Community
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Reply

Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Country: United_Kingdom

Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Hi there

 

How do you create dynamic groups based on either pending or history tasks?  

 

My specific need is that I arrange small events and mail out to audiences.  With dozens of events each year, I can't set up a separate named field for each and every single event on each day.   It would be silly.   

 

I need to work from calendar pending and history record for everyone who comes to a particular event, or a completed task when they paid.  It doesn't matter, so long as it's a history item rather than a field.

 

I spent a couple of decades using the old DOS Goldmine with an add-on called GoldBox which created groups dynamically based on pending or history appointments, next actions or tasks.  I miss that feature very badly in ACT.

 

How do I achieve the same with ACT?   Is it possible?   I get that I can do a lookup by date to create a group, but any situation where someone has been entered on the data bse after you've created the group means they could be forever lost as a contact.

 

Creating groups only based on fields is very limited.  I've looked at the Exponenciel group addon as well and that's also just fields.   Or am I missed something??

 

My belief is that somebody out there who creates add-ons for ACT could be clean up if they developed an Add-On for ACT which did that.

 

Many thanks for any advice, people.

 

Ta!

 

 

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,592
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Not readily, but on creating an activity you can associate the activity with a Group by selecting the 'associate with...' field and selecting the Group desired. That will place the activity into the Group and from their you can create a lookup of contacts   That may help.   

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Gre;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;at.  Thanks for your help.   

 

It's a workaround, but it takes time to associate each contact with a group, then create a lookup, then add the lookup members to a group so they display as static contacts of the group.

 

Someone in the ACT developers community is missing a trick here.   To be able to set up dynamic group conditions which include calendar activities would surely be an essential add-on to the program. 

It's exactly the lack of what is to me an essential the feature which has held me back from using ACT for years, through several different versions.  I've come back to have a go at the latest version on a trial to see where the program has got to.  Not there yet!  I will remain with my 30 year old program, I reckon, Goldmine with Goldbox. 

 

I do understand why for most this is not an essential feature.  But when you're working in events, rather than straight sales, you're dealing with groups of contacts rather than one by one for an individual sale.   

 

I have 60 - 100 contacts at a time attending any one particular event.  So for me it's essential to be able to see the group of participants set up dynamically within Goldmine/Goldbox so I can email them either before the event to give them some vital information, or post event with marketing publicity for the next event.

 

Having said that, I can think of a dozen good reasons why people using ACT in a 'standard' way would find dynamic groups based on calendar/history events extremely useful.   Suppose you thought, oh yes, last year I went to a conference and it would be good to have a list of the people I met - but darn, I didn't create a group, what do I do? - pick through the contacts one by one?  Oh no, I know what!  I'll set up a group to dynamically add the conference attendees to the list using the date of the conference.  Job done!

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,592
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Looking to your last example: " Suppose you thought, oh yes, last year I went to a conference and it would be good to have a list of the people I met - but darn, I didn't create a group, what do I do? - pick through the contacts one by one?  Oh no, I know what!  I'll set up a group to dynamically add the conference attendees to the list using the date of the conference.".

 

Quite different to your original requirement, if the people that you met at the conference are entered on the same day (either by direct entry into Act! or via import say from Excel), you could use create date or import date, which are system fields, to populate an Act! group dynamically.    

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

Thank you very much indeed.

 

I had tried to use Create Field in the groups but couldn't find how to select the data.   I have no idea what I was doing, but this time I discovered 'year' and 'month' and got a list of contacts.   OK, it's not dynamic, but at least this way I can put contacts created at a specific time into a group.

 

However, that's still adding contacts to a group based on field information - the create date.  The example I gave of people at a conference, sure, your method adds them to a group from when the record was created.   That was just an example, perhaps a poor one.   Because my conference example is too simple.  There's one event only, I select the records created for that event.   

 

My situation is a 1000 contacts created on completely different dates over a number of years, who are on a mailing list who continue to be mailed with publicity for events.  Some of these contacts will go to one event, some to another.  Some haven't been to any at all.   

 

In GoldMine with Goldbox, I was able to set up a condition to find which contacts had gone to which event, or, alternatively, which contacts had NOT gone to a specific event.  History items.   

 

Or, using pending calendar items, which contacts ARE going to a specific dated event in 2 months' time.  Or those who are on the mailing list who are NOT going to the event (i.e. there is no calendar entry for them for that event on that particular date, therefore they have not bought tickets for the event, therefore I still have the opportunity to mail them and nudge them to attend or send them a special ticket offer ).

 

Thanks for the help so far.  

