ACT! for Insurance/Financial Advisors
I love all the features that meet the needs of financial advisors. The customizable fields are beneficial and improve the overall use of the software. It has probably just as many features as other customer relations management programs but cost is substantially less. Very happy with my selection.
The Act! for Advisors software has been modified to meet the requirements of a financial advisor which includes being able to input information regarding insurance contracts. The new Marketing Automation is an great way to send out Newsletters, etc.
They have lots of online resources/video's to learn the Marketing Automation. You can also speak to customer service but they recently cut their remote access where you can have customer service work on your computer to help answer/show you how to do things with the marketing automation.
2021 ACT v22 Review
Overall, from 1991 up until summer 2020, has been pretty seamless using ACT and upgrading from previous versions to current versions. The last v22.0 upgrade I installed, gave me the impression that someone at ACT was more concerned about getting their bonus and 'rushing' out this new version, than making sure an 'error free' product was released. This combined with the elimination of service contracts, gives the impression they're going to "milk the cow" and end up closing up the business and leaving customers stranded.
Familiar as I have been using ACT since 1991, starting with v2.0 and now have v22.1.
ACT worked 'great' up to and including v21. Since the release of v22, I get ACT "NOT RESPONDING" messages 6-8x per day and need to completely reboot my laptop. Also with v22, I have randomly and periodically had (2x) my template for Contacts changed/rearranged. This combined with the elimination of service contracts, makes using ACT and potentially upgrading to the next version of ACT "unattractive".
Simple and Effective Contact Management
I use ACT run run my entire client contact. It interfaces with Outlook for my emails. I can write letters and reports and are easily attached so I can find them quickly. It has a calendar and can add reminders and tasks
This is easy to set up and has more functions than a small business will actually need. Scheduling and report writing is easy to do and keeps things well organized. I have sued this for many years and the files is very large but it is easy to search.
Much of my work is confidential. I attach files to people and it is a little cumbersome when people leave the company and go work for some one else. It would be nice it they could work out a way to deal with this. Also, they are moving to a web-based program and while it may have advantages for some of us, it may be a problem. When I travel, i can not always access the cloud or the speed is very slow.
I have been using it non stop since the earliest versions - that should tell you that I am very satisfied with it.
I have been using ACT for over 25 years and have seen lots of versions. I like its flexibility and that I can put users into multiple groups, It would be impossible to design a program that did everything everybody wanted it to but ACT comes close. I use it for sales, marketing, personal groups I coordinate, keeping track of some of my customers' customers.
It can interact with Outlook and Google's calendar if you use either of those programs. I am a Premium member. The bad side to that is it is a little pricey - about $0 a month. The good side is that I always have the most up to date version. The customer support is wonderful if you are a premium member. Whenever Microsoft Windows has an update a lot of my programs need some adjusting. ACT requires the SQL to restart but that is a simple fix. If/when I have had issues I couldn't fix I just made a call and their support team was terrific in helping me.
I like the fact that it is cloud based so I can access it on my tablet or cell phone or any computer anywhere. At my office I use the offline version and simply update the sync to the cloud. I have it set to update overnight also. One of the features I like best is the history. It is great to be able to look back to meetings, calls etc to see what I said, did etc. The library of forms is very useful also - create a form, letter - whatever - and you have a pre printed template you can utilize for multiple clients or for just one.
It holds tons of contacts also.
I wish it had more options for the ID/Status cells. The group function sort of does that but not like I need it to. Having 3, 4, 5 or more ID/Status cells would be very useful. Most of my clients fall into more than one category.
Customer relationship management in a neat little package!
Act has become a valuable database of information for our teams, storing all manner of customer and company information that we can utilise for various means. It is a valuable asset for us and will no doubt continue to be in the future.
There are multiple benefits to using Act as reported by our users. The Act database allows for a large quantity of information to be stored, meaning we were able to decommission several other systems holding various bits of customer data by merging it into Act.
