Why #V2

why #v2

We all know how valuable email marketing is and how stable arpReach is. It’s been the backbone for some of the biggest names in internet marketing and other groups for years.

Sure, it doesn’t have the drag and drop ‘ease’ of other popular autoresponder services but it has always had the power and capability to let you do pretty much anything that other services have only recently started introducing.  You just needed to learn how to do the ‘smart’ things. But even if you didn’t, it always sends out your emails.

In many respects, arpReach was and still is too good for its own good. It simply works and keeps working.

It filled (and still fills) an important hole in self-hosted email marketing software options. And it’s why smart marketers and business owners still buy arpReach V1 licenses today and will do for many more tomorrows.

Things Change!

When I look back at it, the early ARP3 and arpReach adopters have had an amazing return on their investment with the original developer and owner.

When I took over at the helm and breathed new life into arpReach that value increased further as I added new API’s which allowed you to hook-up with third-party services like Zapier and page or form builders simply  (Not to mention all of the other improvements and fixes.).

Not that you always need to use API’s for these services. arpReach has always given you the ability to create unlimited ‘HTML forms’ which you can also ‘drop-in’ to those page builders to capture your leads.

Likewise, coders and programmers who understood and understand the flexibility that arpReach gives them have always been able to create custom functions and trigger them using CURL.

Put in simple terms, that means you can make arpReach do clever things automatically. Both with and to your website.

For all the good stuff though, there has been a downside to the strengths of arpReach and the early adopters’ good fortune. That is …

The speed of introducing even more improvements has been painfully slow.

The main reason for that can’t be ignored. The buy once, lifetime everything payment model does not allow for sustainable ongoing development and introducing improvements.  Why?

Technology Changes!

The software that runs the servers, that any online business tool uses, (not just arpReach,) is continually being updated to cope with changes to the wider internet, web and mobile infrastructure and the way it gets used, plus its ever-growing adoption.

Software updates are the bain of modern life.

I can’t tell you how many people moan to me about Windows 10 updates and the amount of time it takes. I put off updating for as long as possible. I remember when it was Windows 98SE. (It was SOOOO much quicker than 10).

Even my Kids are affected by technology changes. Their world collapsed when SnapChat rolled out a new update that “changed everything”.

My eldest girl’s words were: “Everyone is complaining. It’s all different. *kdhyjdhpl* has moved. I can’t do *syufjem8kl* anymore. Why did they have to change everything?” She’s 13.

sidenote:  (*kdhyjdhpl* and *syufjem8kl* are obviously not real names of real functions that do things.  Kids (or Snapchat) use totally different language and terms. As I’m not a Snapchat user those ‘features’ sounded unintelligible to me. But there is a point …

I had to tell her gently …

Someone moved your cheese. I’m sorry but either deal with it or stop using it.” – (she went off and searched Google for “who moved my cheese summary?”. She’s a smart 13 🙂

All software has a shelf life.

Just like Microsoft introduced and ended the lifecycle of it’s “Windows 98” ‘software version’ there have been ‘end of life’ notifications for lots of the PHP and MySQL server versions that arpReach has been able to use over the years.

PHP 7 is the current version lots of servers are being updated automatically to use.  And to give arpReach the capability to work with it and use the improvements PHP7 offers, we’ve also had to change the framework that arpReach uses.

I’m not going to get ‘technical’ but I’d like give you a little background context.

A framework is another ‘type’ of software. Think of it as the ‘thing’ (or scaffolding) that allows the dashboard you login to, to talk to the server functions/features you use.

Functions can do or trigger things called ‘actions’. They can also record the result and update your database. like who was sent which email, when and if they opened it or clicked a link.

Once ‘it’ does the important functions and actions stuff you need, you can make it look pretty and simpler to use with ‘skins’ or templates.

PHP7 doesn’t have or use all of the same ‘functions’ earlier versions of PHP do.  This means lots of changes had to be made to arpReach which make ‘it’ something new which currently looks like arpReach, but isn’t.

It’s taken lots more time than I’d hoped to get to this stage but all things considered, “#V2” is ready to take shape, change, and become something more than and different to arpReach.

Heres just one of the new features available in #V2.  The ability to simply resend to contacts who didn’t open your last (or any) broadcast or click links or any combination of any of the new available options.

resend to non openers and clickers

#V2 will soon be available for a small group of pilot users, as a hosted service, with different licensing to arpReach.

In the next update, I’ll share more details about what else you can look forward to.

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Kevin Polley

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14 thoughts on “Why #V2

  1. Oh Kevin, thanks for the update.

    It is exciting news and I truly hope we are going to get a graphical organisation option for all these things just like the visual builder in infusion soft has is something we are missing.

