Meeting Notes

Meeting Date: October 8, 1996

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Windows users: the latest version of ACT! for Windows is version 2.0.9. This update contains bug fixes for Mobile Link users. The update solves the problem of unintended duplication of contact record notes during merging. Should you update to 2.0.9? Remember that Symantec Tech Support supports only the latest version of ACT!. If your livelihood depends on ACT!, consider updating. The ACT! 2.0.9 update is available from Symantec or from E Tech Systems at (847) 352-4770 for $10 shipping and handling. ACT! 3.0 (for Windows 95) will be shipping in November. This is a major upgrade and will cost about $99.

MEETING FEATURE: This month, our featured speaker was E Tech’s Ralph Will. Ralph is a member of E Tech’s Internet Services Group. Ralph discussed the virtues of establishing an Internet Web site and how to use it as a tool to gather sales leads and provide cost-effective customer support.

An Internet presence, once considered a means to give one’s business a trendy up-to-date image, is slowly proving itself capable of generating quantifiable results. While the percentage of people who purchase products over the Internet is only 14%, the number is growing each day.

The secret to getting results is to understand - and capitalize upon - the key attributes of an Internet web site. A web site, of course, is capable of providing detailed information about your product or service. What is unique is that this information can be easily updated regularly - every day (or every hour) if you need to. There is no other conventional form of advertising that offers this sort of flexibility. Secondly, an Internet web site is interactive. For example, at UPS’s web site you can type in the sender’s and recipient’s zip codes along with the weight of a package, and, the shipping cost of the package is automatically calculated and displayed.

An Internet web site can serve to generate qualified sales leads for your products or services in a cost-effective manner. The key to realizing cost savings is to ask the right questions and to provide structure for the individual’s response. Because a web site is interactive, an interested suspect can contact your business (say to request a product demo or to place an order) easily and conveniently - even if it’s 10 PM and no one is at your office. There are no phone numbers or fax numbers to remember or write down. While faxes and e-mail inquiries are subject to interpretation, a structured format for responses (such as a form users can fill out on-line) means requests can be handled with great efficiency. It’s easy to see how this can translate into time and money savings.

Once leads are captured, they may be distributed to field sales staff by zip code or any other "rule". A new capability Ralph discussed was using an add-in package in conjunction with a web site to "package" leads as ACT! contact records. These leads could then be sent via Internet e-mail to a salesperson halfway around the world!

Another way companies can benefit from setting up a web site is to provide cost effective customer support and service information. For example, all the owner of a piece of manufacturing equipment needs to do to access service information or product updates and enhancements is to visit a web site set up for that purpose. As a matter of fact Symantec, the manufacturer of ACT!, will be offering future software updates for ACT! 3.0 through their web site. (Norton AntiVirus already uses the "LiveUpdate" feature.) What could be simpler?


Recording the Date a Document Was Sent

Q How can I get the date a document was sent to automatically appear in a contact record field?

A ACT! automatically enters the date any letter was sent (and its name) in two fields located on the "back" (second screen) of a contact record, however only the name and date of the last letter sent is shown. All letters sent will be recorded in history, though. To insert the present date in any field, Windows users should press the F4 key followed by the Insert key.

Printing My Schedule in a Task List Report

Q How do I get my schedule to print out in a Task List report?

A What you need to do is tell ACT! to include this information in reports. Sound simple? This is done by switching to my record (LOOKUP, MY RECORD) and changing Access from Exclude to Include. (Access is a field located on the rear (second screen) of the contact record.)

Scanning Artwork Into ACT! Documents

Q Can information be scanned directly into ACT! 2.0?

A No. Try scanning artwork into another program such as Windows Paintbrush. Then use the cut and paste commands to move the image into an ACT! document, template, or report. Small images can successfully be imported.

Error Message: General Protection Fault

Q I’m getting a General Protection Fault on my Windows PC when using ACT!. Any suggestions?

A First update your software to the latest version. (The current version of ACT! for Windows is 2.0.9.) Then compress and re-index your database(s). The best way to do this is to close your database and execute the command: FILE, REINDEX.


of the ACT! User Group will be held on Tuesday January 14. (There will be no meeting in December.) The ACT! User Group (a SIG of the C.C.S.) holds meetings on the second Tuesday of the month eight months out of the year. User Group meetings are free and open to all C.C.S. members. They are held at the Midway Motor Lodge in Elk Grove Village. Call E Tech Systems at 847-352-4770 or visit for details.

© 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 Corporation.