After lots of development work, testing and chats with lots of arpReach users, it’s time to tell you about the #V2 Pilot Program which so many of you have been looking forward to.
For the next few days only, the door the self-hosted version of the #V2 software is open.
I’m not going to go into all of the improvements that #V2 has in this post but if you need to see the changelog for yourself, apply below and I will get it to you before we chat.
The short version is there are 46 new features or improvements (including PHP7 compatibility and Feedback Loop Processing), 54 Fixes and 11 updates. Suffice to say the testing process has been time-consuming taking way longer than I imagined it would take.
A few quick answers for common questions to start
The answer to “does it do multi-threading …?” is no.
The answer to “does it have drag and drop …?” is no.
The answer to “has it radically changed …?” is no. Everything will be very familiar
The answer to “is it easier to use?” is … some bits yes. The automatic HTML conversion to text for multi-part is nice
The answer to “can and will things still be improved?” will always be Yes. That’s why you have this chance to learn about and if you choose, become a part of the Pilot License Program.
How will the #V2 Pilot Program work?
After lots of conversations with existing customers it’s going to be impossible to please everyone but that’s the same for any product or service.
For the #V2 pilot license holders I’ve tried to achieve a happy balance between the needs of a software company in today’s economic climate and the original concept, which was to offer a self-hosted autoresponder solution for a one-time payment plus an optional fee for additional software updates.
What did I learn talking with people like you?
The two main reasons people have said they bought the software are:
- to control their own data on their own servers and
- to avoid ever increasing costs as their contact list grows
The two main reasons people have said they were frustrated with arpReach are:
- the slow speed of development and bug fixes
- the time it took for support issues to get resolved
It feels like there are three main types of people who want to use arpReach:
- People on a tight budget who don’t want to pay monthly for support & updates and use shared hosting
- People who are happy to pay monthly for a reliable dedicated hosted service with good email delivery rates
- People who need to or are happy managing their own dedicated secure servers to have greater control their own data for compliance.
Enter. The #V2 Pilot Program as a solution.
The First thing to say is, by popular demand:
This a time limited offer for the self-hosted version of the #V2 software. It is only available through, This Pilot License Program.
What to expect in the #V2 pilot program
#V2 is about taking the best bits of the past and starting again. In more ways than one.
Please take your time to read through this page to understand what this offer is and decide if it’s right for you.
Think of what you are about to read as me trying to explain how and why The Pilot License Program has been structured as it is, and not a sales pitch.
If you really need or want to upgrade arpReach (arpR) and run #V2 on your own servers and take advantage of PHP7, I really want to help you. We both know that arpR is a powerful beast and having a capable server and DNS admins who actually know what they are doing has been key to your success.
Starting over with people with passion
One of the main goals of the #V2 pilot program is to build a small community of like-minded email marketing professionals who want the #V2 software and their business to be the best it can be.
The original and earlier users bought the original software for many reasons and the first part of the #V2 pilot program holds the spirit of the ‘buy once, use forever’ concept and then enhances it.
What was missing in the early days was a place for a community to get together and help each other. A place to learn what was going on, a place to help each other forge a future and nurture business relationships. A place where the original developer could keep us updated on progress and plans.
Those in the Pilot Program will have access to a private, professional, open workspace where we can all help each other. While I can’t be in there 24 hours a day I will be in there daily and so can the official resellers.
But what about the software download?
For a time limited period ‘#V2’ will be available with a personal, non-transferable, use based license for a single domain name or sub-domain, for a single non-refundable payment.
That payment will then entitle the license holder to use that specific software release for as long as they want (if a server module or third-party service changes and #V2 stops working there is no guarantee it will be fixed without further cost – there’s an explanation below).
To simplify what this #V2 “lifetime concept” or “pay once” license means, is;
for one, one-time payment, you get the right to use this “specific software release” with one domain (or sub-domain) on one server. It’s important to be up-front and clarify that this “lifetime concept” / “pay once” license does not entitle you to future software updates or improvements.
If it stops working if something changes on your server in the future and you want to get your pilot release of the software updated/working, you will need to make an additional payment(s). (We’ll cover what those are and why in a while.)
What bug fixes and updates are included
First and foremost, I’ve been using the #V2 specific release we’ll be starting with and you’ll be getting access to, as an autoresponder on live production servers of mine and some clients for over three months.
I’ve been running multiple campaigns with 70K contacts, triggering actions daily. Clients using #V2 are all positive about it and #V2 is working well for one license with over a million contacts.
