Create a List Maintenance Program

  • Updated
List Maintenance Programs allow you to make automated changes to your lists. They're useful for injecting values, such as lead score, into a list field so that you can use them for segmentation, sending, etc.
Common Uses of List Maintenance Programs
  • Recording data for hard bounces, soft bounces, etc. to sync to your CRM
  • Changing a specific field value for every record in a segment
  • Injecting campaign scores into a segment
  • Incrementing a field to count every time a behavior occurs.
  • Setting a timezone on a contact record
  • Recording a date when a contact takes action or qualifies

List Maintenance Programs accomplish many of the same functions as Automated Programs, which can also change a field. Automated Programs generally run once on a contact, and should be used if you want a field to change one time and not be updated (such as the original lead source). List Maintenance programs can run on a schedule and update daily for data that changes regularly (such as campaign score). In addition, List Maintenance has more options for setting field values, including campaign score, timezone, increment, decrement, clearing the field value, setting to today's date, or using personalization values to copy data from other fields.

Best Practices for List Maintenance programs:  Because these programs can run daily, it's best to limit the source to contacts who really need action to be taken. For example, if you want to update contact records to add a timezone, create a source segment of contacts with a blank timezone field.  This will limit the amount of processing the program has to do and will only update contacts who need it.


Create a New Program

  1. Navigate to Automation List Maintenance Programs and click the '+' New Program button on the right.
  2. Enter a Program name and description for the List Maintenance Program.
  3. Select your schedule, Manually or On a schedule. Scheduled programs can run daily, weekly, or monthly. It's best to run list maintenance programs during off-business hours (when you are not sending emails).
  4. Click Continue:
  5. Select your source segment. This is the set of contacts you want to run through the program.  Only one segment can be selected for each program.
Tip: If you schedule the program to run DailyEvery Hour, or use a Start Time of Noon, the program will only run hourly between the hours of Noon and Midnight each day.


Add Steps to Your Program

  1. Click Add a step and enter a step name.
  2. Choose the type of step you wish to add:
    A. Change Field Value
    B. Copy to a List (available only for programs based on Marketing Lists)
    C. Copy from a Segment (available only for programs based on Marketing Lists)

A. Change Field Value step

  1.  Expand the Change field value option:
  2. You may see the option to Use Current Source List or Use Another List.  This allows you to update a field in a different list for that contact. This is only available if the source list is a Marketing List.
  3. Choose the field to update: LMP_Change_Field_Step.jpg
  4. Enter a value or choose an option from the drop-down list.  Options include:
      • Set Value to (and enter a value).  The value must match the data type of the selected field (i.e. if the field is numeric, boolean, or date, the value entered must conform to this). Use the personalization icon to insert data from other fields, for example {{First}} {{Last}} to populate Full Name, or use the CRM fields to populate data from Account or Owner tables.
      • Clear the value
      • Decrement value by
      • Increment value by
      • Set the value to a behavioral score 
      • Set the value to a campaign score
      • Set the value to the current date
      • Set value to timezone - Act-On will determine the best timezone based on available data
      • Assign a unique number in the list (starting with 1)
  5. Choose to either apply to all contacts in the program or only contacts that also belong to a particular segment:
  6. Add more steps, or save your program.

B. Copy to a List Step

This step type copies contacts from the source list to another list. It is available only for programs based on Marketing Lists.

  1. Expand the Copy to a List step.LMP_Copy_to_main_list_step.jpg
  2. Choose to copy all contacts in the source list or only contacts that belong to a particular segment.
  3. Select the list to add these contacts to.  This list must contain the same fields that you want to be copied from the program list – any fields that are not present will not be copied over. Both lists must have the email address field identified for system use.
  4. Select options:
    • Append copies to the list -the second record with the same email address will be added to the end of the list
    • Update records with matching emails - the first record will be updated with any new values. Note that blank values will not overwrite any fields that already contain a value

C. Copy From a Segment Step 

This step type adds records from another list/segment into your program's list. It is available only for programs based on Marketing Lists.

  1. Select a list or segment to copy fromCopy_from_Segment_step.jpg
  2. Choose how new vs. existing records will be handled
    • Append and merge – add new contacts to the program list, and add any values to existing records that are currently blank
    • Merge – do not add any new contacts, but add any values to existing records that are currently blank
  3. Choose whether to overwrite and/or delete existing data
    • Update records – values on the program list will be overwritten
    • Remove records if not present in source – remove contacts from the program list if they are not found in the other list.

Managing Your Programs

Point to a program in the list to run it manually, edit it, favorite it, move it to a different folder, or delete it. You can use folders and tags to keep your programs organized.

Use the 'info' hover button to see information about the program, including when it last ran: 


Tip:  While the program is running, the segments referenced by the program are locked from any changes. Emails to these segments will not be sent until the program has finished.

Click a program name in the list to open the Program Steps tab, showing the Steps editor, the Next run schedule, and in Affected contacts a donut chart showing the percentage of contacts reached in the list maintenance program. The graph is shown in teal color if the percentage is less than 90%, yellow if it is between 90% and 95%, and red otherwise:

Create a List Maintenance Program 01.png

Create a List Maintenance Program 02.png

Editing Program Schedule

To edit a program's schedule, description, or other details, click on the Edit button from the main listing page, then click on the Program Details tab:


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