Act: Finding Specific Contacts Using Advanced Queries

Do you want to quickly filter lookups in your Act software? Do you need to group your accounts, contacts and leads so that you can market to specific segments more effectively?

With data segmentation you can improve the results of your sales and marketing efforts. By delivering the right message, to the right people at the right time, it is more likely you will capture attention and encourage engagement.  By sharpening your understanding of what your customers are buying, you can also maximise cross-sell and upsell opportunities. But how do you go about segmenting your customer data?

Advanced Queries is one of the more powerful features within Act CRM. It allows you to quickly retrieve specific data sets, be it for marketing campaign target groups or ad-hoc data analysis. But first, let’s explore Act lookups to help put things into context…

What is a lookup?

In Act CRM, it is possible to produce a list of all contacts that meet a certain criteria.

For example, if you want to find all of your contacts based in the city of “Liverpool”, simply open Act, click on Lookup > City and type in “Liverpool”. Pressing OK will give a list of contacts in Liverpool.

Whilst a lookup is great for quick and easy access to a single set of data, it doesn’t allow you to work on multiple data sets. This is where “Advanced Queries” come in to play.

Top Tip: Advanced queries use lookups very heavily and not knowing how to use them will probably make this guide look like a foreign language essay! Here’s a quick link that explains Lookups in detail >

What is an Advanced Query?

An Advanced Lookup allows you to conduct a search based on unlimited criteria. For example, you can create a lookup of all customers in Liverpool that have shown an interest in your company and have a credit limit of over £9000.

How to create an Advanced Query:

Below we will show you how to create an Advanced Query. For the purpose of this exercise we will be looking at a company that sells subscriptions to a specific magazine.

To illustrate this better, we have created two new fields in Act Database called “Subscribed?” and “Subscription Type

Subscribed is a simple Yes/No field that tells you if a user has subscribed to the magazine. Subscription Type tells you how long the subscription lasts – a dropdown menu that ranges from “Weekly” to “Yearly”

  1. To start, create a single lookup where all contacts have “Yes” for Subscribed.
  2. Extend the search to people who are subscribed, based in Liverpool OR Manchester and are on a weekly subscription. We have to do an advanced lookup. To do so:
  • Click on the Lookup menu and go to “Advanced > Advanced Query”
  • If you have created simple lookups before, you will notice that the normal fields: “Type, Field Name, Operator and Value” are still here.
  1. To create a condition to include all users that are currently Subscribed:
  • For field name choose “Subscribed”
  • For Operator “Equals To”
  • For Value “True”
  1. Click “Add to list” – the lookup has been added to the box.
  2. Repeat the above step to add the rest of our lookup queries – in this case users based in Liverpool OR Manchester and on a weekly subscription.
  3. Click ‘Preview’ to view the data. Please note: This action hasn’t this displayed any contacts.
  4. Act’s interpretation of the above conditions is to show all contacts that are located both in Manchester and Liverpool at the same time, displaying an error.
  5. To get a list of customers, you need to tell Act to display customers who are based in Manchester OR Liverpool. The “And/Or” column will let you correct this to the proper syntax.
  6. By adding brackets into query above, you will make sure the contact is in either Liverpool or Manchester first BEFORE checking if they are subscribed or what subscription type they are.
  7. Press “OK” to replace your existing lookup with the new one.

The Benefits of Advanced Queries

You can create Advance Queries in four different areas: Companies, Contacts, Groups and Opportunities.

Lookups allow you to drill down and display specific criteria, from custom fields to Act default fields. For example a list of all customers within certain postcodes that have a credit limit of over a certain amount who have a certain sales representative under their name.

It’s also possible to use advanced queries to create dynamic groups, allowing you to create groups such as “New contacts in your area” or “Contacts with a contract older than one year”.

The lookups can be saved and used by your colleagues to make managing their relevant contacts easier, at the same time saving a lot of time and money for your business.

The Limitations

Advanced queries cannot cross over with different sections of Act. For example, you couldn’t say “Show me all contacts in Manchester that have an open Opportunity with us”.