We have found pricing to be competitive on a per-licence basis which suits us as a small team working within a non-profit organisation. Act makes it easy for users to update already stored customer/company information, so we always have up-to-date data for contacting, addresses, etc.
Communications to customers/companies are tracked in Act so other members of the department can see who has communicated with who, and what the correspondence was – this is useful if a member of staff is off and another needs to pick up some workload.
On the technical side, updates and hotfixes are provided regularly and it is relatively easy to install these during periods of downtime. The UI is easy to navigate, with clearly labelled menus and an in-built help area.
We have found it somewhat difficult to integrate Act with our current systems and have resorted to manually exporting CSVs with information to import into our systems. This is a legacy process and may have been improved upon however, we haven’t looked into this.
We have also had to purchase add-ins to enable certain features such as opportunities tracking, but Act plays well with these add-ons, so this is not too much of an issue for us.
From an admin’s perspective, it has proven difficult to set up an automatic installation that works with our MDT deployments, but we roll out images with Act on rarely, so this isn’t too much of an issue.
Perhaps in future, updates could be made to the UI to make it look a little less dated and bring it up to clean, modern, standards.
Act! is a flexible tool to track data the way you want to see it.
Act allows us to manage a vast database of over 85,000 contacts and 15,000 companies, as well as over 100,000 Table records between the two, with ease. Any information we need to find or update with these records is as easy as it gets, and makes our customer service team's jobs a relative breeze. There are hiccups here and there, especially with newer features to the program, but there's never been any issues that interrupt work or cause data loss, and the tech support available is very handy at resolving any issues we might have.
Everything in a Contact or Company record's layout can be customized, moved around, hidden on a per-user basis, and otherwise manipulated however your organization needs it to be. My company makes heavy use of this feature, having multiple team-based layouts that present the most important data to those teams prominently. We also greatly enjoy the software's ability to perform advanced queries on the data that can be saved and re-run with a single click to provide accurate reports and drill down to specific needs in moments.
There are quite a few features that feel incomplete or at least not fully integrated. For example, the software comes with the ability to create and Mail Merge templated emails that imports information like a contact's name, and the Smart Tasks feature allows you to automatically perform certain tasks including sending an email to a contact, yet for some reason you can't do both - that is, you can't set a Smart Task to perform a Mail Merge to a templated email and send the result, meaning that the automated emails cannot contain information personal to the contact such as their name.
ACT is a great software product that allows you to integrate your database and track your clients
ACT is worth the price and worth the training to get educated on it. Unfortunately you need to spend some time figuring out the details, but once you do, it is off to the races and you will love the system every day. It really is a great product.
This product allows you to integrate the basic and most complicated processes within your business. I love the email link feature, any time I send an email to a client (who has their email in their account profile), the system automatically saves that email in the client profile. You don't have to search for it in your inbox, or click an extra button to push the details over to the profile, it all happens automatically. The icing on the cake, is now that it is in the client profile, other members of my team can see what emails I have communicated to client, and when they were sent. It helps to keep my team all on the same page. This is by far the best Client Database system I have ever used. AMAZING!
The biggest downside to ACT is there is not a built in funnel email system. You have to select the group or type of clients that you want to email, export that to another database and then send the communications from there. The system will still tag your emails as long as they are sent from your domain, but having to export the list an use an additional software or service to send the mass email notifications is a little frustrating. If they can fix this option, it would make my life a lot easier.
ACT! 19 much better than 18
Have been an ACT user for over a decade. Works well, but syncing with Outlook and Gmail has been rough. Version 19 is much better, but still needs some work. It would be nice if ACT provided tech support for the first 90 days without paying all the time. Also would like to see contact photos added as it is in Outlook.
Organization and logic
Syncing with Outlook and Gmail can be difficult.
Response from Swiftpage
Thanks for your review!
