Act software can now play nice with other software. But what does it all mean? Honestly, I find it a bit overwhelming with all of the potential of what act software can now do.
One of the most compelling issues facing act software users is a rather simple aspect of using the software. Adding contacts to act. How do you do it? And once you’ve done it, how do you manage those contacts? You might add a contact from a business card. Maybe you are importing a number of contacts from an Excel file. Maybe you received an email and you want to add the email contact to act. There are tools and methods for accomplishing all of this.
Act connect and Zapier takes the management of contacts to a whole new level. Let me give you some examples of what you can accomplish:
You can create a web form and have the content that is submitted from that form be imported directly into act.
You could create a more complicated web form that helps you gather data about your clients or prospects and have that data pulled directly into act
You can create an action that is triggered by an event that happened elsewhere
I am still trying to wrap my mind around the immense potential of using Act Connect and Zapier. There are so many options and so little time. At the end of the day, my experience has been that most act users need to master the fundamentals of taking care of their clients first and foremost. This does not have to be complex. It could be something as simple as making sure that you do routine follow-up with your clients. The habits you develop by taking care of your clients can then be expanded to how you work with all the prospects in your database.
I do not see the point of using act software to do complex integrations with other software if you are not even taking care of the fundamentals first. Having stated that, after the fundamentals are completed and as time permits, there is so much potential. Let me give you an example.
Imagine for a moment that you are in the ice cream business. You sell many different types of ice cream: ice cream cones, ice cream in a cup, milkshakes, quarts of ice cream, gallons of ice cream as well. You have put all of your customers into act and contact them monthly with an email outlining the ice cream of the month and various specials on ice cream.
What do you do if you want more detailed information about your clients?
For example, you would like to specifically know what their favorite ice cream is and how they typically purchase it. There are tools that will allow you to connect act and Zapier to a detailed web form that you can create for free that asks all these questions. People fill it out, hit submit and all of that information goes somewhere. But where does it go? In the past, you could receive it via email and then go find the contact in act that it applies to and update his or her information in act. Today, with act connect you can have all that information automatically imported into the contact that sent the email. That is amazing.
Maybe you’re holding an event and you would like to send out an invitation using Eventbrite. Just a quick disclaimer here, I have never used Eventbrite. This idea was suggested to me by a fellow act certified consultant. You could send an email out inviting your customers to an event such as an ice cream tasting, and when they register all of that information would come back into act.
If you are a long-time act user you have at some point asked yourself if there is better software out there for your business. Today, you can ask yourself a slightly different question. The question now becomes is there better software out there that I can combine with act? The answer is yes. The answer is many.
Over the coming months, we will explore this in more detail.
Zapier is a tool that helps act communicate with other software apps.
The review below by Jill Duffy of PC Magazine is a good overview of how Zapier works and will give you a sense of how it helps act work with other software. Thank you Jill for this great article.
When Act Premium version 18.1 introduced Act Connect to its arsenal, it created an environment of open-ended possibilities for act software users. Speaking for myself, as an Act Certified Consultant, I find the potential exciting and a little bit daunting because I’m forced to learn about new technologies in an effort to wrap my mind around the full potential of this exciting development.
By Jill DuffyIf you run a small to mid-size business, you really ought to know about Zapier, which is an online tool that helps non-technical people connect apps and services they use and carry out automated functions. The automations or commands have an “if this, then that” structure. For example: “If I write a new blog post on WordPress, save a copy of that file to Dropbox.” The real selling point of these automations (which Zapier calls Zaps) is that you don’t need to know a lick of code to create them. A new update to the service makes Zaps possible between three or more apps and services, whereas you used to be limited to just two. Zapier’s only real competitor in the space is IFTTT, which offers a little more in the way of home automation, such as using a trigger-action to turn on smart lightbulbs. Businesses will find Zapier’s free account pretty limited, but beefy enough to give them a taste of how it works. Both Zapier and IFTTT are Editors’ Choice winners, and are well worth using.
Creates automated actions between online services. Supports many business apps. Very simple to use. Free level of service offered.
Managing folders could be simpler. Zaps don’t check for triggers continuously.
Zapier is an excellent online service that lets you create automated actions connecting disparate business apps and services, all without requiring any coding.
Act by Swiftpage recently released Act version 18.1. If you are an act premium subscriber this update is completely free to you. You might need to wait if act hosts act premium cloud for you. The reason for this is simple, they need to update the server that hosts your account. One of the most interesting aspects of this new version is the ability for act to connect to other software. For example, QuickBooks online or PayPal, just to name two.
What does Act Connect really mean to act users?
Many act users are individuals and small businesses that have a limited amount of time to invest in implementing technology and learning about technology. Act premium cloud now offers an API that can communicate with other software. In my opinion, for the typical act user this can help you automate and simplify many tasks that are time-consuming and repetitive. For example, automatically importing contacts from a web form via an API.
What is an API?
API (application program interface) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. The API specifies how software components should interact and APIs are used when programming graphical user interface (GUI) components.
In other words: Act can now communicate with other software.
What is my opinion of Act Connect?
I have a lot of act clients that are easily distracted by things that are shiny and new; the bells and whistles that you can get caught up in and waste a lot of time while exploring these new tools. It is my feeling that Act Connect is going to be great for you if you have a specific situation that is so time-consuming that it isn’t worth doing. Act Connect can be the shortcut to making technology work for you instead of you always working to perfect technology. At the end of the day, if you can spend less time and be more productive that is the potential of act connect.
Below is a video from Act that outlines how to implement Act Connect.
Act! Premium helps you organize all your contacts in one place so you can prioritize your day and market your products and services more effectively, helping to drive sales results – ultimately, creating customers for life. Start using Act! today.
