A custom marketing domain lets you use your company name in the URLs for Act-On content (forms, landing pages, etc.) instead of a generic Act-On-generated address. This must be combined with an SSL certificate for security purposes (many browsers will block content loaded without SSL).
Choose Your Domain and Point It to Act-On
First, choose the domain connect to Act-On. You can use a domain you already own or purchase a new one from a hosting provider.
Custom marketing domains must begin with an alphabetical character (a-z) and cannot include special characters such as underscores.
Next, you'll need create a CNAME on this domain, which adds a new subdomain (eg. info.company.com) that "points" to the content in your Act-On account.
- Login to your Act-On account and go to Content > Branding > Domain
- Highlight the domain that appears here and copy it to use below
Note: If there are two domains on this screen, make sure you copy the Default Marketing Domain.
- Work with your IT team or domain host to:
Add an SSL Certificate
This certificate is required – without it, your content will be blocked by most web browsers. This also allows you to track visit data on web pages secured via HTTPS.
Option 1 (Preferred): Fast and Free SSL Process
This method is completely free to you, is very quick to implement, and is a one-time setup (does not need to be repeated unless you change your custom marketing domain).
Option 2 (Legacy): Purchase a Certificate
We recommend securing your account with our fast and free process (above). You also have the option to purchase and supply your own certificate, but this includes additional maintenance and risk of expiration.
- Provide some company information to Act-On Support (see this page)
- Support will reply with a certificate signing request (CSR)
- Buy an SSL certificate from the provider of your choice
Note: The certificate needs to be non-wildcard and either an OV, DV, or EV SSL certificate for an Apache HTTP server
- Send the certificate details to Act-On Support so it can be installed on your marketing domain
It may take 48 hours for this certificate to take effect. Please note that you will also have to renew this certificate periodically to keep it from expiring. If you are renewing a certificate and have your previous CSR from Act-On, you can skip the CSR request steps, buy the certificate, and contact Support with the certificate details.
Connect Your Custom Domain to Act-On
With all the required setup complete, you can now connect your custom domain to Act-On:
- Login to your Act-On account
- Go to Content > Branding > Domain
- Click Edit in the upper right corner
- Add in your subdomain (eg., info.company.com) and click Save
- Do NOT enter your Act-On account host here (eg., ci35.actonsoftware.com)
- You will now see your custom domain listed as the Current Marketing Domain and your Act-On content will be served over that URL.
SSL Technical Details
Act-On's fast and free SSL certificates...
- Are Domain Validated (DV) certificates signed by Let's Encrypt
- Renew automatically every 90 days (no action required from you)
- Use the signature algorithm SHA256withRSA
- Have certificate keys stored securely on Act-On's servers
- Are trusted in and compatible with all modern browsers
The technology that Act-On uses to support 'https' pages when hosting a certificate is Transport Layer Security (TLS SNI). Below is a list of browsers that currently support TLS SNI:
- Opera 8.0 and later (the TLS 1.1 protocol must be enabled)
- Internet Explorer 7 or later (under Windows Vista and later only, not under Windows XP)
- Firefox 2.0 or later
- Curl 7.18.1 or later (when compiled against an SSL/TLS toolkit with SNI support)
- Chrome 6.0 or later (on all platforms – releases up to 5.0 only on specific OS versions)
- Safari 3.0 or later (under OS X 10.5.6 or later and under Windows Vista and later)
FAQs and Troubleshooting
Our company is rebranding. Can we change our Custom Marketing Domain?
Yes. The primary concern with changing your custom marketing domain is ensuring that your content and links do not break. To prevent this, you must keep the original CNAME record on the DNS in addition to your new one.
Step 1 - Set up the new Custom Marketing Domain
- Ask your Web administrator to add a CNAME record for the new subdomain as described in our instructions above.
- Do not delete the old CNAME record. Act-On will continue providing an SSL certificate for this subdomain as long as the DNS record exists. This will ensure your links with the old branding do not break.
Step 2 - Update Your Act-On Content
Once the SSL certificate is created for your new subdomain, process the following updates, in order, to prevent failed messages and programs.
Hint: Treat this as a system outage, and advise your users not to send messages during this time.
- Stop your automated programs and approve all pending message requests.
- Update your Custom Marketing Domain in Act-On.
- Update the Opt-Out Link in your Custom Email Footer(s)
- This will prevent messages from sending due to Opt-Out link validation.
- After this is done, you may proceed sending messages in Act-On.
Act-On Links Including:
Custom Content Including:
* Emails will fail to send until the Opt-Out/Unsubscribe/Subscription Management link is updated. We recommend doing this IMMEDIATELY after updating your Act-On marketing subdomain in Branding.
** RSS to Email campaigns must be stopped to make changes and then re-started as a new campaign.
*** Message templates used in an Automated Program must be changed from within that program.
Step 3 - Update External Content
- Have your webmaster update the following elements on your website:
- Act-On Beacon tracking code
- Act-On Forms:
- Form Embed codes
- External Form Post URLs
- Landing Page URLs and embedded landing pages/forms (eg iframes)
- Any other Act-On URLs, such as Image & Media URLs and Gated Content
Warning: Deleting your old CNAME record can cause significant disruption, including but not limited to:
- failed messages
- broken links in previously sent email messages
- missing form submissions / inbound leads
- image and media resources failing to load
- website visitor tracking failure
Step 4 (optional) - Changing Web Domain
If your web domain is also changing (eg from marketing.olddomain.com to marketing.newdomain.com), you may also need to update:
- Envelope From
- Email From
- From: Addresses
- Form Domains
- User email addresses
- This must be done by deleting the old user and creating a new one