I know #V2 is ready and does all of the basic and semi advanced things we expect.
But, that said, I doubt there are many people who use all of the software’s advanced capabilities. I know some of you who do use advanced and custom functions, but none of you use all of them (yet). Even I don’t, yet.
It’s quite likely (almost certain actually) that at least a couple of you will discover a ‘quirk’ or even a real bug thanks to your creative natures. Trying to harness all of that power you know is under the hood might sometimes produce something unexpected. Report it and it will get fixed.
How long for?
For the Pilot Program I am committing to a *three month* period to fix the bugs that #V2 pilot users identify during the Pilot.
The first 2 months of the Pilot will be focused on stabilizing the initial pilot release (this way those who *buy once* will *know* what they have to work with for the single payment they make.)
I’ve already got a few minor improvements from me using #V2 for different projects and feedback from clients that are now in development or testing. These will be included in the Pilot Program release but this is where realistic expectations come into their own.
#V2 Pilot License software is available for a single non-refundable payment. As part of the Pilot Program, so you can test before you update your live server, I will be setting up a #V2 installation, for one of your sub-domains, on my server. (* limits apply)
This gives you the ability to test all #V2 functionality on a stable platform so you can prepare for updating an existing installation or choosing the start again option.
This shared facility is for you to test the functionality of #V2 in a stable server environment and build your confidence in its capabilities and test new things. It’s not meant to be a production autoresponder solution although it could be – and thinking ahead it may be helpful to keep your ‘dev’ installation in place for you to test any fixes.
The #V2 software, with any fixes, will be released for installation on your own server after the 2 months stabilisation period. Doing this gives us all confidence that any ‘new’ issues that might crop up on other servers are probably server module related and a server admin needs to implement a fix. It should only be a rare event that forces compatibility changes.
It’s quite likely (almost certain even) that at least a couple of you will have ideas for improvements. You may have even dreamed the software could do … During the first two month period no new user requested features will be added.
What about further development and improvement?
Everybody would like everything for nothing with lifetime updates and access included. The facts though indicate that business model is not sustainable.
What I’m offering with the Pilot program is something different.
After 3 months the pilot #V2 license holders will have the opportunity to ‘join up’ and pay a monthly fee for further updates and improvements. You could think of it like being a member of a ‘development club’.
#V2 does 97% (or more) of what most people want or expect an autoresponder to do.
For the 20% or so of you who understand that arpR has always been an amazing ‘data management and processing’ tool, that just happened to have autoresponder capabilities which was really the bonus, or that things happen and anything could be improved, I’d like to introduce ‘the club’.
Bug fix patches for a current release will be released monthly to those who are ‘fully paid up’ ‘club members’ for that particular release.
It could be that some #V2 Pilot License holders want to help speed up development of something special for their needs that indirectly benefits other license holders. The thing is that #V2 will keep getting better and the value of this license will increase.
If someone misses a monthly payment they will need to catch up with their ‘due payments’ to get the latest release. It simply won’t be fair to those who continue to show their commitment, support and drive to other club members and resellers who contribute to making improvements.
As a break from ‘the norm’
what I’m also going to do after the Pilot program is increase the price of a #V2 license every month by the same amount the ‘club members’ pay, for at least 12 months. This time next year, if a #V2 self hosted license is available again it will cost more than now.
I’m really looking forward to using #V2 more myself and discovering how you want to use it.
There are things I want to improve but as I said earlier, for the first 2 months I’d prefer not to have any discussions about what might get added in the future. We need to focus on the ‘what we have now’, not ‘what we could have later’. I’m looking forward to discovering how you want to use it though.
I’d like for the #V2 Pilot community to decide on the next improvement(s) they most want and work with me to test and introduce. If there are lots of suggestions then preference will be shown to improvements that improve security, GDPR and ePrivacy compliance.
Some of the previously requested improvements require changes that could cause an adverse affect on other functions or capabilities. Again I need to be realistic and open and ask you to accept that there have to be limits on what can be improved and the speed those improvements can be tested and rolled out.
My aim is that any future updates which include improvements will be released quarterly. I may be being too cautious in not offering 12 months support and updates but in choosing the 3 month timescale I’m hoping it will drive forward development because we all expect more because there is some accountability we will all be part of.
Any bonuses or extras?
Apart from limited access to me, my brain and what I know, no. 😉
For the 3 month pilot program I’m going to hold bi-weekly training webinars to help #V2 users get the best results possible from using the software and with their delivery and conversions. People pay a minimum of 5K a month to have me help them get high delivery rates, opens and clicks.
