As we discussed earlier this month
, the holiday season is the perfect time to send gifts, cards, and tokens of appreciation to your clients and set a tone for the new year. But what if you have a very long list of clients? Perhaps you'd like to send cards to some, gift cards to others, and gift baskets to some of your best clients. How do you go about dividing up a meal of a contact list into manageable pieces?
We recommend stratifying your clients--in other words, sorting them into tiers. For instance, you can decide to use four tiers, A, B, C, and D. You can then create a customized field on your contact record layout, by which you can label your clients. If you go through your clients, you can quickly label them an A, B, C, or D, in your tier field and you save yourself work for next year, too.
Once you have your database of clients stratified, you can update them based on how your business changes. At our office, we have a custom report that takes different variables into account (frequency of business, quantity of sale, how long someone has been a client, etc.) which we can then run every month. The report generates a list of what tier each client should be at, and we then update our contact records accordingly. This way, we can quickly pull up a list of our tiered clients and market to them using the levels as a guide. We may check in with our A's once a month via phone to see if there is anything they need. We may check in with the B's just as often, in hopes they become A's. You may want to run a drip marketing campaign so your C's and D's keep you in mind, even if they don't need your services as frequently.
And for the holiday season, you can run a quick look-up of your contacts by tier, and you have sorted mailing lists ready to go. You can refer back to our previous blog to learn how to print mailing labels or envelopes for holiday cards. And if you are interested in our help setting up a stratification report like ours or customizing fields, please give us a call at 847-520-0860.
And from the KSC team, we sincerely hope you have an enjoyable holiday season with you and yours. Thank you for visiting our blog. We are grateful for your readership!
The traditional holiday card is a sweet way to say you are thinking of your clients this time of year, and with ACT!, you can cut down on the prep time and tedious busy work necessary to put them together. We recommend selecting cards and filling them out by hand for a personal touch. However if you need to save time and energy, there are several great vendors available who will fill them out for you. We then recommend using ACT! to print out labels or to print addresses directly onto the cards. This is a seriously simple process.
1) Create your lookup
First you will want to decide who will be getting cards and how you will organize them. We recommend either creating a group which you then add all card recipients to, or selecting recipients by a commonality--all clients, all networking contacts, etc. If you have them marked off by ID Status already, you can then create a lookup based on the ID Statuses very simply. Once you have the card recipients organized, create a lookup of all those contacts.
2) File>Print>Labels or Envelopes
From your lookup, go to the File dropdown and select Print. From the Print window, you can select either Label or Envelope (label if you will be printing address labels, envelope if you will be printing addresses directly onto your envelope).
3) Select your stationery
Stationery companies like Avery make it easy to print directly from your computer. ACT! has the dimensions of the most popular labels already saved as default. Simply select which product number matches the labels or envelope size you have purchased, and ACT! will print your labels so they fit on the labels or envelopes you've selected.*
4) Preview and print
You can then preview your labels, save the document and print later, or print right away. It's that easy. You have then reduced the amount of time you've spent on an activity that strengthens your current relationships, giving you time to create new ones.
If we could be of any assistance to you as you put together your holiday cards or gifts, please give us a call at 847-520-0860. *If you would like our help creating a template for an envelope or label that does not come with ACT!, we are happy to help.
Lately, we have received numerous questions about when and how to use Dynamic Groups to better manage certain contact lists. Dynamic Groups are great for automatically capturing newsletter subscribers, event registrants, or grouping contacts by industry, state, ID status, and more!
Instead of continually performing the same Lookups (or Advanced Queries for multiple field searches), consider creating a Dynamic Group that will automatically pull and list all contacts that meet the group's criteria. Dynamic Groups, once set up, are always easy to access and always contain up-to-date information from your database. To create a dynamic group, follow the steps below...
As Kristi Smith, the owner of KSC, likes to say -- "You can never have too much money or too many backups." Are you making regular backups of your ACT! database? Have you tested the backup recently? Are you storing these backups outside of your office? Do you know how to restore a backup if you needed to? To make a backup in ACT!
, click on the File menu and choose Backup - Database. (You need to have administrative rights to the database in order to make a backup).
We recommend creating a backup daily, and taking the backups out of your office at least once per week. We DO NOT advise
creating and storing the backups on the server that is hosting your ACT! database. Please place it on an external hard drive or other computer on your network. We've seen situations in which there was a server hard drive failure, and both the ACT! database and its backups were effected.
If you have any questions about your current backup situation, testing backups, or restoring backups, please let us know! Call us at (847) 520-0860 or click here
to email us. Has an ACT! backup "saved the day" for you or do you have a story to tell about an unfortunate backup mishap? Tell us below and help others understand the importance of ACT! backups.
In today's hurried times, we are all looking for ways to do our jobs faster and more efficiently. When you need to schedule an activity on your ACT! calendar, are you aware that you can schedule those activities faster by setting custom default preferences? Following the instructions below, you can tailor each activity type's default settings to your liking, eliminating the need to continuously change the activity duration, alarm status, etc. during scheduling.
To customize your scheduling preferences, access the Tools menu in the top navigation bar and scroll down to 'Preferences'. Once the Preferences portal is open, select the 'Calendar and Scheduling' tab and click the 'Scheduling Preferences' button.
Highlight each activity type and define the default settings for that activity as desired. Further, you can customize the display drop-downs and the alarms for your activities.
Other scheduling options include the ability to create separate activities when scheduling with multiple contacts and to have a prompt launched to schedule an activity when a new contact is created.
Do you have an ACT! tip to share with others, or is there an ACT! feature you'd like to see us highlight in the future? Please let us know in the comments below.
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