 

But I have to stick with my original suggestion that some clever developer 'should' build an add-on which adds calendar pending and history to the GROUP function. 

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,592
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

I'm not sure that the presence or absence of a future activity is necessary to solve the problem, secondly while somebody might indicate that they will attend a future event still requires your intervention to confirm that they did in fact attend.  

 

You had referred to dozens of events each year, presumably not hundreds and hence a manageable quantity, in which case perhaps consider Events as Act! Groups. Create Yes/No field boxes in the Contact entity to drive dynamic population/de-population of the appropriate Groups operating on the presence or absence of a check in the Yes/No box.   

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog


Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

I'm not sure that the presence or absence of a future activity is necessary to solve the problem

 

Oh dear.   Yes.  It is.   I need dynamic group membership based on calendar pending and history items.    Believe me.  I do. 

 

 

secondly while somebody might indicate that they will attend a future event still requires your intervention to confirm that they did in fact attend.  

 

Yes.  Like me being there and ticking them off as they come into the venue. 

 

It's not a question of needing intervention or not.    I need to identify the people in a nice neat group who either have or have not come to an event, so I can send them appropriate emails.   

 

 

You had referred to dozens of events each year, presumably not hundreds and hence a manageable quantity,

 

No.  Absolutely not a manageable quantity.  No.   I'm managing events on my own.   You've just casually put down words which you think solves the problem.   For me, absolutely not a solution to decide that dozens of events a year which involve possibly well over a thousand people is 'manageable' without using dynamic group membership.  No.   Absolutely not!

 

 

in which case perhaps consider Events as Act! Groups. Create Yes/No field boxes in the Contact entity to drive dynamic population/de-population of the appropriate Groups operating on the presence or absence of a check in the Yes/No box.   

 

Then we're back to me creating a specific field PER EVENT which has to stay there forever in order that the dynamic membership is maintained.   Which is the solution I started off in my original post as saying it absolutely is not the way to go.   I run a venue.   I am not going to be setting up a specific field for 20 different things happening in the venue each week.  I have only referred to events X times a year for the sake of simplicity.  There are many many other types of customer interaction, people coming and going into the venue, using the cafe, taking an acting workshop, attending a concert, which means I would be spending an inordinate amount of time setting up endless fields just to create dynamic group membership.   Absolutely not the way to go . Plus it feels messy in my head to have so many fields only being used once.

 

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 11
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history

PS

 

Thanks for your input.  But I'm afraid you've developed Iamrightitus and youarewrongitus.  Which feels to me a lot like an ex boyfriend of mine who would brook no disagreement.

 

I know you're an expert on ACT and need to insist it covers everything people need, but in this particular instance, it does not.  No.  

 

I need dynamic group membership, to really be able to use this program properly.   Until someone comes up with an add-on, I'm forced to stick with my 30 year old GoldMine with Goldbox add-in, which gives me ultimate, maximum flexibility on adding contacts dynamically to groups using both fields AND calendar pending and calendar history.

 

:-)

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 2,592
Country: New_Zealand

Re: Dynamic groups in ACT based on history


@Alison1wrote:

PS

 

"... you've developed Iamrightitus and youarewrongitus...."

and "...I know you're an expert on ACT...". 


and   "...  (you)need to insist it covers everything people need...".   

 

and "..Until someone comes up with an add-on, I'm forced to stick with my 30 year old GoldMine with Goldbox add-in...". 

 


Speaking to the assertions.

Firstly, I have no barrow to push.I simply have a passing interest in the question you have posed and like many questions put to the community often more detail is required to better understand the context and the detail so that I and others might give the most helpful suggestions. That is all.  

 

In particular:

  1. I have made no judgments whatsoever, I have simply given suggestions and perhaps make you aware of other elements of the functionality that may help. I made no assertion to anything being either right or wrong.  
  2. I'm far from being an 'expert on Act!' nor do I aspire to be so. My staff are way more capable than I with Act! on a day to day basis.
  3. How it can be assumed that I consider that Act! needs to be the solution for every known situation is simply wrong. I'm no apologist for Act!
    If you read other posts I have made in this forum, over many years, you will see how outspoken I am about areas of Act! that need improvement and  bugs that need fixing.
  4. Entitlement.
    Why do you think that 'someone' will simply produce and add-on to provide a solution for a situation that might be better handled by one of many event management type software products already in the marketplace? Which is not to say that Act! does not/will not satisfy the need but perhaps that avenue is worth exploring before making judgment on those offering their time to make suggestions.           

 

Graeme Leo
Xact Software - consultants and developers
Follow us on Twitter and check out our Blog