I’ll also be there to help the Pilots get to grips with:
- the new auto-broadcast, resend to non-opens or clickers functions.
- How to configure IP address to location data so you know where your contacts are.
- How to use the new “Nested Variables” to build on your new location data. Create one message template that includes multiple paragraphs based on location.
- How to use #V2 to ask for permissions and questions and deal with compliance issues.
After the three months I’ll still be doing training webinars, some will be free and some of the very advanced training will be paid, I’ll make sure that Pilots get a discount on any of the paid training. How much I can’t say because I don’t know what the training will be about or how much time I’ll have spare.
I don’t want you to think these will be just basic training webbies, although I’ll do them if that’s what you want. Let’s just say that normally during most of my webbies I share a few nuggets.
I don’t want anyone in the pilot to have false expectations.
Rather than accept 100’s of people only to upset a few who buy into hype, I really want to work with 10 – 20 people who all know and understand this opportunity and all want #V2 to be the best it can be.
I’d like those who join the #V2 Pilot Program to be able to contribute and be active in a small community of enthusiastic professionals with realistic expectations.
It could be that the #V2 pilot users find that #V2 doesn’t have any bugs. I doubt it but I can live in hope. Either way I still need to put in place and create better documentation and training material. I need to allow time for that if you don’t already know your way around.
When is a bug not a bug?
If you join the pilot, find something doesn’t work, report it. If we can replicate it and confirm it is a real bug we’ll get on to squashing it but I ask you accept that it might be difficult to:
c) fix without breaking something else.
It could even be
d) we’ll ask you to accept that sometimes a bug just can not be fixed (or is not currently viable to fix) and a work around is all that is possible.
(thinking about it there may be an e) it is a bug of a bug, we can’t fix it and there is no work around. In that case it can go on the list for #V3.
What about quick fixes or patches?
So we can get fixes and patches released quickly for the bits we can change I’ll be asking everyone involved in the pilot to submit good quality help requests.
Things like including the process or the list of things we need to follow to replicate what you experience are essential. Understanding what we both need helps us help each other.
My team and I will keep you informed of progress. If we need to ask you more questions, find out something or test something we will.
While I’m thinking of them,
It will be possible to upgrade an existing arpReach V1.x installation to #V2.
It will be possible to move the DB from the test server facility to your own server when that time comes and if required.
The release on the test server will be the *specific software release* you’ll be ordering and be able to instal on your server.
Pilot Server Access
There are some limitations that need to be in place to protect my servers and those who are using #V2.
Any very experienced email marketer will know why running a very tight ship is essential to manage sending IP addresses and reputation and key to their success. One bad apple …
- I’ll be manually installing and setting up all that is needed to send emails by SMTP. No pilot will be allowed to use the server’s sendmail functions.
This is to protect the server IP. During the third month of the pilot we can start working with those of you with high performance server admins to look at optimization.
- I will open each Pilot up their own unique, high delivery SMTP account and configure it to work with #V2. Sending 5,000 emails a month is included for the 3 month Pilot program.
* You’ll have the option to ‘borrow’ one of the smart SMTP accounts or open your own.
This is no ordinary SMTP service. It is not ‘one of the usual suspects’ and I tested more than a handful before building a relationship up with these people that helps us all.
The reason this SMTP service maintains a high delivery rate with all of the major emailers like Gmail & Outlook etc is they have minimum requirements and expectations. They ‘pre-check’ each sender and each email you send. Working with them will increase your domain ‘trust score’ as you meet your ‘expected behaviors’.
I can’t stress enough how important this type of SMTP account could be for you. I can only offer you this type of account as part of the Pilot program because I worked with these people.
These types of smart SMTP account are really meant for the server, not individual accounts. They are normally used to build and protect the reputation of whole servers and networks, as well as giving you additional insights for email reporting.
As a Pilot you get to use one of these unique SMTP accounts. The unique sender reputation you build, that is tied to that account, you can use anywhere, if it’s registered to you and you’re not borrowing one of mine.
I have stockpiled 25 of these accounts. Unfortunately new accounts like these will not be available any more after July. The company will never make them available again after. That means the doors to the Pilot program must shut on 31st July.
Each Pilot account *must* have one of these smart SMTP accounts for the three months. A smart SMTP account is included.
What about choice?
Your only real choice is do you want to ‘use’ one of my accounts and hand it back in three months or open your own and build a new high value reputation from day one?
