Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cloud Storage and E-Marketing in ACT!

In our last blog post we introduced the idea of using free online tools from within ACT! via the Web Info tab, and showed you how to set up your database to implement these ideas.

 In this post we will cover how you can access documents and files stored on the web, and view your contacts e-marketing profiles all from within ACT!

Part 4: Cloud Storage with Google Docs

Cloud storage is becoming a new way for businesses to host all of their data and many people view this as a great way to promote collaboration, support remote workers and keep their documents and files safely backed up.

There are numerous cloud storage providers our there (such as Dropbox,, and Google Docs) – all of these providers offer a free plan and have quite competitive pricing.

In this example we’re going to show you how you can display folders and files from Google Drive in ACT! This strategy should also work with the other cloud storage providers.

How to implement it to ACT!
  1. Create a field in ACT! called “Online Folder”
  2. Create a new link in the Web Info tab so that it looks like this: “ {Online Folder}”
  3. Go to the folder/file that you want to link to the ACT! Record, click on the checkbox to the left (rather than opening it) and go to “More > Share > Share”. You will then be presented with a screen that displays all your sharing and privacy options for that folder/file including a URL link.
  4. Copy and paste the appropriate URL segment into the “Online Folder” field.
  5. Next time you navigate to this contact and click on the relevant Web Info link you will be able to see the folder/file from within ACT! Depending on the level of access that has been applied to the folder/file you may also be able to edit it. The result will look something like this:

Part 5: E-Marketing

Most e-marketing services store profiles of your contacts that include basic contact details and activity history including which emails they have been sent and how they have interacted with them (e.g. opens and clicks). If your e-marketing system isn’t integrated to ACT! and you would like to see your contacts e-marketing activity from within ACT! you can do this using the Web Info tab.

In our example we are using MailChimp.

How to implement it to ACT!
  1. Create a field in ACT! called “MailChimp Profile”
  2. Create a new link in the Web Info tab so that it looks like this: “{MailChimp Profile}”
  3. For each contact in ACT! that is also in MailChimp copy/paste the URL snippet to the “MailChimp Profile” field.
  4. Now each time you’re on a contacts profile who is also on your send list, you can see what MailChimp campaigns they have been sent and whether they have opened/clicked those emails. The result will look something like this:

Stay tuned for our next blog where we show you how you can manage your social media strategy from within ACT! In the meantime if you have implemented any of the tools above or any other free online tool to the Web Info tab let us know – we’d love to hear how having these tools available in ACT! have helped your business.

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