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Act-On Software

Required Technical Setup

For your Act-On account to function correctly, make sure you configure these important settings.

  • You will need action from your IT staff, web hosting provider, and email provider
  • You will also need to contact Act-On support
  • You may need to wait for responses during this process, so it is critical to get started as soon as possible

Some of these settings affect your email sending ability, and others enable you to track website visitors.

Email Setup

These steps are critical to email deliverability. Without these settings in place, spam filters are likely to treat your marketing messages as suspicious.

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) adds a layer of security to your emails. Email providers regard emails as suspicious if they do not pass an SPF check.

SPF is a complex subject, but here's a simple overview:

  • You specify an IP address as one you will use to send emails
  • When you send an email, the recipient's email service checks the IP you listed against the one you're really sending from
  • If the IPs match, the email is considered much more secure; if they do not, it is likely to be marked as spam

To set up SPF:

  1. Ask your IT team to create an SPF record in your DNS that describes all authorized senders for your domain
    SPF for Google Hosted Email
    SPF for Outlook Hosted Email
    (If you have an existing SPF record, skip this step)

  2. Ask your IT team to add Act-On as an authorized sender by adding "include:_spf.act-on.net" to your record before "-all"

You can validate the updated SPF record at http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a system that helps authenticate your emails. Email providers treat DKIM as an essential step in their spam checking process.

DKIM has many parts, but here's a simple overview:

  • You add encrypted signatures to parts of your emails
  • You provide a key in your public DNS record to decrypt these secure portions
  • When you send an email, the recipient's email service checks this encryption process
  • If the public key unlocks the encrypted signature, the email is considered more legitimate

To set up DKIM:

  1. From the Start page in Act-On, locate your Account ID (next to your username under Account)
  2. Ask your IT administrator to create this CNAME entry in your corporate DNS:
    (AOAccountID)aoauth._domainkey.(yourdomain.com)
    and point it to dkim.act-on.com
    • See Editing Your DNS to Implement DKIM for how to add the CNAME in your hosting service
    • For multiple accounts: Please use your parent account's ID for the CNAME entry on all child accounts
  3. Work with your IT to set up a new email alias: postmaster@(yourdomain.com)
    • Make sure that you have access to this email account for the next setup steps
  4. Contact Support to enable DKIM (see below)

Please log in to submit your request.

Support will reply to confirm that setup is complete. As part of this step, we will also register you for Yahoo's Complaint Feedback Loop service. We will reply to your Support case to arrange the verification process.

Using a marketing sub-domain for emails (like mailer.mycompany.com) is a best practice for most industries. It lets you build an email sending reputation that is separate from the rest of your corporate email activity. Once you choose a sub-domain to send from, you should add it to the 'envelope' that email services use for routing and delivery.

Note: Only use one sending domain per Act-On instance. If you have multiple domains, choose the one with the healthiest reputation.

To set up your Envelope From: address, work with your mail or IT team to:

  1. Decide on a new sub-domain to be used for your new Envelope From: domain email headers (i.e., mailer.yourdomain.com)
  2. Create a TXT record under the new sub-domain: v=spf1 include:_spf.act-on.net -all
    • This sets the SPF policy for the newly created sub-domain only, separately from the SPF steps above
  3. Add an MX record for the new sub-domain and point it to est-mta.b2b-mail.net (priority 10)
  4. Contact support (see below) and provide the sub-domain

Please log in to submit your request.

Support will reply to confirm that setup is complete

Verifying Email Setup

You can verify that SPF, DKIM, and Envelope From: have been completed by sending a test email to an external Gmail account. In the options menu for this message, select Show Original:

spf-dkim-check-1.jpg

In the headers of the message, you will be able to see if SPF and DKIM passed.

Website Tracking Setup

These steps will enable you to drive traffic to your website and analyze visitor data. Without these settings in place, your forms and landing pages may not be visible to your customers.

Custom Domain

A custom marketing domain ensures that URLs for Act-On content (forms, landing pages, etc.) include your name and brand for a consistent customer experience.

To connect your custom domain to Act-On:

  1. Login to your Act-On account 
  2. Go to Content > Branding > Domain
  3. Copy the Default Marketing Domain
  4. Have your IT or domain host create a CNAME called "marketing" or "info"
  5. Point the CNAME to the Default Marketing Domain that you copied
  6. Go to Content > Branding > Domain, click Edit, and add your newly-created CNAME
  7. Click Beacon Tracking Code after adding your CNAME and apply the given code to the footer of your website

To secure your new domain, add an SSL certificate.

SSL certificate

Websites without an SSL certificate display security warnings in most internet browsers. This can actually stop visitors from seeing your site and content, so it's important to address quickly. Even if you already have SSL on your corporate website, you will need a new certificate to add to your Act-On domain.

For steps to configure, see this page.

Act-On Beacon Tracker

The Beacon Tracker is the tool within Act-On that collects information on visitors to your website.

For steps to activate, see this page.

Other Important Settings

Whitelist Act-On's IP Addresses

Allowing Act-On's IPs in your IT firewall system will ensure that your test emails work correctly. For steps to configure, see this page.

There are some additional setup tasks that will help you make the most of your Act-On purchase. Refer to our 2-Week Setup Plan for more details.

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