Setting Up #V2|arpReach

Once #V2|arpReach is installed and you have the basic knowledge to navigate around, you will need to set up various elements so that you can use #V2|arpReach to create and send emails, manage your marketing campaigns, and generally become more efficient in the way you work.

The options on the Setup menu which allow you to create and manage services and functions are:

Navigating Around #V2|arpReach

The main menu bar will allow you to access all of the functions and capabilities of #V2|arpReach.

Hovering over Setup, for example, will automatically expand the menu, showing you the additional options and functions available in that section.

Throughout this guide, we will use the following format to identify what you should click and in what order to access the sections and functions you will need to use or change.

Setup / Users / Show List

This would indicate that you should hover over or click Setup, locate the Users submenu, then click on its Show List option.

Doing so would bring up the following screen:

At this point, please also note of the I want to… and Choose action… drop-down menus on the right of your screen.

These are consistently placed throughout arpReach and provide quick routes to many core functions and capabilities within each screen.

We can now expand on our earlier navigation function which was:

Setup / Users / Show List

To indicate that you should follow a longer path for example:

Setup / Users / Show List / Choose action... / Edit

Following that path and clicking on Edit will bring up the following screen:

There are two tabs of settings named Account Settings and Preferences.

Now that you are in the Edit User / Account Settings screen, you should:

  • Change your password
  • Change your username, if needed
  • Add your email address – This is the email address that will be used for essential functions such as password recovery. Your contacts will not see it.

Once you have made the changes, click Save Changes. The next time you sign in, you will need to enter your new password.

Personal preferences are set for each user to personalize and enhance their experience of arpReach.

In the Preferences tab of your user settings, you can set your choices for items such as the visibility of the page header, the number of items shown on list screens, and visibility of form field hints.

You can also set your home page — the page that will be loaded every time you sign in to arpReach, as well as the report that will be shown on your personal dashboard.

Screen layout

Every screen in #V2|arpReach has a similar layout and some elements appear on every screen.

The header

The header section contains two elements:

  1. The main menu bar
  2. The service status bar
The main menu bar

The main menu bar is the quickest way of navigating around arpReach. The menu bar remains onscreen at all times.

Most functions of #V2|arpReach can be reached with just a few clicks when using the menu bar. We discuss the various capabilities later within this manual.

Hovering over any option in the menu bar will expand to display additional related menu options for each section.

The service status bar

The grey notes bar under the menu bar gives information about the current status of #V2|arpReach.

Items that require attention and the current status of the scheduled task (e.g., is currently running, idle, etc.) are shown here.

Click the service status bar to reduce its size if you need more screen space. It will return on the next screen refresh.

Action maps

Action maps are a way of navigating to the important areas of #V2|arpReach and to assist in leading you through the flow of each section. There are seven action maps.

The main Action Maps screen can be accessed by going to Help / Actions Maps which shows all seven action maps:

  • Autoresponders
  • Broadcasts
  • Content
  • Contacts
  • My Dashboard
  • Help
  • Setup

Use action maps to find the basic areas of the software and the menu bar when you know exactly where you need to be.

The Autoresponders, Broadcasts, Content, Contacts, Setup, and Help action maps can also be accessed by clicking the relevant option on the menu bar at the top.

For example, to access the Autoresponders action map, click Autoresponders on the menu bar:

This brings up the action map with sections where you can manage your autoresponders and autoresponder groups like this:

Action power menus

Choose action… menus

Many of the screens that show tables or lists of information have an Actions column and every row of information has a Choose action… drop-down menu in that column. Note that the options in the Choose action… drop-down menu may change depending on the status of the item in that row.

For example, here is the Choose action… drop-down menu under the Actions column on the Contacts list screen:

The I want to… menu may be different depending on the permissions you have been assigned by your system administrator.

Many Choose action… menus contain Copy and Copy then edit options.

  • Copy – makes a copy of the item and redraws the list with the new item added.
  • Copy then edit – makes a copy of the item the switches to the edit screen so the new item can be changed and saved. Note that the copy is created in the list even if no changes are made on the edit screen.
I want to… menus

Many screens have an I want to…drop-down menu at the top right of the screen. The options available are different depending on the screen you are viewing.

