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Act-On Software

Testing an Automated Program

Before running a new automated program, it is a great idea to test it. Here are some suggestions for how to check your work.

Confirm your steps

  1. Open the program's dashboard
  2. Select Steps, then expand all program steps via the arrows in the upper left corner
  3. Confirm that all step details (dates, messages, etc.) match your intended results
    • Give each step a specific, descriptive name – this is a useful confirmation during testing

Run a test copy

  1. Create a new marketing list with yourself as the only contact
    (Contacts > Marketing Lists > New List)
  2. Go back to Automated Programs, select your new program, and make a copy
  3. In Program Flow, edit every Wait step to be 10 minutes and delete all Wait Until steps
    • Alternatively, skip this step and manually advance through each Wait step (see below)
  4. In General Settings, set the program to Run Immediately and add your test list as the source list
  5. Choose Done to save the program
  6. Under Actions, choose Start Program

To move past a Wait step manually, expand the step and choose Move contacts to next step. Refresh the dashboard to see the results.

If your program fails to run, you will see an explanation of the error. If the program runs but you do not receive messages as intended, this helps you identify which step has a problem.

Final checklist

Check if your program meets these criteria:

  • Every step has a specific, descriptive name for the action taken
  • The first step is a Wait step (this gives you the option to cancel the program before any steps begin, if needed)
  • Every branch based on email engagement has a Wait step before it (this gives prospects time to open/click the email)
  • All messages to be sent or used for branch logic are in Program Messages
  • The list of contacts to be entered in the program is in Source Lists

If your program stands up to these testing methods, it is well designed and set up for success.

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