Topic: E-Marketing

What Is The Best Choice Of Contact Mgt Software?

Posted by Anonymous on 125 Points
I have a client with an upscale, 9 room B&B. She currently has a database of 3,800 guests, with some basic info e.g. phone, email, address, check in date, etc. About 15 fields of data.

Her data base is now officially "full", she can't enter any more contacts. So we have decided to find her some new software.

She will need to use this for both marketing and sales follow up. Snail mail; email; tracking prospects and contact info. We are planning to use constant contact for her email campaign, so we do not need email functionality, or task management functionality. I would expect that her list will not grow to much more than 5,000 names.

I've checked out Act, Goldmine and Maximizer. They all appear to have too much functionality, and would likely scare her (she's a bit of a technopeasant).

What choices would you recommend for a simple, easy to use contact management application? Is it crazy to just use Outlook Contacts?
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  • Posted by Inbox_Interactive on Accepted
    It's not crazy to use Outlook, but I wonder how slow things will move when you're working with 5,000+ contacts.

    I have used ACT! for years, however, and I really do prefer it for pure contact management compared to Outlook. The only reason I switched back to Outlook is that I don't like the ACT! email program, and I really dislike trying to use the two in harmony.

    I'd suggest that she give ACT! a try. It's not as overbearing or complicated as it can seem, and your client might very well grow into some of its functionality. I find that it's great for reminding you to write sales letters, and the merge process with Word is actually cleaner than it is with Ooutlook, if you can believe that.

    My $0.02. YMMV.

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Accepted
    I usually agree with Randall here on this forum, but not this time. If your client is a technopeasant, Dovarri might be too complicated BECAUSE of its customization process.

    I wouldn't consider it unless YOU are willing to become a Dovarri expert and do the work for her. (That might not be a bad strategy if you want to become a rep for Dovarri, though. Would other clients like it, Colleen?)

    Outlook is one of those Microsoft tools that we all love to hate. It's got a lot of underused features, so I think you're smart to consider it. And the learning curve is pretty short, even for a Luddite. ;]

  • Posted by Pepper Blue on Accepted
    Hi Colleen,

    I'm in Paul's camp on this one. I have used ACT! since the first DOS version, I think it was 1987 and still use it today. Yes, I've tried Goldmine and others but I always revert back to ACT!. It definitely has some limitations and quirks, but for the money it will pay for itself quickly.

    You can customize ACT! to make it simple for your client for now until such time if ever that they need more functions. Just strip away what you don't need and don't worry about the other stuff for now. Truth is, it can come in handy and they might actually enjoy playing around with it and learning about its versatility, I've seen this happen many times.

    I view Outlook and ACT! as two completely different programs and also like Paul, I prefer to NOT use the ACT! email program, instead letting Outlook do the job. All the ACT! email program does anyway is just puts an interface on top of Outlook.

    BTW, I also use Constant Contact and as you know, there is no overlapping of functions between CC and Outlook, or ACT!. You are making a good decision by not using Outlook for your email marketing and CC is a good ASP for companies just starting an email marketing program.

    Your other Q: Why do I prefer Act for "pure contact" to Outlook? Is it faster? better functionality?

    A: Because it does a far better job of contact management in all respects - period. Faster? Yes. Better functionality? Yes. I have tried for years to make Outlook do what I need it do, but I always find ACT! works better.

    I hope that helps!

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