For example, here is the I want to… drop-down menu on the Broadcast Queue screen:

With selected… menus

Screens with a list of information (e.g., the Contacts list screen) have a With selected… drop-down menu. These work with the checkboxes in the left-most column.

Check the items you want to work with from the list, then choose an option from the With selected… drop-down menu at the top of the list table.

Checking or unchecking the box at the top of the column selects or deselects all the items on the screen. Items not currently showing (like on a multi-page list) will not be selected or deselected by this process.

The checkbox in the column header selects or deselects all items on the screen.

Inline help

In many sections, on the left of the screen, you will find small question mark (?) icons that are inline with the input options. Simply hover over the question mark to see additional help or information.

Once you hover over the question mark, a help box will pop up which will give you additional help or advice related to that input option.

Help menu

As with every menu bar section, hovering over the word Help will expand the menu to show the available options.

Useful information

There are various areas in #V2|arpReach where you can get useful information about the running of your system. This information is useful if you need to raise a support enquiry.

The service status bar (on the header)

The grey notes bar under the menu bar gives information about the current status of #V2|arpReach.

Items that require attention and the current status of the scheduled task (e.g., is currently running, idle, etc.) are shown here.

Click the service status bar to reduce its size if you need more screen space. It will return on the next screen refresh.

When requesting support, give as much relevant information as you can from this section.

Version and resources

Your running version and the resources it is using are shown at the bottom left of every screen. Always quote your version number when raising a support inquiry.

We recommend that you always run the latest version of #V2|arpReach. This is available for download from the #V2 Hub or arpReach Hub, providing you have an active Updates and Support plan.

At any time, you can check if there is a newer version by going to Setup / Check for Updates.

Check for Updates — Running an old version

Check for Updates — Running the latest version

Admin system information

You can get more useful information about your server’s PHP and database systems by going to Help / About… / System.

The #V2|arpReach scheduled task which was set up as part of your installation process may use different settings from those shown on the image above.

The information above is important when raising a support enquiry.

Scheduled task system information

To view the settings that the scheduled task is using, enable logging and debug mode in Setup / System Settings / Scheduled Task and view the scheduled task’s log files that are created in the schedule_logs directory of your #V2|arpReach installation directory.

arpReach directory structure

This is a system administration task that should be done by someone familiar with your server and its directory structure. The log files can be accessed by FTP software or by using your hosting control panel’s file manager utility.

Help and support

There are lots of help and support available for #V2|arpReach and a library of resources that you can use to learn about the package.

Your First Session

Throughout this user guide, we will assume that you have installed #V2|arpReach on a subdomain “arpreach” on your website “example.com”.

This means that the pages you need to visit to access all the functionality will look like this:

arpreach.example.com/a.php

In situations where the software is installed in a sub-directory of your domain (e.g., mail), then the pages you need to visit will look like this:

example.com/mail/a.php

The screen at the end of the installation process tells you which page to visit to sign in or your installer can give you the information.

Sign in and let’s get started!

We recommend you bookmark the correct URL for your installation, as visiting it will always take you to the sign in page for your #V2|arpReach to get started. Note that some browsers will require you to put https:// at the start, but most modern browsers don’t require this.

Throughout this user guide, we will use the following format for all our examples:

arpreach.example.com/a.php

Signing in

Visit the sign in page and enter the default username and password. These are set to “admin” and “12345” for a new installation of #V2|arpReach and should be changed as soon as possible.

arpReach can send you a new password if you forget it but make sure it knows your email address.

Forgotten password

If you have forgotten your username and/or password and #V2|arpReach knows your email address, a new password can be generated and sent to you along with your username.

Click Forgot user name or password on the sign in screen to access this feature.

Click Return to signin screen to exit this screen and return to the sign in screen.

Screen layout

When you have signed in, you will be taken inside #V2|arpReach where you should immediately change your password.

