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Smart Task & Outlook integration...

Copper Contributor
Posts: 198
Country: Canada

Smart Task & Outlook integration...

[ Edited ]

Shouldn't the ability to schedule an Activity to send out an email addressed to a contact and to choose to be prompted prior to sending be a basic function of Smart Tasks? Am I missing something?

 

I can understand Act! holding out on these basic functions (to sell new releases) but what I don't get is why Act! users and consultants are NOT complaining about this. I am afraid that as long as everyone keeps quiet these basics will be implemented ever so slowly or not at all.

 

There are numerous other examples of this disregard for what even a basic automation feature could and should include. Perhaps few see enough potential at this stage of development to consider implementing the out of the box version of Smart Tasks and therefore simply choose to ignore it.

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 53
Country: UK

Re: Smart Task & Outlook integration...

Hi David. Have been working with ST's quite a lot recently, determined to make it work. You can do what you are suggesting. You start by making a new smart task template for the task (activiity) you want to run.
Click Schedule, manage smart tasks, new smart task (or duplicate one of the existing one's which is similar to what you want to do and rename it making the changes in lookup criteria you need to get the clients you need.
Give it description and set the criteria and the trigger (time of day etc)
Add a 2nd step to you task and what you want to do is schedule an activity. in the Edit dialogue box which comes up when you click edit, you choose your activity type. At the top of this box is a tick box which says "automatically schedule activity without prompting user" if you leave it unticked it prompts you. If you tick it sends the activity automatically to your task list.

one important note I have found is in the "schedule with" box in the Edit dialogue box of the 2nd step you set up, only tick "schedule with contact" otherwise you cant find out which client the step relates to.

If you need any further info send me a message or post? I have got it to work
Copper Contributor
Posts: 198
Country: Canada

Re: Smart Task & Outlook integration...

Hi Ladybt28...

Thank you for responding to my post...good to know that there are people interested in ST.

How does your instruction relate to ST and Outlook intergration as per my posting.

Thank you...

David
Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 53
Country: UK

Re: Smart Task & Outlook integration...

David it does'nt matter whether you are using swiftpage or outlook to send the email. Swiftpage will do it automatically. Using outlook you must schedule the sending of the email as a "to do" activity in the 2nd stage of setting up the smart task.
The object of ST's is to automate tasks, therefore you set criteria to identify all those people on a given day at a given time that need that "task" doing. ST's either performs the task for you by using swiftpage to send email blasts customer by customer or it ST schedule the to do for you to tick off your task list.

You said you wanted to set up an activity to send an email to a customer through outlook. Therefore ST criteria finds the customer who meets the criteria, and schedules an activity on your task list to send them an email.

Could be I'm missing something in your translation? Please specify if I have read your original post wrongly?
Copper Contributor
Posts: 198
Country: Canada

Re: Smart Task & Outlook integration...

Hi Ladybt28

 

That is exactly what I have been doing but I find this greatly limits the usefulness of ST. A user should be able to add an Send Email step in a ST and set up merge feels so that it (at the very least) picks up the contact’s name (other mail merge fields would be nice).  You would then have the choice of the letter’s being sent out automatically when triggered or pop up to edit if you leave “Automatically send out without prompting user” unchecked so that the email could be edited prior to sending (a lot can happen between the time you create a form letter and when you ready to send it out).

 

Hence once can create a series of client up email templates capable of being edited prior to the trigger as the situation demands. For example one may wish to add a new address, photo, product , that just arrived or a proposed resolution to an issue. Swiftpage is not useful for follow up mail, it is good for email marketing and campaigns.

 

I heard from an Act! employee that they had received complaints on this deficiency  (I am sure that there haven’t been enough otherwise they would’t be so complacent ) and they were considering ST and Outlook integration in a future release. It is frustrating but it looks like it could be another year before this is introduced.

 

Thanks for you feedback, like you I use ST and have done quite a bit of customization to enable it to work to a limited degree. I would be happy to keep in touch to share ideas.

 

David

Copper Super Contributor
Posts: 53
Country: UK

Re: Smart Task & Outlook integration...

I use Swiftpage for follow up mail. At the moment I don't use it for marketing campaigns. I run an insurance business and I use swiftpage to remind clients when their renewals are due. Some have to sign into insurers databases to get discounts and I use Swiftpage to automatically email them the reminder. All my swiftpage stuff has merge fields including the clients name, their specific insurer and the date of their renewals.

I also have a series of letter templates which are set into the smart task "to do" for the clients for whom I dont have email addresses or elderly clients who don't do email.

There is a fair bit of work setting this up but once it is done I have found it saves loads of time. The key is to setup the criteria properly so that it finds the people you need to get hold of without huge amount of time spent in lookups.

I also use Swiftpage for just one off emails where I use the email template, edit it before I send adding the information I want and then it merges as a one off email and is sent.

I also have some email templates set up in my outlook I use Outlook 2007. It is easy enough to copy and save swiftpage wording in an Outlook template. I dont use them as often as swiftpage but I do use them and incorporate them as a stage in smart tasks.

Happy to keep in touch. I have found there are not that many people out there to share ST knowledge or ideas with