Before running a new Automated Program, it's a great idea to test it. Here are some suggestions for how to check your work.
Essentials to Get Started
- An Automated Program ready for testing
- Learn how to build programs with the Automated Journey Builder User Guide
- Your Program Test List – a Marketing List with internal contacts to test your program on
Tip! This tutorial demonstrates a simple program that has one source list and no segments. If you'd like to test a more complex program, find additional guidance in our FAQs section below.
Step 1: Copy your program to create a test
- Go to Automation > Automated Programs
- Hover over your program and click the three-dots icon, then click Duplicate
- You'll be automatically directed to the Program Flow editor in the Automated Journey Builder
- Go to General Settings
- Click Delete source list to remove the existing program source list
- Click Add List or Segment, then select your Test List
- Change the program's entrance condition to Manually (assuming you will manually run this test)
- Go to Lists & Segments and remove the original Source List from here as well – you should only see your 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 affected.
- Update your Test List. You'll 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 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. Try running your test program again.
- Go to Program Flow and update 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
Step 2: Run your test program
- Click the top-left arrow to go back to the Automated Programs listing page.
- Hover over your duplicate test program and click Dashboard
- Click Program is Paused > Start Program
Heads up! You might run into some errors after starting your test program. These errors will guide you to settings that need to be changed. For example, an outbound message might be missing a Sender. Click Edit to fix any errors in the Automated Journey Builder, then try to start the program again.
- You'll be prompted to add contacts before starting your program– select Add contacts to program and click Confirm
- Go to Steps to see how your contacts progress through the program
- Check the results of each step – examples include:
- For email send steps, check your test email's inbox to review the message
- For CRM data change steps (e.g., Add a Note), check the appropriate record in your CRM
When you're done testing, pause the duplicate program. If you're satisfied with how it performed, you can delete the test program on the Automated Programs listing page. To do this, click the three-dots icon and select Delete.
Step 3: Repeat the test if needed
Depending on the results of your test, you may need to make additional changes to the program's steps or settings. Update the original program and make a new duplicate. Repeat the testing process from Step 2 as needed.
What if my program has advanced logic?
For programs that have more advanced logic, such as conditional steps based on behaviors (e.g., opening, or not opening, an email message), you may wish to do the following:
- Run your test with multiple contacts so you can test each condition.
- Create a segment for each branch that needs a segment. Have one test contact in each segment so you can test if they follow the correct logic.
Testing programs with complex logic is an advanced skill. If you'd like additional help 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 get more test contacts?
Some email providers allow unlimited aliases. For example, Google mail services allow 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.