In the next section, we will show you how to do that while explaining how to find your way around #V2|arpReach.

Understanding The Basics

Contact management

Every contact in #V2|arpReach is primarily identified by their email address and an email address can appear only once in the contact list.

However, every contact can belong to multiple autoresponders (follow-up sequences) and multiple categories (e.g., customers, prospects, hot-leads, etc.), as well as have multiple unique and customizable tags (e.g., sex, age, location, likes, products bought, etc.).

Using the #V2|arpReach segmentation tools, you can easily target your messages to selected sections of your contact list. Extensive reporting allows you to view in numbers and charts how responsive your contacts are and you can target further those responsive (or even the unresponsive) contacts.

Delivery tools

As ISPs continue to battle with the issue of “SPAM” (unsolicited email, a.k.a. UCE), #V2|arpReach has tools to help you get email through to your contacts and monitor delivery by allowing you to integrate with local and remote email “senders” and “monitors”, as well as internal tracking open rate and bounces.

As new email headers are developed to aid the fight against “SPAM”, #V2|arpReach can use them immediately.

It is important to maintain a “healthy” contact list and #V2|arpReach has tools to help with that including automatic unsubscribe, suppression (do not contact), and ban (do not allow to subscribe) lists.

Multiple personalities

#V2|arpReach Gold allows you to create multiple personalities (personas) that act as the “senders” of your messages. A persona is an entire profile for an individual with a name, address, company details, contact information, and so on.

The advantage of this is if you use #V2|arpReach to send information from multiple websites, companies, or from various staff members in a company, you can create a persona for each of them to avoid brand confusion or improve staff interaction with clients and customers.

We are constantly striving to add more useful functionality so let us know what you need.

Multi-user

If there are several people in your organization that need access to #V2|arpReach, you can add them to the users list and set permissions for what they can view, add, change, or delete within the system.

As an example, you might want to allow someone in Marketing to create a new follow-up message, but have someone else proofread it and approve it. Or you may wish someone in Customer Services to be able to view contacts, but not add or change them.

By setting up permission profiles, you can easily manage what individual people and entire groups can and cannot do within the system.

Content management

Templates and template groups, attachment library, variables, and centralized ad management are all available to help you manage your content in one place. Change it once and it changes everywhere.

Testing and reporting

Do you want to test one follow-up message against another to see which generates the most opens?

Or maybe compare sending emails from your own server against a third-party provider?

#V2|arpReach provides the split testing and reporting tools to set it up easily.

Summary

We constantly strive to add more and more useful functionality so please let us know if there is anything you need. You may contact us by raising a ticket at:

https://support.arpreach.com

Getting Started

What are #V2 and arpReach?

#V2 and arpReach are contact management and marketing automation tools with a highly powerful follow-up autoresponder and email marketing system. It has been designed and developed by direct email marketers for direct email marketers to help build profitable long term relationships with prospective and actual clients.

At its most basic level, #V2|arpReach allows you to build and collect a list of contacts that you can contact regularly either by one-off broadcast emails or by using a sequence of one or more automated follow-ups.

Contacts can be added through forms on your website, by email, by importing from other systems, or by having them automatically added by integrating with other software (e.g., a shopping cart). But it is capable of much more sophisticated and automated marketing tasks.

arpReach is all you need for direct email marketing.

Typically, you might add a form to your website that asks your website visitor for their first name, last name, and email address. That person then becomes a contact and you can start to build up trust and a relationship with them by following up automatically and sending relevant targeted emails.

arpReach currently is available in two versions, Standard and Gold. Some advanced features such as the API functions are only available in the Gold version.

In this section, we outline some of the basic concepts so that you can start to use arpReach profitably.

Use the navigation links in the sidebar or the search function to quickly move to what you need, or start with the next section — Setup.

The Installation Process

This guide goes through the process of installing #V2 or arpReach on a standard cPanel hosting. Examples include HostGator, Liquid Web, Just Host, and thousands of others.

In this section:

Setting up your database

#V2|arpReach requires one MySQL database which you will need to create manually using the method supplied by your web hosting provider.