    I hope the new version will not be a SaaS option only, and I also truly hope that you are not going to switch to a monthly subscription model only. It is a bad habit nowadays that many vendors think a subscription model is the only way to go. That is not true.

    And no … I am not buying subscription model services anymore … the expenses in total just add up way too much.
    Subscription fees left and right (project management tools, tax reporting software, web server, … 100 entries later big sum). No, we do not net yet another subscription-based only software. Check Facebook with open eyes and you will see that many, many small businesses and get sick of this practice and rather avoid products that are based on this model only.

    I rather pay 1000 USD for a lifetime than 10 USD a month. It is just the way it is.

    Please don’t make this mistake! There are other licensing models like JetBrains etc. do … that work great. Lifetime software yes, updates for a reasonable fee per year – OK.

    I did not join your opt-in services you showed last month for this very reason … it was subscription only.

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Plenty for me to digest here 🙂

      I wouldn’t get too excited about having ‘graphical organisation’, I’d like it too but it’s not a practical consideration for #v2 😉

      On Monthly: I don’t like having ‘monthly subscriptions’ either but the reality is we live and trade in a world where we all have monthly bills that need paying. We have staff that want paying every month and even our mobile phone companies want paying monthly.

      Maybe instead of 1000 USD the initial cost should be 5 or 10K?

  2. You go on and on about how great arpReach v1 is, yet the segmenting feature has bugs, as does the recaptcha feature. Yes, PHP7 introduces some changes, including the removal of a few functions that were deprecated (marked as “do not use”) YEARS ago.

    Also, as IceKing has mentioned, there are many of us, myself included, that will never buy into a subscription only software model. Frankly, the renewal rates currently set (100% price after 15 months) are ridiculous even now. 50% for 12 months of updates is reasonable, and common for most the software I use. (As a comparison, aMember is $179 to buy, $80 for 12 months updates regardless of when you decide to update. This is a solid company that has been around a very long time.)

    • Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your input. The bugs you mention no longer exist, they were fixed a long time ago.

      Renewal Costs: I believe the $120 a year price point for software updates is too cheap. If I read your comment correctly you are suggesting that the renewal price for an additional 12 month’s of updates should be 50% of the original price and $197 would be fairer?

      Where many arpReach users support us and renew on time to benefit from ongoing fixes and improvements there is no need to pay at a higher rate. The JetBrains model that IceKing mentions takes into account what users actually pay for updates and ties that to the release they can use. It is not (IMO) too dis-similar to asking users to pay extra for development costs and improvements they have not contributed towards.

      Thanks again for your feedback.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Carl.

      But what if you could have both options? A single access payment and monthly usage charges based on your usage?

    • Hey Jo, thanks for your thoughts.
      I can’t answer as to why some other companies do allow people to use HTML forms, they are a ‘web standard’ way of capturing data.
      Likewise, arpReach integrates with Zapier to give greater flexibility and open up the capability to work with some of the best 3rd party tools available. arpReach also has an API which these other companies could use if they wanted to.

  3. Hi Kevin,

    The reason I purchased arpReach is because it is self-hosted software. As you know, this is what makes arpReach different from other autoresponder services.

    Most understand the importance and necessity of keeping the software up to date. This costs money on your end and asking license holders to pay an additional annual fee makes sense.

    After reading this update, it seems inevitable that arpReach will become a hosted service. Sadly, as a hosted service, arpReach will become one of many options available.

    In the meantime, my question is, even after you bring v2 online, will the licenses I purchased still be active? I realize you won’t be updating v1 and will eventually become obsolete. I’m hoping to use it as long as I can as I’m perfectly happy with it.

    Please advise.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Poppy,

      the arpReach license you have will continue to work for as long as your server supports the PHP and MySQL modules required.
      Before arpReach was ARP3 and we still hear from people using ARP3, that was over 10 years ago 🙂 That’s what the ‘lifetime’ model means. We won’t be turning off anyones’ license.

      Thanks for using arpReach and your support.

  4. Dear Kevin and arpreach Team.

    I believe this change in policy is not a wise decision for whatever the reason if it is also applied for existing user.

    Simply said this means you do not appreciate your customer, especially who have supported you from the earliest day.

    FYI, I am an early buyer even maybe when arpreach was still in beta development and has many bugs. I made the purchase on February 2013. I have license for 14 domain, with license expiry “doesn’t expire” and Upgrades and Support Expiry “doesn’t expire” too, as you can see here: [**REDACTED**]. You can see it in my member area.

    I remember at that time there was a plan for fewer domain license (same with lifetime updates and support promise) which is of course cheaper, and I still choose to buy the more expensive one that give more domain license, simply because I TRUST THE COMPANY.

