A Full Act! CRM Review for 2024

Our Verdict

Act! CRM, unlike most, offers an on-premise CRM solution

Act! CRM does a lot right, particularly for small-to-mid-sized businesses. It’s expensive for some, but unlike most, it offers a cloud and on-premise solution.

This means added security for businesses looking for more control over how CRM software is implemented in their business.

It boasts phenomenal email marketing capabilities, too, and although the UI has received mixed feedback, most find it easy to use.

Whether it’s for you depends on your needs and, of course, your budget, as it’s expensive, and lacks capabilities like AI automation.

Pros

  • Offers fantastic email marketing capabilities
  • Most find it easy to use
  • There's cloud and on-premise options
  • Solid customer support

Cons

  • Offers fewer features and integrations compared to rivals
  • It can be expensive for some
  • Mixed reviews on the UI

In this Act! CRM review, we explore a popular CRM that comes jam-packed with email and digital marketing features. That said, it’s not the best pick for every business. So, to help you decide, we cover everything from its pros and cons to its pricing, features, and how it compares to other CRM solutions we’ve tested over our 10-year span of covering technology like this.

Act! CRM Pricing

Unlike most CRM apps that have 4-6 plans, Act! keeps things simple with 2 core plans, with a third option where you can pay  $10/user/month extra for desktop sync.

It’s also worth noting that, unlike most, all of the plans have more or less the same features. The only difference is that the one is for cloud usage and the other for on-premise use.

Act! Premium Cloud Act! Premium Desktop
Starting Price (Annual) $30/user/month $37.50/user/month
Free Trial Period 14 days
Automatic Updates and Backups
Prioritized support
Optional Desktop Sync
Type of Access Browser-based Networked and offline
Team Management
Automation
Reporting and Analytics
Support Live chat, email, and phone Live chat, email, and phone
Act! Premium Cloud - $30/user/month

Act! Premium Cloud – $30/user/month

This is the most popular Act! CRM plan. It lets you manage your dashboard across multiple devices in real-time. Unlike most CRMs, you get full functionality off the bat with this starter plan.

This includes things like customer management, relationship timelines, and sales process management, as well as personalized emailing. So naturally, the cost is slightly on the higher side.

This is especially true when compared to the entry-level plans of other CRM services, like Monday CRM, for example, which starts at just  $12/user/month, or Pipedrive at $9/user/month.

However, given that full functionality is on offer for just $30/user, it actually offers more value for money in comparison. At the end of the day, it all depends on your specific needs and budget.

Act! Premium Desktop - $37.50/user/month

Act! Premium Desktop – $37.50/user/month

This plan is tailor-made for businesses that want greater control over how CRM software is implemented and used across their departments.

For instance, any updates would only be installed once admins or managers give express permission. Naturally, on-premise usage also enhances the overall security and privacy of your customer data.

This is because all data is stored locally on the devices you’ve installed the CRM software on. Beyond this, another added benefit is offline access, something cloud solutions don’t offer.

Act! Marketing Plans - $79-$399/month

Act! Marketing Plans – $79-$399/month

In addition to the above, Act! offers these 4 marketing automation plans. It’s worth noting right away that the Basic plans’ features are all included in the 2 plans discussed above:

Act! marketing automation plans

However, if you want features like lead scoring, team management, and website activity tracking, then you’ll have to shell out anywhere between $79 and $399 per month.

What’s interesting is that some of these features are offered by other CRM tools in their entry-level plan, as we found in our Agile CRM review, where it offers lead scoring on its free plan.

At the same time, features like email tracking, a campaign calendar, and a visual workflow designer that others ask plenty for are available on Act!’s entry-level plan.

Act! CRM Key Features

During our run with the software for this Act! CRM review, we managed to pinpoint some unique features we thought were worthy of highlighting here. Here are the key ones:

Sales Pipeline Management

Act! CRM sales pipeline management

To start with, Act! boasts a solid sales pipeline management system. It manages the sales process and ensures commitment from your customers through multiple stages.

You can also customize these stages. One thing to note here is how user-friendly this all is. It offers an intuitive dashboard that we found simpler than other CRM interfaces we’ve used.

It gives you rich insights, including activity reports and sales performance data, helping you close deals faster. In our experience, we found that you can easily move deals through stages, too.

All through simple drag-and-drop functionality. We also liked how every opportunity’s details get updated automatically. We’d expect nothing less from a top CRM solution.

Marketing Automation

Act! CRM marketing automation

Automation was another big USP with Act!. For example, it has a well-structured outreach strategy—steps that help you attract new customers, which is great for lead generation.

For the same purpose, there’s also the option to create engaging landing pages and lead forms. Moreover, we were really impressed with Act!’s event marketing capabilities.

