Chicago ACT! USER GROUP
Meeting Date: April 9, 1996
NEWS YOU CAN
USE: Symantec has just released ACT! for
Windows update 2.0.8. The update provides for smoother operation of Mobile
Link and enables Windows 95 users to use direct Internet e-mail via the
ACT! 2.0.8 is available from Symantec or from E Tech Systems
at (847) 352-4770. Patch discs are readily available at ACT! User
FEATURE: This month, guest speaker Dennis
Frantsve gave us a crash course in database (direct) marketing using Dun
and Bradstreet’s MarketPlace. MarketPlace is a CD ROM database of 10
million U.S. businesses. The database is updated quarterly. Besides the
usual CEO name, address, and phone number, each business’ annual sales
revenue, SIC code, and number of employees is provided as well. For
example, this information, coupled with a powerful sorting program permits
the user to identify all printing companies within the 60611 zip code whose
annual sales are from $1 to $10 million.
These contacts can be easily imported into an ACT! database
once the requisite fee to "unlock" the data is paid to D&B. (This
fee ranges from 10¢ to 35¢ per contact, depending on the depth of
information desired.) Now you are ready to launch your marketing
First you’ll probably need to group your prospects
geographically - especially if you plan to be making face-to-face
sales calls. You can do this by asking ACT! to look up all contacts
with certain zip codes or those contacts in a specific city, or, you
can use a mapping program such as MapLinx to view and select contacts
on a road map.
Next you’ll need to mail out "pre-approach" letters to the
contacts you have selected. An easy way to do this is to create a
letter template (in ACT!, of course) and to write a form letter. Now
it’s time to get on the phone to follow up with those contacts you
mailed to and set up appointments. If you have a modem, use ACT!’s
autodialer to dial the phone for you. Finally, schedule your meetings
using ACT!’s calendar.
There are a number of mailing lists out there that are
considerably less expensive than D&B MarketPlace - including
those available on line but beware - the quality of mailing lists
varies widely. There may be no contact names, let alone sales figures
for each company. Plus, keep in mind that mailing lists become
quickly outdated. (The telephone book you just received today is
already out of date.) Nonetheless, America On Line and CompuServe
users can access lists by typing the keyword "lists". Also, there are
various CD ROM phone books available which sell for $15. When
importing this sort of information into ACT!, remember to import the
data in the "ASCII comma delimited" format.
Searching ACT! Contacts
Q Can you perform searches on any ACT! field?
A Certainly. The command is LOOKUP, OTHER. You’ll get a
blank record. (Actually, to insure that you start off with a clean
slate, so to speak, execute the command EDIT, CLEAR.) Enter the
information you are searching "on" in the appropriate field(s) and
click OK. For example, to find all the contacts in Peoria, type
"Peoria" in the City field.
Note that you can search on any ACT! field, you can only
sort on about 10 fields. These include the first and last name,
company, phone number, city, state, zip, ID status, and user fields
1, 4, and 7. (Sorting refers to arranging contacts in numerical or
Importing A Database In The Form Of A Text File
Q I’ve got a database that is a text file but ACT! will not
successfully import it. What’s the problem and how can I fix
A Chances are that this file is corrupted. Assuming you are
running Windows, try opening the database as a document by using the
Windows notepad. Clean up the data by removing extraneous spaces,
commas, carriage returns, etc. Save the file to a new name and try to
import the edited file with ACT!.
Merging Two Databases
Q How can I merge a 1500 name list with a 2000 name list and
not wind up with any duplicates?
A ACT!'s merging function allows you to easily combine two
databases. The basic steps are to open the destination database (the
database you are merging to) first, then to merge in the source
database (the records you would like to add.) Once you have opened
the destination database, the command to merge the source database
are: FILE, IMPORT/EXCHANGE , MERGE.
Before clicking on the OK box, there are a few things you
should know. First of all, a duplicate record is defined as a record
with precisely the same contact, company, and main phone number as
another record. If two records are similar - but not exact
duplicates, ACT! will ask you what to do. There are three ways you
can instruct ACT! to handle duplicate records. When a contact in the
source database matches one in the destination database, you can ask
ACT! to accept either the source or destination version of the record
or to accept the most recent version of the record. This way, most
duplicates can be eliminated. Incidentally, before performing a merge
make sure your destination database is backed up.
OUR NEXT MEETING . . .
of the ACT! User Group will be held on Tuesday September 10.
We will offer an update on ACT! 3.0. User Group meetings are free and
open to all C.C.S. members. They are held on the second Tuesday of
each month 8 times a year at the Midway Motor Lodge in Elk Grove
Village. Call E Tech Systems at (847) 352-4770 for details. Have a
© Copyright 1996 by Alan M. Lee, all rights reserved. Other
nonprofit computer user's groups may reprint this material providing
credit is given the author and C.C.S. Future rights for publication
reserved by Alan M. Lee. ACT! is a registered trademark of Symantec