Tony Holowitz: Your Act CRM Software Expert

Offering Support for All Versions of Act CRM Software
Act Help: Get 1-Hour FreeCall: 888-734-2511

3 Tools Act Users Should be Familiar With For Their Business

Many Act Users are Small Business People and Entrepreneurs.

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If you are and act user, you should make yourself familiar with QuickBooks, WordPress for web design and Microsoft Outlook for email. These three tools can help you become much more productive when using act for sales, marketing and general organization.

Luckily for you, I offer free training videos on QuickBooks and Microsoft Outlook. Word press can be used to maintain your website and blog. Your blog can be used in your email marketing efforts. In a nutshell, these three pieces of software can help your business become much more effective and efficient.  This website is designed using WordPress and I can teach you a great deal about pulling all of this together to become more effective with act.

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Do not be like this Acter. Backup your Act database.

Please backup your Act CRM database right now.

It happened again. A client contacted me because her computer died and she did not have a backup of her Act database.

You can use the Act scheduler to back up your Act database automatically. If you do not know how to accomplish this please reach out to me so I can show you how and to ensure your data is safe. The backup will create a file called the zip file. Typically, people create that backup file on the hard drive of their computer.

What happens when your computer dies in that zip file is gone?

For years I have used a backup service call Carbonite (www.carbonite.com). If she had used Carbonite and scheduled backups, she would have all her zip files backed up by Carbonite. When she gets a new computer all she would have to do is reinstall Act and restore the most recent backup.

Please backup your Act database daily.

ACT CRM Software in 2020

What is Act CRM software?

I never think of Act as CRM?  Customer relationship management software is exactly what Act is and does if you use it properly.  According to Wikipedia, customer relationship management is one of many different approaches that allow a company to manage and analyze its own interactions with its past, current and potential customers.  The reason I never think of it as CRM is because it is not typically how I speak of Act.  I just call it Act.  Not CRM.

I rarely hear my customers or prospects refer to Act as CRM.  I just call it Act.

So, what is Act software?

Act version 22 is the most recent iteration of Act.  As of 6/30/20 the only version of Act that you can buy is a yearly subscription version of Act.  They no longer offer Act Pro which was a onetime purchase.  An Act subscription can range between $240 and $360 per year with the more expensive option including access to Act in the cloud or via a web version viewed in a browser.  The $360 price includes the Act desktop software and the web version.  Typically, promotional offerings are run starting at the beginning of the month and change often.

What is Act Marketing Automation?

Act Marketing Automation is an add-on for Act that brings a high level of email marketing to the software.  Keep in mind the prices I am quoting you today might change tomorrow.  The base price of Act Marketing Automation is $79 per month which is billed annually, which works out to be $948 per year.  This gives you 25,000 emails per month.  At first glance this might seem expensive.  However, Act Marketing Automation is an immensely powerful tool that can turn Act into a sales powerhouse.  Really.  I genuinely believe that if you use Act Marketing Automation properly it can easily pay for itself many times over.  I can show you how make this an outstanding tool for Act CRM software.

Tony Holowitz: Act Certified Consultant CRMHow do I get the $240 subscription price?

If you are an Act Pro user you can upgrade to the subscription for $240 per year.  If you would like to have access to your data in the cloud via a web browser you can accomplish that by adding $120 to the price bringing your total to $360.  When you become a subscriber we will take a copy of your Act data and uploaded to the cloud and after that is completed you will be able to see all of your data in the web-based version of Act.  Long time Act users will find this to be a unique and different kind of experience using Act.  But this is the thing that not a lot of people fully understand or are slightly confused by when they think of Act in the cloud.  As an Act subscriber you have access to the desktop version of Act and I strongly recommend that you install it on your computer.  After your data makes its way to the cloud you can create (in many cases we will do this for you) a remote database.

What is and Act remote database?

A remote database in its simplest terms is an exact copy of your Act database as it exists in the cloud.  We give you a file which you will open with the desktop version of Act.  What is unique about this remote database is that it communicates with the cloud version of Act.  Synchronization is what this is called.