BTW You can scale these smart SMTP accounts up to send millions of emails per day and you pay per K for what you send. It just takes time and personal verification to get your trust score to a point where filters can be relaxed.
You can also use your existing SMTP accounts during the pilot if you want but your ‘pilot hosting account’ must have the unique, high delivery SMTP account as a safeguard. Let me know what DNS changes need to be made and I’ll add them.
I’m happy to discuss people’s actual needs and accommodate as much as possible on a case by case basis on entry into the Pilot program but the basic server and sending limitations include:
1a. All importing is banned and there is an initial contact limit of 800, or
1b. You can test importing of CSV’s but the contact limit is 100 – If you have undeniable proof you have the legal right to send emails to a list, I can be flexible.
- Sendmail is disabled on my servers and all email is sent via a unique SMTP account we will set up (non negotiable)
- There is a 300 daily limit and a 5000 monthly limit for the number of emails you can send.
These volumes allow for testing the basics all work, setting up test sequences and all the other fun stuff.
The 300 a day limit ‘start volume’ for any new sender is a requirement. If you need to send emails to 100,000 people you’ll still start with a 300 a day limit. It is only a starting point.
Maybe because of data legislation changes or public perceptions you want to set up new forms to record when you got permissions. I can tell you it certainly helps you get more messages read and clicks if people are expecting you to send something.
Remember, the unique SMTP account we set up for you has a neutral reputation which gives you good email deliverability from day one. These restrictions are to prevent IP abuse for the server which would have a negative impact on all of the sub-domains that use it. Hopefully you’ll be sending 1000’s of emails a day, the Pilot program will let you grow.
How do I join the pilot program?
Assuming the above seems sensible, fair, reasonable and you want to move forward the next question would most likely be cost.
#V2 is already very capable professional and mature software. If anything, it needs things removed to throttle back the power it has under the hood. Just last week for example, by accident, for about 7 or 8 minutes I was sending 150 emails per second and Gmail accepted them all (the 43.3% open rate didn’t hurt and the 12.9% CTR was nice).
#V2 is about more than wanting to send 1000’s of emails and calling it email marketing. #V2 is about being able to collect, use and refine what you know about people to send them the message that helps them (and you) most.
It’s also worth a mention that you can create and add your own custom functions to extend #V2 capabilities if you don’t want to wait for us to create one for you.
Initially #V2 will be $987 (+ VAT within the EU) for a single, personal, non-transferable, single domain license.
(A couple of the die-hard advocates suggested 5K would be ‘about right’. They are not in the ‘IM’ space though. Another suggested 10K and 1-2K a month support/updates and all of them know there are cheaper ‘alternatives’, but this software does one or more things the others don’t do or does it better (and yes, other software does things my software doesn’t).)
Payment will be in two parts.
- 1st) $100 via PayPal to secure your place in the pilot program and for me to schedule a call with you.
- 2nd) The balance payment to be made via bank transfer before the software is released to you.
As a professional existing user of arpReach with a dedicated server, you already know the amount of work involved in setting up an installation. I’ll be personally hands on for this so it makes sense for me to talk with you about your production server environment, business needs and how you’re using arpReach.
The balance by bank transfer: Call me old fashioned but I like to know the people I do business with. Once we’ve spoken I can raise an invoice with the account details so you can pay by direct transfer. There are no card payment options.
- There is no free upgrade option to #V2. However; If you have bought or paid for the renewal of your arpReach license within the last 9 months, the amount you have paid can be discounted from the cost of #V2 (which is another reason why we need to talk so I can raise the correct value invoice).
- If you want to change the domain in the future the cost will be $55
- After three months the monthly cost for software updates and additional training/webinars (‘the club’) will be $35, paid via Paypal subscription (my advanced training/special webinars are not included).
- At the moment I’m not releasing the software to anyone to protect it from abuse.
If you need clarification on any point or have question not covered please ask.
For the one-time payment, You get:
- Me setting up a hosted account, installing and configuring #V2 software to send upto 5,000 emails a month using the unique SMTP account (which you can borrow or order your own).
- To test #V2 before you download the software to use on your own server.
- The next three months improvements and software updates
- An option to download future improvements and updates.
- Training and update webinars
- Access to a private ‘club hub’ which will be at the heart of development.
Please don’t forget that I have no control over the cut-off date for creating new SMTP accounts.
This offer ends at midnite Sunday 29th July, 2018 BST
There can be no exceptions and a favour is not possible.