can open in Microsoft Excel or a similar program. Select the option that you want under "Report Format".

    4. Click on "Search", and the report will be generated.

    If you're concerned about a particular person, you can type their email address next to "Show Lists Owned By", and only lists owned by that particular email address will be displayed.


    For everyone running an L-Soft solution

    1. Get your annual software tune-up

    The L-Soft software tune-up is a complimentary and confidential annual technical review for LISTSERV and LISTSERV Maestro customers with current maintenance. With an L-Soft software tune-up you can rest assured knowing that your site is in good working order. Some of the main benefits of the free service:

  • You'll get one-on-one input from an L-Soft support expert, helping you discover new time-saving features and prevent potential problems before they occur
  • You'll rest assured knowing that you're using best email practices, the latest software versions and that all of your systems are configured for top performance
  • You'll receive expert assistance – for free – in solving any issues and asking any questions about running your L-Soft software
  • You'll only spend minutes participating in the software tune-up, but it could well save you many hours and countless headaches down the line
  • You'll receive a virtual certificate and web logo for your site after successful completion, not to mention the peace of mind and freedom from hassles
  • For more information or to book your annual software tune-up, visit:

    2. Stay up-to-date with the latest news about your solution

    Make sure that you're subscribed to the "L-Soft Product Updates" list for your particular solution. You can find the L-Soft Opt-In Center at:


    Subscribe to LISTSERV at Work.


    © L-Soft 2012. All Rights Reserved.