Did you know it is possible to add a photo to an Act! contact? You can edit your contact layout to include a picture field. Once this has been added, you can display any photo you like within the field.
Regarding the Outlook email history attachments, there is an icon that looks like an envelope with a red X which will display in your taskbar if there are some emails which have been sent but not attached to an Act! contact. This is intended to notify you that these histories will be missing and will give you the option of manually choosing a contact to record them to, or creating a new contact from the info provided.
If you have any further questions about Act! or are looking for advice, check out our Community Forums: https://community.act.com
Solid and Reliable CRM Product
I've used ACT! in one form or another for over 15 years now, between several different companies, starting from when they were owned by Sage. ACT! has always been a solid, well-designed and well-performing product that puts managing customer's contact information, records and sales first and foremost. While some platforms have broadened their reach, ACT! has always stayed true to what they do well, which is manage clients and sales opportunities, which is what really makes sales.
ACT has been around for a long time, as has Swiftpage who aquired them. The software itself has continued to evolve and improve, but hasn't lost the overall feel it has always had. What I like the most is that they have cloud AND desktop platforms for those that might not need cloud services. They also have a large number of plans available, are affordable, and there are a good number of independent technicians out there that can help you with your data, and design third party add-ons too.
The recent change that does not let owners of much older versions of the software activate what they already own has me concerned.
Best featured and Best value CRM for Small business
Firstly, I'm an Act! Certified Consultant and I sell and provide services around Act! and have done so since 2001.
Although I'm not a client, I have continually had to make an assessment about whether Act! is the right product for our prospective and existing clients.
My personal experience is that there is no single software product that is suitable for every business. If you are a big enterprise, Act! isn't the product you are going to invest in. For small business though it should be at the top of your list to review.
Act! has a greater depth and depth of functionality for the price of any CRM software in the market for the small business users. If there was something that were better I'd be inclined to be offering it to our clients. Act! has been around for nearly 30 years and the many things that you are likely to want to be able to do, Act! just does. Many of the small, simple, day to day tasks will be made easier by your use of Act!. Act! is a product that you will hear many loyal and satisfied clients say that they Love and that they can't do without. Act! is easy to use and it's highly configurable. It excels in a MS Windows environment, so if you are running a server with some desktops and laptops it's an ideal solution. It will run faster than any cloud based solution.
Act! comes with both a Windows and Web based access. You could have some using it on their desktop in the office, and others using it via the web browser. The Web version doesn't completely match the windows version for functionality, but the gap is closing. With Act! you can deploy it on your own server so you own and control your data. You can still have the advantage of a web based login but know that your database is in an environment you control. Act! has a range of excellent third party add-ons that en-rich it's functionality and with a new API in the latest 18.1 version there will be many more integrations between Act! and other web based applications.
If I were to simplfy where I see Act! in the market it would be to say it sits in the middle of the basic cloud offerings like Pipedrive, Insightly, Highrise etc. and the full blown CRM's from Saleforce, SugarCRM and Microsoft. If you are an established business that is looking for a best in class CRM to work on your MS Windows platform and still provide good mobile and web browser based access then Act! is ideal.
In my business, history is necessary. I have data going back over 25 years that is at my fingertips. That and along with the ability to design and set a drip system to my client base is a great feature. I am very happy with my ACT! program for my business use.
I have been a user of the ACT! program since I became a Realtor in 1990. It is one of the most versatile programs around. I am only using parts of the program necessary to run my business. It allows a comprehensive amount of information on each individual on record or family history. All activity is recorded in the history file for future reference. All Emails, letters and correspondence is attached to the individual for future reference. The groups that can be set-up
There is nothing that I dislike about this program. It has all of the features that are needed to run a business. There are also features included that are helpful in record keeping and developing schedules for a smoother day to day operation.