    I got that kind of license because the developer at that time realize that the early buyer is the supporter of this product.

    I bought it / jumped in at that time even when I know I will not even use it in near time BECAUSE of the promise that I will get lifetime updates and also support, so I said to myself that I do not have to worry about when I will use it.

    Even when the software has so many bugs at that time, I have no worry since I believe I can wait until the bugs is fixed and the software is more mature.

    I just consider it as an investment because I believe in the developer and the promise.

    If I were you, I believe the wisest way is to only apply the new policy for new buyer after the new policy is applied. To not screw this product’s early supporter just like that.

    And crazy thing is up until now I actually haven’t use even 1 license actively (I believe you can see it from your administration panel). When you just change the policy to what you want without considering this, it is nothing different with robbing me 🙂

    If you said your company cannot keep sustain without changing the billing model, then you can just charge recurring billing to new buyer as I said above.

    Besides, there are also many software companies that i personally bought their products have lifetime policy and their company is growing fine, like thrivethemes.com, videoscribe.co, etc.

    So, please consider it wisely.

    When you are not willing to fulfill what you have promised you will lose trust from your customer.

    Trust is everything in business.

    Thank for hearing, really appreciate it.

    I just hope finally you keep what you have promised to us.

    Kind regards,

    Lisusanto

    • Hi Lisusanto, thanks for your comment and being one of the arpReach early adopters.

      Personally, it upsets me that some of the early adopters feel I do not appreciate them. That’s simply not the case. I do.

      To clarify, I won’t be turning off the existing arpReach licenses, you will be able to use it for as long as your server can support the code base.

      Before I bought arpReach in 2015 there had been no new developments or improvements for years. Since then I have introduced new features and functionality and fixed lots of bugs that had been around for years. I believe that arpReach is in a much better place and much more usable for the early adopters as a result of the time and money I have invested.

      You also bring up the issue of trust and what *I* promised you. Sometimes it feels like people don’t see that *I* didn’t promise them anything and they also overlook that they haven’t paid my company anything either. What I hope is that early adopters like you look at what I have done to improve arpReach since I took over and those improvements have built trust that might not have been there before.

      Rest assured, I’ll do what I can and be as fair as I can for early adopters but at this stage, nothing is set in stone. Other than change is coming.

      Thanks again.

  5. I understand completely where you’re coming from Kevin with regards to introducing a SaaS model and why it’s important for the future development of the product.

    My business has been in a similar ‘predicament’ where we gave lifetime access to a product for a set fee, yet we continue to update that product and provide a lot of ongoing value to existing users – often several years later. However, this has given our product its unique appeal in the marketplace and has brought us many thousands of additional customers simply because we aren’t forcing people into yet another subscription.

    However, to combat this we are introducing an optional subscription service (over and above the core product) that the most avid users are only too happy to pay for on a monthly/yearly basis.

    The attraction of arpReach has been the one off payment which has allowed small businesses to keep their overheads low. We have over 500,000 subscribers on our database, I can’t imagine what the monthly cost would be on Infusionsoft or similar services?

    Another attraction is the control arpreach gives you by being hosted on our own server, using our own SMTP service and a reputation we can control. That’s something that gives arp a massive edge. I don’t want my data and email reputation in the hands of Infusionsoft and the like.

    I’m not sure whether you’re thinking of going down the hosting route, hence the suggestion of switching to a SaaS model?

    In which case, to keep the integrity of the original product that we know and love why not offer 2 options:

    1) Hosted arp where everything is provided for a monthly subscription

    2) Self-hosted arp with a reasonable annual fee for updates and support.

    I am more than happy to pay an annual fee for updates to support this great product, but I (and no doubt others) will be mightily p****d off if we’re suddenly being billed monthly usage charges based on our usage. Do that and you’ve ripped away everything that made arp so special and unique in this crowded marketplace.

    • Hi John, thanks so much for the comment and your thoughts. It sounds like we should have a long chat about ‘business’ 🙂 500K contacts is a testimony in its own right to the capability and value arpReach gives not to mention your success. Well done sir.

      You also bring up a great point about reputation and why you don’t want the likes of Infusionsoft ‘managing’ your data. And that word ‘data’ is very important moving forward.

      The two options you mention will be available. There are however other factors which need to be taken into consideration with ‘self-hosted’. Just as there will be a few hoops for people to jump through before I let them loose with a dedicated server and dedicated IP address with unlimited sending capability. (I can imagine how many people would want to ‘use’ that 😉 )

      I’m resigned to the fact that I’ll never be able to please all the people all of the time (or I’ll P*** people off no matter what I do as you so eloquently put it) but I’d like to keep that number as low as possible.

      Thanks again for your valuable input and support.

      Kevin

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