07-14-2011 12:58 AM
I have recently been developing a series of Smart Tasks which are set to integrate with Sage E-Marketing. Once set up, I have then selected to enable each smart task, and have discovered two serious problems within the current ACT! programme. I am on Sage ACT! Premium 2011 Version 220.127.116.11 Hotfix 4.
The first problem relates to the use of an Opportunity Type record within Smart Tasks, and using the task to integrate with Sage E-Marketing - either to send an e-mail or add to drip marketing. It basically doesn't work. Despite there being an option within the smart task set-up to use Sage e-marketing with an opportunity type record, you can't actually do so. This is apparently because Swiftpage cannot view the contact details within the opportunity, so the whole part of this feature is unfit for purpose.
The second problem is that where a Smart Task is set to run on a Contact Type record, on running the task, you physically have no choice but to manually click OK to send each e-mail. The way in which Smart Tasks work is to queue once contact record at a time, so in the event that you have say 50+ records which meet the smart task criteria, ACT! will send each e-mail seperately, asking you to confirm and prompt each time. Again, this makes this part of Smart Tasks unworkable.
The idea behind Smart Tasks is that you are able to automate part of your process, including Sending automated e-mail marketing. With these two issues, the whole integration of Smart Tasks with Sage E-marketing just does not work and is completely unfit for purpose. Having spoken with Sage about both of these issues, there doesn't seem to be a fix on the horizon anytime soon.
So, I've looked at a possible workaround (having spent a significant amount of time creating HTML templates using Swiftpage and desperate to get Smart Tasks working). Within Smart Tasks you also have the option to send an e-mail via Outlook, and you can paste in HTML code within the ACT! Smart Task window and click a button to send as HTML. Great.
The only issue here is that when you preview/send an HTML message via ACT! Smart Tasks in this way, any image links within the e-mail will not display. Essentially you get a RED X and the picture will not download from the internet linked destination. It seems clear than on converting the HTML e-mail from ACT! to Outlook, something is going wrong with the links and preventing the images from displaying.
Now whilst I have no doubt the initial issues with Smart Tasks will not be fixed for a while, can anyone help me with the issue of displaying linked images when converting to an Outlook message?
Yours (very frustrated) Paul
07-19-2011 07:27 PM
If you really want a solution that works go to www.crmaddons.com and check out the Northwood suite. It will create much more complex smart tasks and with integrated email tool works on time.
07-25-2011 01:55 PM
07-29-2011 01:52 PM
This is so frustrating. I'm totally stuck right now. There are two ways of sending e-mail via Smart Tasks, and effectively neither of them work.
If you send through Swiftpage, you can't use Opportuinity records, plus you have the issue of manually having to accept the prompt everytime you want to send an e-mail as a contact record through Swiftpage.
Or you can send via Outlook, and this way you can use both the Opportunity and Contact type records (ACT interogates the contact record which is attached to the opportunity to do this). Problem with sending via outlook is that 1) linked images will not display in the e-mail when sending as HTML (tick box option) and 2) there are no merge fields!
Totally useless function and very disapointing indeed. I'm now tempted to look at moving away from ACT altogether in favour of a solution which does enable automated CRM using e-mail!
If only the SAM solution could work with opportunites, at least this would be a solution.
Any more ideas out there to workaround this, perhaps with sending via Outlook?
07-29-2011 02:29 PM