Keep Your Group(s) Up-to-date

Last week I confessed to living with CRS. I can't yet be accused of having had a "Senior Moment," but sometimes I forget to do some of my basic ACT! stuff. Like putting new contacts into their appropriate group(s) in my database. So without sticking Post-it notes all over your monitor, how does one keep group membership(s) up to date?

From last week's Tip you may recall that one of the reminders that can be set in ACT! is "Run group membership rules." This can be done with the "Set Reminders" function (as previously described), or by accessing the "View Rules" dialog box from the "Group" pull down menu in the ACT! "Groups" view (Group//Group Membership//View Rules). The "View Rules" dialog box has a check box option to set the periodic reminder. Running group membership rules when reminded will keep information in your database up to date.

Let's run through an example of setting up a group membership rule.

Suppose you send out a periodic mail merge through ACT! with some pertinent company information to all your prospects (special pricing, inventory clearance, etc.) You always remember to use the "ID/Status" field when creating new contacts to identify your prospects, but sometimes forget to do the group membership thing.

To automate the updating of this group, open the ACT! "Groups" view. Highlight the group you wish to work with by left clicking on it once. From either the "Group" pull down menu, or by right clicking your mouse, select "Group Membership//Define Rules." This will launch the group rules wizard.

The first screen will ask you to identify a Query that you may have saved or allow you to choose any data field in your database. For our example, choose "ID/Status." Click "Add Value." Click the down arrow on the right side of the field, and click again on "Prospect," and then the "OK" button. You may add as many values as you need for each field by repeating this process. The "Next" button will advance you to another screen where you can add a value(s) for a second field, if you so choose.

After clicking the "Next" button, a summary of your choices appears. Click "Finish" and ACT! will ask you if you'd like to test your rule. This may take a few minutes and completes the process.

Now the rule is in play. However, to beat CRS syndrome you will have to remember to set the reminder. If your short-term memory hasn't gone up in smoke, you can run the rule yourself by clicking the toolbar icon with the red exclamation point in the "Groups" view.

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