What is the relevance of synchronization?

When you work on Act CRM software on your desktop or laptop computer all the changes you make today will synchronize back to the cloud version of Act CRM.  Think of the cloud as the master database on a server.  So now your desktop Act in the cloud version of Act are the same; equal partners so to speak.  One of the great advantages of this set up is that you have a backup of your Act data in the cloud.  If disaster happened and your computer failed, was lost, or destroyed, your data is safe.  All you would have to do is install Act on your new computer and request a new remote database.  The $120 you spend the get your data into the cloud creates an environment in which we provide you with the cloud based server that would cost thousands of dollars if you were to try to implement it yourself.  You would have to buy equipment and hire someone to get everything installed for you and configured properly.

What about my laptop computer and Act CRM software?

This is where that $360 per year price tag starts to really illustrate the value of your Act subscription.  Simply download and install Act on your laptop computer and we will give you a second remote database specifically for that computer.  Now that data synchronizes to the cloud so if you travel with the laptop all your data will be up to date on the laptop, the cloud and your desktop computer.

What if I do not want to install Act on my desktop or laptop?

Simply log into your Act database via your favorite web browser.  It is easy.  I will tell you though that different browsers handle your Act cloud database differently and have some unique ways of presenting and working with your Act cloud data.  As of today, August 2020 I prefer to use Microsoft Edge to access my cloud database.  Keep in mind that your cloud database is a webpage and different web browsers render that information in a slightly different way.  Many of the differences are purely cosmetic.  My experience has been that people have different opinions on which browser is best.  The good news is you do not have to make an absolute decision.  You can use different browsers as you see fit.

So why should I use Act?  Why should I pay a yearly subscription?

There are two ways I can approach these questions in the most obvious way is to address current Act software users that are used to buying Act once and using it forever.  Act Pro gave you this option and that option no longer exists.

Act software has been around for more than 20 years and it started as desktop software; as all software that old did.  Technology has changed through the years and one of the most dramatic changes was smartphones.  How do you adapt Act to a small screen?  Well you have to get it into the cloud or on an app.  Act companion is a free tool that comes with your subscription that allows you to see all of your Act data on your smart phone or tablet, such as an iPad.  Long before Act companion was available to Act users there was a tool called Handheld Contact that pushed your data to your phone.  I am biased because I think it is the better option.  I think it is more user-friendly than Act Companion.  Handheld Contact is not free, it is $79 per year.  You can try it for free at www.HandheldContact.com.

So how is Act adapting to a younger more sophisticated CRM audience?

I must confess that the demographics for Act software CRM users skews older.  I have found that some of my older users do not want to change or take on new challenges of working with the software.  The good news is that I am in Act CRM software teacher and consultant that can help you implement tools that complement Act to make it the most productive CRM you will ever use.

Act now has the ability to communicate with a wide range of other software programs.

A web-based tool called Zapier, which has free and paid versions, can help acts web application communicate with other software.  Because your Act data is in the cloud, that cloud and Zapier can create actions that you would typically never use or even think about.  For example, you can use Zapier to transfer all of your contacts into Google contacts.  This would be completed by creating a zap between the two pieces of software.  This is an area of Act CRM that will make you change the way you think about Act CRM software.  Honestly, I am still learning all the possibilities and trying to take it all in to determine how I can use it for myself and to help my clients do more with Act CRM software.

In summary this is what you get with an Act subscription:

  • free technical support

  • Act companion mobile app

  • free upgrades

  • access to the web version of Act

  • Act desktop software

My Final Thoughts

I have been doing this long enough that I feel I can be blunt when it comes to the way people use Act CRM software.  If you cannot leverage and justify in your mind the cost of Act that I honestly believe you are not using the software correctly.  I have spent the last 20 years teaching people how to use Act software in a productive manner.  The cost and expense of Act is a no-brainer.  If you cannot make it pay for itself many times over you to start using it as well as you could and should.  You owe it to yourself, your family and your employees.

