Wow, I can finally say how user-unfriendly this software is. I have trouble understanding the logic of this and it is very frustrating to operate. Everytime I try to print a report it comes out different and I can't figure out how to add contacts to groups automatically. I need to have quick access to contact information and contact reports with notes per project and I end up typing some kind of word or excel doc instead.
Any suggestions? and yes I watched the tutorial about a bizillion times.......
I agree! And I am a "learned" computer user. What ACT needs to do is come up with a highly simplified version. I'm finding it is easier to get contact information quick by using MailList Pro. By the time ACT loads up, I forget what I was looking for. The ACT program designers obviously never talked to folks in the real business world.
It's not a program that you want to fight with...there's a logical sequence to everything...along with a learning curve. I bought the previous version in July and just got started entering in contacts until I have a working database of 1550 broken into 34 groups.
1550 doesn't sound like a whole lot until you plug each one in.<G By the way, I used E-Grabber as a tool to accomplish 98% of that task; it was not that expensive, but the savings in hours paid off 100 times. My database is more along the lines of contacting prospects via information entered in from various lists and contact info on website. However, with the database in place, I can manipulate everything that I need to do very, very easily.
I can only say just keep plugging your contacts in to get a bulked up database from the various history, tasks and opportunities..and then keep checking the new dashboard in ACT2008. I upgraded (at a serious discount) recently and converted everything over which solved some of my Office issues between Act2007 and Office 2007; everything runs as expected.
If you're in sales, keep in mind that the fruits of all your labor will be the Opportunities list that you pull out of the program. For me...at 1550 contacts, I get approximately 30 candidates hits per mass emailing or postal mailing....every 3 weeks. Being able to cull that number each barrage has made the price and effort well worth the while.
I hope you'll take a little more time with ACT2008 and just enter, enter, enter...it's a tool that will take care of a lot of ills and woes; however, there is some maintenance (database updates and culling out bad emails and contact info)...but if you keep everything current, you'll have a lot of confidence in your work building the database and keeping in contact with your clients.
Trust me...when that light bulb clicks on...it'll all be apparent. It's not user unfriendly, it'll just take getting to that point of bulk contacts with pre-engineered templates on a regular basis to keep YOUR name in front of your clients and potential clients. Hang in there.
Dan, thanks for your encouragement. I'm in marketing with an extremely busy position - honestly, I haven't devoted the time needed to familiarize myself with ACT. Another member told me about the ACT book for dummies. I'll purchase that this weekend!
I had my doubts at first, but once I got into the rythym of it and saw how the program can handle the data that I entered (and again, E-Grabber is a GREAT add on if you're compiling a database from online sources, pdf files, excel sheets, etc.)....it smoothed the bumps and now I use it every few weeks for keeping contact with 1550 clients and prospects.
Marketing is keeping that name in front of them....just enough without ticking prospects off. With groups, you have TARGET propects to engineer your contact templates (just "Save As XXX" one of the ACT/Word templates and adjust then save again) for each category, theme or tenor/tone of your email or letter per group and the work is done. In your Group, do a "Lookup".....tag the ones you want to omit from mailing; mail merge to email, printer or Word....select that XXX template and then send it through.
Take the rest of the day off because you've accomplished a huge amount of contacts with that last paragraph.<G
LookUp is a key word....it puts that group into a format that can be merged via Mail Merge (found under the Write tab). After you've sent that Lookup, you can go back into the History to see what has happened and when and keep tabs on who got what and when.
For ease...I use ACT 2008 with Microsoft Office 2007 with Word and Outlook that is conducive to the latest version of ACT.