Essentials to Get Started
- An Automated Program ready for testing.
- Your Program Test List: a Marketing List with internal Contacts to test the program with.
This tutorial focuses on a simple program that has one source list and no segments. If your program is more complex and you would like to test it, see our FAQ below: What if my program has advanced logic?
Step 1: Copy the Program and Prepare for the Test
- In Automated Programs, hover over your program and click the Copy icon
You will see the Program Flow for your Program in the Journey Builder.
- Go to General Settings. Delete the existing program source list and click Add List to select your Program Test List.
- Change the program entrance condition from a schedule to Manually (assuming this is a test you will manually run)
- Go to Lists & Segments, and remove the original program list from here as well. You should only see your Program Test List on this page.
If you see an error when deleting a list or segment:
- First, read the error and note all of the program steps that use this.
- Update your Program Test List. You will need a list or segment to replace each list or segment that is used as a condition. When you have lists or segments used in conditional steps, you may need to create segments from your Program Test List and add more test Contacts in order to test these conditions. See What if my program has advanced logic? for more information.
- Next, go to Program Flow, and replace the source for each step noted in the error, then try running your test program again.
- Next, go to Program Flow and change your program so it can be easily tested and does not cause disruptions.
- For example: If the program is intended to create a Lead record in your CRM, you may need to make sure the Lead is assigned to you instead of someone on your Sales team.
- Click Save in the upper right corner
Step 2: Test your Program
- Click the top left arrow to go back to the Program listing page.
- Hover over your Test Program and click the extended menu > Start to begin running your test program
- Your program will either run, or you will begin to see errors. These errors will guide you to settings that need to be changed. For example, an outbound message might be missing a Sender. Edit the program and fix the message settings. Then try starting the program again.
- Once your program starts, you will be prompted to Add Contacts. Choose Yes. (If you choose No, all of the Contacts in your Program Test List will exit the program.)
- Now that your program is running, you can navigate to the Dashboard
- Go to Steps and see the Contact(s) progress.
- Check the results of each step. Some examples:
- If the step was to send an email, check the inbox for that email address to review the message.
- If it is a change in your CRM data (e.g., Add a Note), check the appropriate record in your CRM.
- As your program runs, you can manually advance through each Wait step in the Program Overview by expanding each step and clicking "Move contacts to next step"
When you are done testing, stop the program. You may wish to Delete the test copy.
Step 3: Adjust your Original Program, Copy it again, and Repeat the Test
Depending on the results of your test, you may need to make changes to the program.
Update the original Automated Program that you will run, and make a new copy. Repeat the testing process as needed.
What if my program has advanced logic?
Programs that have more advanced logic, such as conditional steps based on behaviors (eg. Opening, or not opening, an email message), you may wish to do the following:
- Run your test with multiple Contacts so you can run each condition.
- Create a Segment for each branch that needs a segment. Have one test Contact in each Segment so you can see that they follow the correct logic.
Testing programs with complex logic is an advanced skill. If you are struggling to build a program that suits your needs, Act-On has an experienced Professional Services team available to help you create custom programs to meet your marketing and customer contact needs.
How can I have more test Contacts?
Some email providers allow unlimited aliases. For example, Google mail services allows you to add a plus sign after your email and before the domain:
firstname.lastname@example.org. You can create unlimited variations of this and the emails will be delivered to your inbox just the same.