What is Act! CRM?

Act! CRM is designed for small businesses looking to expand brand reach and market smarter. It offers a robust marketing toolkit with landing pages, electronic campaigns, and email marketing. You also get a central repository of all customer data, albeit in a dated interface. Overall, Act! CRM gets the job done in terms of organizing your contacts and launching campaigns. However, there`s a steep learning curve, and you`ll require training. It`s best for marketing teams that prioritize saving money over ease of use.

Ease of Use

The user interface looks like an old version of Windows XP. It`s gray and dated, and difficult to use.

In addition to being unattractive and unwieldy, the pages are crowded with repeating icons. For example, on the contacts page, there are three different email buttons. With a better layout, it could be helpful to have many ways to complete a task or get your data. But on Act! CRM it clutters the UI and slows you down.

Except for the email marketing feature, none of Act!`s marketing tools are workable out of the box. There is a video library which, thankfully, is thorough. Even once you understand a tool`s use, it isn`t easy to work with. Competitors like HubSpot and Keap offer powerful tools that are effortless to use. However, Act! CRM is the more affordable option.

Ultimately, ease of use comes down to you, the user. If you are used to older, on-premise software, you may feel at home with Act!`s boxy interface. Their free 14-day trial will help you decide if the product works for you.


Customization is possible but like most of Act! CRM it`s not easy. You can create the home page you want by adding and removing charts (what other CRMs call dashlets). But rather than dragging and dropping your modules into place, you have to create them from scratch. A popup window lets you name your chart; then, you choose your entity, fields, and operations. If you`re new to CRM, you will need a tutorial just to customize your dashboard.

It`s also possible to create custom fields. It`s a fairly involved process and not intuitive. Also, you must delete an existing field before you can add a new one.

Manage Your Contacts

Your contacts module offers a list view and a detailed view. The detailed view allows you to drill down into the customer record. The top half is organized like a business card, with the typical contact details such as phone number and address. The bottom half of the screen lists several tabs for storing more information about the contact, such as history, notes, activities, and documents.
From the contact record, you can also call, email, or write a letter.

Overall, it has the look and functionality of a database from 20 years ago, but with added storage. You can squeeze a lot of information into each record, but it`s not very fun to use.

Marketing Automation and Email Campaigns

From this tab, you can build campaigns and landing pages, as well as monitor web activity. However, Act!`s email marketing campaigns are where the CRM shines. Act! CRM offers dozens of email templates. While some look a little dated, you`ll still find plenty of options to love. Every aspect of template building is intuitive, and you can customize the font, sizing, and layout. You can also switch out images by importing your own files or using their database of over 500,000 free images. With Act! CRM, your get one of the best and easiest native template builders in the industry.

Once you`ve designed your email, you can set up a drip campaign, A/B testing, and view email stats.

Manage Your Sales Pipeline

The Opportunities tab opens with a list view of all your deals, won or lost. You can see information such as name, status, stage, days in pipeline, value, and the assigned rep. In the right-hand sidebar, you have the option to filter your data. For instance, you could change the view to only open opportunities.

The detailed view reveals information such as the products associated with the account and related documents like quotes and invoices. You can also see notes, tasks, and client history.

Your sales KPIs are listed at the top of the Opportunities screen:

Open countOpen value (total)Open value (weighted)ForecastAverage ageClosed-won valueClosed-lost valueClose rate

They aren`t all visible on-screen, you`ll have to scroll sideways.

If you subscribe to the Expert Plan, you can visualize your sales data in funnels, charts, and graphs.

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