Act Upgrade and use
Has been a good tool for us as a small to medium business but beginning to require more functionality - support for the latest upgrade has been very intense and expensive
Elegant solution that works across a range of devices with possibilities for a range of integrations much more cost effective than the competition for small businesses
Not always well integrated with other platforms eg leadpages etc - needs an intermediary or requires support of an ACT consultant to implement many integrations.
The Most Intuitive and Powerful Sales Tool You Can Have
I have used Act! from the beginning. With that, I mean from inception to today. As a sales representative, I became an expert user of Act! It served as the foundation for my success and gave me an unfair advantage over my peers. While my fellow sales reps worked harder and harder, I worked harder but smarter, winning every sales contest and breaking a few records in the process. As a Regional Sales Manager and VP of Sales, I used the science that Act! afforded me with while my competitors relied on luck. Now, as a consultant, I recommend and teach Act! as the foundation of a solid process. I have turned down consulting contracts because the client company did not and would not install Act! As a sales writer, published in such magazines as Selling Power and Life Insurance Selling, I have recommended and used Act! in dozens of articles and a few books. Act! is key to a successful sales career.
Scalability and ability to customize
After user since version 2.0
I run an international consulting business with customers in Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, and all over English-language North America to the north of the Arctic Circle. I could not have built this 25-year business without ACT! In retirement, I am serving as a university professor. I have over 7500 contacts in my database. ¶
I served on the beta team (I actually loaded version 1.0 but it was not as good as competitors) when version 2.0 came out it was hands down better than what I had been using. I have updated act every year ever since! Service is great and good but available only during business hours specific time, I only wish it was available 24*7
Total ease-of-use and fantastic tech support.
Since my days on the beta team, I have asked that if you highlighted a phone number overseas it would tell you the local time of day and whether that was a business day or a holiday. Tech development teams have always said that is a fantastic idea dating back to version about 2.0 but it has never been implemented.
Long time user
Despite the issues I mentioned above once you get it set up it is very reliable and I never run into issues such as crashing. It is a very stable program in my experience.
I've been using Act for 20 years and it works fine for most of my needs. I love that I can synchronize databases with my team members. It is also customizable so that the contact screens show almost any fields you could want. They do have a very good support site with very good walk-throughs to solve problems.
I know I'm not getting the most out of it or using it to its full capability, but it doesn't seem to be compatible with a lit of other applications where you would need to import your database. I have also found that (maybe because the database attaches to sql server?) it can be a little cumbersome to set up and get it syncing and it is very finnicky.
Long time user of ACT
Being a user of ACT for decades, I keep notes in my database to refer to later. If someone orders something from me years later, yup, I have their information. It's nice when I can ask how old their kids are now or if they still have the pontoon boat.
People think I remember lots of things, but I just put detailed notes in ACT and retrieve them when necessary.
Bugginess with Windows 10. I have never had so many tech support calls and need to upgrade my software since Windows 10 came in the picture! SQL Server issues, incompatibility with other software (fixed with tech support). I spent hours one day with tech support, another 3 hours another day and just decided to upgrade because they assured me that the new upgrade would fix my issues. So far, so good.
Things that are gone
I needed to upgrade my Act software last November and for many uses on a daily basis, I'm glad I did -- emails out through Outlook, documents out through Word including one-off letters and the envelopes, and certainly the maintenance of people in groups and subgroups. Not complaining about those things.
When I upgraded I paid for the 30 day tech support that included installing the V21 and a week later getting the tech on my computer to clear up a few things. The charge was well worth it.
But there are a couple of major steps backwards for me. I am given 30-50 business cards per month and for years with previous Act! versions (I now have V21 Pro) I was able to use a Cardscan to scan the business cards into Act. It saved a lot of time, allowed me to have a picture of the card under "documents" and was quite efficient. Cardscan is not longer compatible with Act! What's worse is that apparently there isn't any brand of scanner or Android App that is.
I am trying to do a workaround of some kind to perhaps scan to Excel and then import to Act, but gee, what an inefficient pain.