Make a note of the following settings of the new database in a text document which you will reference in a later part of the installation process:

  • host
  • database name
  • username
  • password
Useful links

Creating and selecting a database using the command line
Creating a database using cPanel
Creating a database using DirectAdmin

Getting ready to install #V2 or arpReach

Log in to the #V2 Hub or the arpReach Hub using the License Number and License Password provided in your order email.

To download the latest zipped release version of #V2|arpReach and save it on your computer, click the Download Latest Software icon.

Read and accept the usage terms.

The system will then build your download and then present an OK button.

Click the OK button to begin your download and save the ZIP file on your computer.

Unzip the ZIP file you downloaded, preserving the directory structure. (See useful resources below for software if required.)

Open the file config.inc.php. (Important Note: You MUST use a text editor such as NotePad and not a word processor like MS Word.)

Enter the config settings shown and save the file. The database settings are those you used when creating the MySQL database.

Now, rename the file to config.php.

Useful resources

7-Zip – An open-source utility for manipulating archives. Formats 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR are supported fully, other formats can be unpacked.
Keka – A free Mac utility for manipulating archive files. Extraction formats supported: RAR, 7z, LZMA, XZ, ZIP, TAR, GZIP, BZIP2, ISO, EXE, CAB, PAX, ACE (PPC).

Upload the files

On your website, create a directory where you want to install the software. Alternatively, create a subdomain.

For example:

example.com/<dir>

… where <dir> is the directory you create for the software to be installed.

If you opt to create a subdomain, the format will be:

<sd>.example.com

… where <sd> is the subdomain you create.

Using FTP software, upload the contents of the unzipped installation package on your computer to the directory you created on your website.

Important Note: Files must be uploaded in BINARY MODE.

The following directories need to be writable (Linux chmod 777) by the web process. Use your FTP software to set this.

  • schedule_logs
  • schedule_errors
  • temp
Useful resources:

FileZilla – FileZilla is an open-source FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software distributed free of charge under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Run the installation wizard

On your browser, run the installation wizard using:

example.com/<dir>/install/index.php

… where <dir> is the directory you created for the software.

If you opted to create a subdomain, the format will be:

<sd>.example.com/install/index.php

… where <sd> is the subdomain you created.

The installation wizard will step you through the process. Any errors will be explained and solutions suggested.

As a security measure, delete the install directory and all of the files in it once you have completed installing #V2 or arpReach.

Run the software

When the installation is complete, you can run the software for the first time by visiting:

 example.com/<dir>/a.php

… or:

<sd>.example.com/a.php

Running the software for the first time creates a new administrator whose login details are:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: 12345

Once logged in, you will see these warning messages at the top of your screen.

You should change these initial login username and password settings as soon as you can by going to Setup / Personal Settings. There you can also set other options to personalize your session.

Activate your software

Right after logging in for the first time, you will be taken to the activation screen (Setup / Activate License).

Please refer to the full process of generating your activation code.

Enter the license number, license password, and activation code you have been given, check the box to agree to the terms of use, and click Activate Now.

Your software is now activated.

At any time, you can obtain an activation code for your software from the #V2 Hub or arpReach Hub.

Create the scheduled task

The software requires one scheduled (cron on Linux) task to be created in your domain’s control panel. We recommend running it every 5 minutes.

The scheduled task takes care of many operations of the software, including sending due emails and managing incoming subscriptions and bounces.

Your web host can advise on how scheduled tasks should be set up on your hosting. The scheduled task should NOT be set up using wget or any other HTTP or web-based process as timeouts will be a problem.

Contact your host if you need assistance with setting up your scheduled task as servers vary widely.

It must be set up by running the script directly using “command line” PHP, like this:

php /path/to/public_html/<dir>/a.php cli/auto>/dev/null 2>&1

Important Note: The php on the example above will usually be php-cli on a cPanel/WHM server. You should also be aware that the command line will vary from server to server and you should ask your hosting company for and use the correct path to PHP for your server.