Are you looking to take back time to focus on what you love rather than being bogged down by tedious tasks? Did you know that you can now connect Act! with many of the other online business optimization applications you are already using? Zapier makes this all possible. Start connecting your apps, automating tedious tasks, and making the most out of your contact management system today.
Here are all the new ways you can save time with Zapier automation:
Building online forms can be difficult, tedious and time consuming. Enter Wufoo. A (free) service that makes it easy. Wufoo’s form designer can help you create any kind of form you can think of: contact forms, online surveys and invitations so you can collect all the data, registrations and the payments you need. With this new integration, Zapier can automatically create contacts within Act! from new Wufoo entries.
Businesses of all sizes need accounting software to keep their finances in order. QuickBooks Online is the web based version of the popular accounting software QuickBooks, which allows you to organize your finances in one place, record sales and make sure you get paid, keep track of the money you spend and connect bank and credit card accounts so you have everything in one view. Integrate QuickBooks Online and Act! with Zapier, and create new contacts within Act! directly from new QuickBooks Online contacts.
SurveyMonkey allows you to quickly and easily create and send online surveys with real-time reporting capabilities. With this new integration, Zapier can automatically create new contacts within Act! from completed surveys and add notes from the answers provided – no more copying and pasting from app to app.
Eventbrite is an easy to use event management tool that allows you to promote, manage and host successful events. Make Eventbrite and Act! work together with the new Zapier integration. Now you can connect your event attendee information to Act! with only a few quick clicks. Zapier will create a new contact in Act! for every new event attendee.
Slack is a platform for team communication – meant to cut down on time spent checking your email, and brings everything into one centralized place. It allows you to chat with your whole team in public or private channels or one-on-one if you prefer. It is instantly searchable and allows you to share documents and other files. Now you can connect Slack and Act! with the new Zapier integration to ensure a more productive workday.
PayPal is an easy and more secure way to send or receive money, make online payments and/or set up a merchant account – perfect for your (online) small business. The new Zapier integration can automatically create new contacts within Act! from new PayPal transactions.
Do you use Gmail personally or professionally? Google Contacts – your Gmail address book – allows you to keep track of all your contacts, track your previous interactions with them, and is integrated with all other Google products. Never miss an opportunity to add a potential customer to your Act! database – the Zapier integration will automatically create a new Act! contact from new Google Contacts.
What is Slack? Slack is a messaging app for teams. It brings all your team’s communication and files in one place, where they’re instantly searchable and available wherever you go. Come explore some of our main features and see why thousands of customers love us.
339,229 views Published on Oct 28, 2015 | via YouTube
Slack is communications for teams. Here are a few of the things you can do with it:
The good folks at Swiftpage Act have created a series of video tutorials that will show you how to connect Act with popular web applications via Act Connect.
Below you will find out series of tutorials that explains how to connect act with their API tools. These tutorials are a great starting point to help you understand the power of this new process available to Act 18.1 Premium Subscribers.
Act! Connect: Connecting to PayPal and QuickBooks Online
Act! Connect: Connecting to Google Contacts
Act! Connect: Connecting to Slack
Act! Connect: Using Act! Premium Contact Link in Outlook
Act Connect will make you think differently about act. It will help you connect act to apps on the web.
Act is widely used by individuals and small businesses. Rarely do these types of act users have tons of time and resources at their disposal. Time is the key point here. We don’t have marketing departments. We do not have unlimited administrators and frankly we tend to wear many hats when we run our business. Something as simple as entering contacts into act that filled a web form on your website is easily set aside for another day. Act Connect will help you solve that problem. Act Connect can take those leads from your website and bring them directly in the act.
Connect with hundreds of popular apps that extend the power and reach of Act! Premium—a valuable subscriber benefit! Get started with a few simple steps, then watch as Act! Connect automatically moves info between Act! Premium and the apps of your choice. Let Act! Connect do the heavy lifting, while you enjoy the benefits of enriched customer data. (from act.com)
Act Connect was introduced with Act Premium 18.2. Act Connect is not offered with Act Pro. Previously, you could connect act to different resources on the web, but it was rather complicated and did not suit the way many people use act. Today, a simple link, or URL, provided by Act Premium and Act Connect allows you to connect to web apps rather easily. When you deal with usernames, passwords, downloads and software, it is easy to make simple mistakes that can complicate this issue. I do not mean to deter you, I just want you to be aware of the information you will need to make this work. If nothing else, this exercise will make sure you know your essential usernames and passwords.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be talking about the tools you will need to make this work. The first app I will discuss (in a separate post) is Wufoo.
Wufoo provides free web forms that when submitted with information, that information can be pulled directly into act. That can be a huge time saver that will allow you to react instead of worrying about getting the information into act. This is but one example. In addition to some of the apps we will talk about I want to make you aware of a middleman called Zapier. Zapier is the free tool that connects act and these apps. More on that later.
It is time to get excited again about the potential of act and what it can do for you and your business. This could be a game changer!
When act 18 was introduced it included a new feature, called an API, which allows it to communicate with outside programs.
Sometimes, technical innovations are ahead of the collective thought process of most potential users of those innovations; myself included. These API communication innovations are laying the foundation for some intriguing uses, but in my opinion it is in its infancy and a lot of smart act people are trying to wrap their heads around the new tool and it’s potential.
Having stated all of that, I want to keep you in the act loop by telling you that act has recently released act 18.2. This update is an incremental update to act version 18. The following video explains some of the features of this update. Just a reminder, just because you can update your software it doesn’t mean you should drop everything and do this. I typically suggest that people wait awhile before they embrace software updates. Not just act updates, all software updates. Let the update get out there in the real world and let others experience it and test it first.