For years I have used a Dymo Labelwriter to print mailing labels directly from Act and that's no longer possible. The usefulness of printing a label or two was great. But no longer with V21 Pro.
Great Office Tool with Exceptional Customer Support!
I've been using ACT for 7+ years now and love it! I create contact lists to do mail outs every year and love the ease of the programs functionality. Updating customer information is a breeze and organizing lists is as simple as clicking a button. It's affordable and you can add on to the basic program so you're only paying for what you need!
ACT is very versatile. You can take full advantage of what it offers by using the marketing tools or use it just to house customer data. It's all up to you!
I wish there was a way to create search fields or search multiple search fields at one time. I search by address a lot and there has got to be an easier way to find project locations.
I am able to find information at my fingertips when I have questions about their system. Makes my phone calls a lot quicker. I don't have to put people on hold or call them back.
This software has everything we need about the installation and history of the customer.
I wish there was a way to integrate the install side to service side. It is a major pain when you are in one side and you get a phone call and you have to jump out of what you were doing to go to the other side . Plus most of the time once a system is installed they become a regular customer and you have to move all that information over to the service side. But other than that it is a great product.
contact database worth getting
I have been using Act! at different jobs for the past 25+ years, the features that have been added and capabilities is really more than i have learned how to do, but if i need it , it is available, all i have to do is read up on it.
I also love the import and export feature.. easy to use, it does not require i look up any "how to's", the process is logical and reasonable- not Rocket Science.
This software is user friendly and allows you to do any function in a variety of ways, for instance searching for a company, a person or a note you typed in.
The network and sync at times is a challenge to me, however the technical service they provide usually helps me out of a jam.
1st CRM Software I became familiar with, still pretty solid.
Used it as the Sales Team in a MIcrosoft Consulting company to keep in touch with our prospects / leads.
Very intuitive, and worked quickly. Unlike some other Cloud or Microsoft CRM solutions, there were no 'load times' when you switched to a different customer or different activity. It was highly customizable, and the import/export processes were intuitive and worked flawlessly.
Seemed harder to add new minor features we would like... However, we last used the software 2 years ago so it might not have been the most current version. Interface was cometically so so but worked well.
I’ve been using AGT since the first version. I have always promoted it with the organizations I belong too. The program hasn’t changed in regards to which is of use. My only issues are working with the Internet with it. I sold my company on using the program years ago and the Internet version then was a disaster. I haven’t had a chance to use it much with the new version for the Internet so I really can’t give you an honest opinion. However I didn’t like the screens available with the cloud versus Having the ACT pro download.
Ease of use and being able to creat your own setups
Its internet function w cloud wasnt the same as using the download. It didn’t have the same feel to me.
Contact info mainstay
With only minor exceptions, Act! has presented and behaved in the same way for years. Given that I have relied heavily on Act since about 1992, that is some track record, especially for software. In my experience it is;
Very user friendly (minimises costs of staff training, increases productivity and compliance)
It can be resource hungry so good networks and reasonable computing power needed
There can occasionally be niggles with the MS Outlook interface (though how much this is to do with Microsoft fiddling with interface parameters etc I can't say)
Hooked on ACT!
I learned ACT! when working for an Hawai I real estate firm. The learning curve was challenging but well worth it.
I became so dependent on it, that when I left the job, I purchased it for my personal use on my personal computer. I do not use it for business, thus the many features do not apply to me, but I am happy to be able to sync it to my smartphone and have my info at my finger tips at all times.
Notes are an essential part of this software for me that I am able to access on my smartphone
I am a visual learner and need someone to teach me how to utilize the various components of the software
Perfect for a membership organization
Use Act! to manage a membership database. Keep tabs on membership status, names, addresses, membership type, etc... Ability to query the system to send out membership expiration notices.
Easy to setup a membership database
Easy to query for certain data and export to Excel
Has many other features available for a sales based organization
Customer service has been GREAT!
To date no issue with the software have been found.