Handling incoming email

The software needs to be able to handle incoming emails to manage emailed subscriptions, unsubscriptions, and bounces.

The best way to handle this is to create an email account on your domain for the exclusive use of the software.

You can usually do this in your hosting control panel.

At the same time, set the “default” or “catch-all” address of your domain to forward unrouted emails to this account.

Check out the Help menu in the software for extensive support resources.

The software will monitor this account for emailed subscriptions and bounces. To set this up in the software, go to Setup / System Settings.

Go to the System tab and expand the Incoming email section.

Enter the details for the email account you created to handle incoming emails.

Now, each time the scheduled task runs, all of the emails in the email account will be read, processed, and deleted.

Installation is complete

Your #V2 or arpReach system will now be installed and ready for use.

Test mode

Test mode allows you to use all aspects of the software without any email actually being sent although the software will act as if it has sent it.

To enable test mode, go to Setup / System Settings /System and expand the Outgoing email section.

Minimum System Requirements

Both #V2 and arpReach are PHP software that is installed on your own web hosting account, whether on shared hosting or on your own VPS or dedicated server.

You can use the standard Sendmail or SMTP sending facilities offered by your web host or send emails through third-party SMTP providers such as SendGrid, Mailjet, SMTP.com, or Amazon SES.

Hosting requirements

#V2 and arpReach run on most shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated servers. DirectAdmin or cPanel-based hosting are generally suitable, easy to manage, and work great with both software. Plesk-based hosting is also compatible.

To run #V2 or arpReach, you need the following:

  • A website hosted with a working domain name (not just an IP address)
  • MySQL 5.7 or greater (InnoDB type used)
  • Minimum PHP requirements:
    #
    V2
    PHP7.1.x or greater (#V2 will NOT run with PHP 5.x.x.)
    arpReach: PHP 5.6* or greater (arpReach may run on prior versions of PHP. However, we are unable to provide support assistance for any installation using an older version than what is recommended.)
  • Ability to create and run “command line” cron/scheduled tasks that are not time-limited (wget/http not suitable) and access to create these tasks (e.g., cPanel)
  • FTP access for installing and configuring arpReach

Your server will also need the following, which are commonly available on most servers:

  • register_globals OFF
  • safe_mode OFF
  • max_execution_time = 0
  • cgi.fix_pathinfo = 1 (for CGI/FastCGI)
  • php-cli module (PHP 5.5 or greater is needed at the command line.)
  • php-imap module (When using or upgrading to PHP 5.6+, this module will not be available even if it was previously.)
  • MySQL extension (The strict ONLY_FULL_GROUP_BY option must be removed from the “sql mode” of your MySQL.)
  • curl extension
  • GD extension
  • JSON extension
  • Open SSL extension
  • Local MTA (Sendmail, Postfix, Exim, etc.) or local or remote SMTP provider
  • Ports 25, 587, and 465 (SSL/TLS) need to be open for inbound and outbound traffic when using third-party ESPs
  • We recommend at least 256M of memory is allocated to PHP, but you may need to set it higher depending on how large your list is. The memory MUST be applied to both http PHP AND php-cli which is used for cron tasks.
  • SpamAssassin Module (optional, used for spam scoring)
  • escapeshellcmd & escapeshellarg enabled in php.ini
  • SSL certificate for server/hostname when using PHP 5.6 or greater

We recommend that your web hosting environment uses the Apache web server and not Nginx. While we love Nginx, it requires specialist configuration depending on the server modules used. If you have a good server admin who understands and works with Nginx daily, do give it a try. For most users, Apache will be great.

If you are in doubt as to whether your system configuration meets the minimum requirements, please contact your web hosting company and direct them to this page. They will be able to advise you.

Server specification

There is no one-size-fits-all solution or recommendation for server specification, but the following can be used as a guideline for working out how much RAM you should allocate as a minimum.

LIST SIZEMINIMUM RAM
>10K2Gb
50K – 100K4Gb
250K8Gb

These are not linear dependencies. The larger your logs, the more RAM you will need. The larger your suppression list, the more RAM you will need.