Insights into What’s New in Act! v24
The evolution of Act! continues in v24 which builds out its small business CRM tool set with dynamic pipeline management, powerful new marketing automation capabilities and many subscriber-exclusive enhancements. All these capabilities allow your organization to take its sales and marketing to new heights.
Here at AspenTech, we often advise a bit of caution when moving to the latest and greatest versions as there often can be minor issues that need to be worked out. As always, we continue to test out the new Act! versions. At this time, we are recommending waiting a few months before upgrading to v24.0 (November or December 2021), especially if you want to use Windows 11. Feel free to contact us about upgrade questions!
The Big Ones - Compatibility Updates
- Deploy on Windows 11, releasing in October 2021.
- Act! v24 is now officially Windows 11 certified.
- Reap the benefits of a modern 64-bit platform with the latest security and performance enhancements from Microsoft. In short, your Act! performance speed could greatly increase if your hardware is setup correctly.
- Leverage your Act! subscription to stay current and compatible with the latest hardware and operating system.
- For new installs, SQL 2019 will be the default for Act!. For upgrades, you can choose to keep your existing compatible SQL version if you wish.
- Office 2019 compatibility which uses 64-bit integration for Outlook & Word addins, allowing for optimal performance and stability. Act! Outlook & Word addins will continue to support 32-bit versions if you prefer.
- See what's new in Windows 11 here.
- Learn about what's new in SQL 2019 here.
- What's the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit?
Continued Improvements to the New MS Word API Addin
- In Act! v23.0, Act! completely re-designed the MS Word addin.
- Similar functionality as previous addin but now uses the Act! API
- Frequent users of the MS Word integration will be pleased to know that most of the major issues from v23 have been worked out for v24.
- The addin now remembers your current lookup when recording histories into Act! after mail merges
- History type upon recording is once again "Letter Sent" and updates the "Letter Sent" system field
- Embed images in MS-Word based Mail Merge templates from image fields on contact records
Outlook Integration Improvements
- This release continues to build upon that new integration framework released in v22.1
- For those with multiple databases, you can now switch between databases inside Outlook to choose which database to manually record histories to. Automatic email history recording will still only write to your default database in Act! preferences.
- Manually attach email histories for contacts without email addresses in your Act! database.
- Fixed a bug where some versions of Outlook caused email merges to get stuck in the drafts folder
- Various other bug fixes
Other Updates to Improve Act!
- New improved look for Act! Dashboards (required for 64-bit integration)
- 200+ priority bug fixes
- General user interface control (UI) updates
Discontinued "Sunset" Features
- From time to time Act! will remove functions rarely utilized by clients. They may also replace older features with newly created features.
- Act! Dialer has been removed. This was a legacy item from when people used phone modems! This also caused a pesky popup window sometimes when opening Act!.
- Act! Email has been retired. This was the old-school email integration built by Act! before Outlook became common place.
- Smart Tasks will be discontinued. This was a well-intentioned, but always buggy automation feature in Act! that we never recommended using. We anticipate improvements in Act! Marketing Automation will replace these features eventually.
- Act! Scratchpad has been removed. This was a rarely used, simplistic to-do tracking app (not related to Act! Activities or Histories).
Act! Marketing Automation - Free Basic Tier for Subscribers
- Starting April 2021, all Act! subscribers with new or renewed subscriptions are entitled to a free, basic version of Act! Marketing Automation (AMA).
- This requires some light settings changes to get your API setup correctly. Contact us if you'd like help setting up your API or would like training.
- Ask about our custom training video geared toward this free level of AMA.
- Find out more about Act! Marketing Automation.
Act! Marketing Automation - Collaboration Chat Feature
- Have your team review your email templates
- Get template approvals within the app via new chat feature
- Suggest changes within the app via new chat feature
- Flag chat topics as "Resolved"
Act! Marketing Automation - Hide Rows on Templates
- Design email templates that will look different when viewed from a mobile phone or on a desktop.
- Hide entire rows of content for either mobile or desktop.
- Make two versions of a row, one to show on mobile and other to show on desktop.
Act! Marketing Automation - Improved A/B Testing Features
- Available in the highest tier of AMA, the A/B Testing feature is greatly improved.
- Send different versions of template and/or subject line to a subset of your audience.
- Set custom thresholds to determine which version performed best.
- Remaining recipients will receive the "winner."
Act! Marketing Automation - Improved Scoring Features
- AMA previously allowed custom scoring rules to determine how "hot" a lead was based on opens, clicks, and landing page form completions.
- You can now automate follow-up actions based on those derived scores.
- Automate scheduling phone calls, creating opportunities, addiitonal emails and more!
Act! Marketing Automation - Improvements to Landing Pages
- Landing pages are essentially the forms or surveys you can create via AMA.
- You now have more control over how your form or survey appears on the screen.
- Create multi-column forms.
- Create sections on a form.
- Especially nice for landing pages with a lot of questions!
Ready to Move Your Act! System to the Cloud?
Cloud hosting your Act! server has many advantages:
- Work from anywhere, anyhow via web access or installed client remote sync
- Offload the technical details so you can focus on running your business
- Leverage a modern secure platform with best-in-class security
- Avoid server costs, save big on upfront costs
- Change and grow your Act! system with ease
Download 5 Reasons to Move to the Cloud by clicking here.
Been a while since you upgraded?
If you haven’t upgraded recently you will also get the features released between your current version and Act! v24. To see all the features by version, click here. This handy chart goes all the way back to Act! v7!