My website www.actclever.com offers all my Act knowledge and insights with an excellent and inexpensive training program for you and all Act users.  Please check it out.  Last but not least, reach out to me for one-hour review on me of your Act data and how you use Act.  We will schedule an appointment to review what you hope to accomplish with Act and we will make this Act software work for you.

 

Free Act CRM Software Help.  1 Hour Free

Quickly Deleting a Note

How do you delete a note in ACT?

In this tutorial I will show you how to delete a note in act. There might be times when you would prefer to delete something that you’ve already point in a note in act. This tutorial will show you how to delete one note or multiple notes.

Handheld Contact for Act: Sync Act Data to your Phone or Mobile Device

When people ask me the best way to transfer information from ACT to a smart phone or mobile device I always suggest Handheld Contact.

Handheld Contact Free TrialMy experience has been that once you set it up it just works. Handheld Contact works with Apple iPhones and iPads, Android smart phones and tablets and Blackberry smart phones and tablets.  I have compiled some video tutorials from fellow actors that I hope you find helpful.  Handheld Contact is $79 per year and offers a 14 day free trial that you can take advantage of by visiting www.handheldcontact.com.

There are a few steps that you need to address when you first set up Handheld Contact:

  • Decide which contacts to sync
  • Setup Handheld Contact on your computer
  • Setup Handheld Contact on your mobile device
  • Get familiar with Handheld Contact on your mobile device

Handheld Contact Professional Product Tour

iPad Sync

Searching for an Act Contact. Act Lookup’s Simplified.

Looking up contact information in act is one of the most fundamental tasks in act that you will do on a regular basis.

For example, if you are looking for contact information on John Smith you could look him up by his first name or his last name. You could also do a lookup for all contacts whose first name begins with the J and then narrow your list to John Smith upon completing that lookup.  To start a lookup all you have to do is click on the lookup option on the toolbar or you can simply right-click in the field of your choice.  So for example, if you were looking up a city you can right-click on the city field and start your search from there. Fundamentally, this is the most simple and common way to search in act.

Act Lookup’s are simple and easy to use

For the sake of our discussion let’s assume you have more than one John Smith in your act database. In fact, let’s assume there were 100 John Smith’s in your database. After you do your initial lookup of John Smith you can then narrow that lookup down based on any criteria within act that you desire. For example, you can narrow down the initial lookup to only the John Smith’s that live in Boston.

When should you use groups?

If you do complex lookups on a regular basis then it is worth learning how to create groups. However, groups are discussion for another day.

When should you use complex queries?

You can create complex queries and act that search for a lot of detailed information all at the same time. In fact, you can create a query and have contacts saved to a group automatically via group membership rules.

I’m mentioning groups in queries only so you know that you have options if you are doing complex searches on a regular basis. The purpose of this tutorial is only to make you aware of how to do a simple look up and I will create more tutorials in the future to deal with complex lookups.

Always remember if you need assistance you can contact me at 781-728-9777. Tony Holowitz.


Here are some simple steps to maximize and simplify the way you look-up contacts in ACT.

Sending Act Email: The Subject Line is So Important

When you send an email always start it by putting your name it the beginning of the subject line.

Based on my own experience I have found that approximately 20 to 30% of all emails that you send will be read by the intended recipient and 70% of all the emails you send are ignored. Based on those numbers I always tell my clients to start every email they said with their name. Virtually all emails that I send have this in their subject line:

Tony Holowitz:

My goal here is quite simple. Even if you don’t read the content of my email you have seen my name. If the email was important and vital and you didn’t read it that is your mistake. But at a minimum, deep down, you know I tried to reach you with important information.

At the end of the day my goal with all of my clients and potential clients is to keep my name in front of them. The fastest and easiest way to do that is not with the world’s cleverest email content. The easiest way is to put my name in the subject line of every email I send.

You might have missed the world’s greatest email content, but you couldn’t miss my name. Even if you glanced at the email and made a decision to delete it without reading it, you still saw my name.

I have been looking for and have yet to find a way to make sure that every single email is automatically filled in with my name in the subject line. If you know of one, please let me know.