Tuesday, February 12, 2013

5 Free Online Tools You Can Access From Within ACT!... Right Now!

We’re always interested in learning about new apps and tools that can improve the way we do business. In this blog series we take 5 key business tasks and, using free online services, show you how they can be implemented to work with ACT! using the Web Info tab.
  • Project Management
  • Customer Service
  • Cloud Storage
  • E-Marketing
  • Social Media Management

Part 1: Setting up your ACT! Database

Before getting into too much detail about the online tools listed above we will first cover how to set up your ACT! database to work with the online tools.

For most of the solutions we are going to show you, you will be required to create a new field in ACT!, add it to your layout and copy/paste the url (or parts of it) to that field. This is required in to ensure that the links in the Web Info tab are customized for each contact.

Once the fields are created the URL links in the Web Info tab will need to be customized. To get to the URL editor go to the Web Info tab and click the "Edit Links" button.

There are two different ways that you can set up the URL links with respect to linking them with ACT! fields.
  1. Merge Tag Only
    Using this method the entire URL is pasted into the ACT! field and this is referenced in the Web Info URL. For example:
    • ACT! Field = http://www. website.com/abcd
    • Web Info URL = {Name of ACT! field here}
  2. URL Snippet plus Merge Tag
    Using this method you only paste the end portion of the URL in the ACT! field and the Web Info tab includes the first part of the URL and the merge tag. For example:
    • ACT! Field = abcd
    • Web Info URL = http://www.website.com/{Name of ACT! field here}”

There are many considerations to make when deciding which method to use:
  • Merge Tag
    • It is usually easier to copy/paste the entire URL than URL snippets
    • If the entire URL is too long it may exceed the character limit for the ACT! field and the link will not work – to overcome this you could shorten each URL using a service like goo.gl or bit.ly before pasting it into ACT!
  • URL Snippet plus Merge Tag
    • The first part of the URL must be the same for all contacts
    • You must remember which part of the URL to copy/paste

Now that we have explained how to set up your database, join us in our next blog when we show you how you can use Project Management and Customer Service tools from within ACT!

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