It allows you to host webcasts and tradeshows, as well as automatically send out email invitations and track attendees. What’s more, you’ll have full control over your digital marketing campaigns.

These come loaded with autoresponders, a visual workflow designer, and tons of email templates, more than enough to have fun and make it your own.

Customer Management

Act! Client Database Software

Act! does a fantastic job at streamlining your customer interactions, including consolidating all lead and customer data in one place. You can send emails right from the Act! dashboard, too.

What’s more, Act! lets you track and prioritize customer calls, meetings, and other tasks, with the built-in calendar, which we found proved more than enough for this.

However, it’s worth noting that we found that tracking and customizing emails isn’t an option until you sync your Google or Outlook account, an added step but not the biggest issue.

You’ll like how simple it is to search through your CRM database as well. We found this incredibly intuitive and powerful for quick retrieval of information.

Act! CRM Integrations

Act! CRM can integrate with around 20 third-party apps, spanning sales & marketing, social media, customer service, eCommerce, back office, and business productivity tools.

This is a far way off industry juggernauts like Salesforce and HubSpot, which offer 3,000+ and 1,000+, respectively. That said, Act! CRM does include the most popular ones.

This includes integration for Shopify and BigCommerce for eCommerce, Slack, Outlook, and Google Contacts for productivity, and Freshbooks, Quickbooks Online, and Xero for accounting.

Act! CRM Customer Reviews

Act! CRM reviews are mostly positive, but it’s certainly not as popular (or loved) when compared to others, as we found in our Salesforce review, for example.

That said, it’s still a solid CRM, and the negative reviews aren’t major. Let’s start with G2. Here, Act! CRM has a 3.9/5 rating (from 430+ reviews). The good? It’s ease of use.

Ease of use, the incredibly simple search function, and its overall intuitive interface are all common praises. Among the good, you’ll also find many praising Act! for its powerful automation.

Act! CRM G2 reviews

So, what’s the main complaint? Well, long-term customers are unhappy that it used to be a perpetual license, and it’s now a subscription model, as you’d find with most CRM services.

This has led to an increase in the overall cost businesses have to shell out for Act!. Another notable complaint is that some feel the platform has a slightly outdated UI.

At the same time, though, its UI was positively spoken about by those who valued its ease of use, so there isn’t a cause for concern here in our opinion.

What’s admirable is that Act! CRM’s customer and tech support has been widely appreciated, which is iterated across most Act! CRM reviews, which is a good sign that they value their customers.

What is Act! CRM Good for?

Act! CRM is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses that want robust customer data management (including offline access), sales pipeline management, and marketing automation.

At the same time, its calendar and email integration and superior tracking abilities mean that it’s a robust solution for activity management, too.

However, if you’d like more customization or AI capabilities, we’d recommend Salesforce, and if you want a modern UI and loads of customization, then be sure to read our full Monday CRM review.

Act! CRM vs Top Competitors

Act! CRM is a fantastic solution for many, but it’s not the go-to option for every business. Here are the top Act! CRM alternatives that you can consider and compare before deciding:

Act! CRM Monday CRM Salesforce Pipedrive HubSpot Zoho
Best For Small and midsize businesses Small businesses Large businesses Startups Free CRM tools AI-powered assistance and customization
Starting Price $30/user/month $12/user/month $25/user/month $9.90/user/month $18/month (2 users) $14/user/ month
Free Version 14-day trial 14-day trial 30-day trial 14-day trial Free plan Free plan
Compatibility Android, iOS, desktop, browsers Android, iOS, desktop, browsers Android, iOS, desktop, browsers Android, iOS, desktop, browsers Android, iOS, desktop, browsers Android, iOS, desktop, browsers
Top 3 Features Contact management, activity tracking, marketing automation 200+ integrations, no-code automations, sales forecasting Pipeline management, AI lead scoring, class-leading reporting Built-in calendar, Leadbooster, unlimited custom dashboards Shared inbox, sales automation, historical data syncing Workflow automation, email marketing, anomaly detection

Act! CRM vs Salesforce

Salesforce is undoubtedly one of the best sales CRMs, and it comes with just about every feature your business could need. That said, it’s best suited for large-scale businesses with scaling as their priority.

On the other hand, Act! CRM, with its simple UI, does well to court those new to CRMs. This is also what’s reflected in their pricing, as Act! is a lot cheaper than Salesforce.

Another major difference is that Act! CRM is available as an on-premise solution, whereas Salesforce is cloud-based, and that’s it.

Act! vs Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM‘s primary USP is its customizability and native integrations with Zoho Campaigns and Zoho Invoice, for example, which make it a force to reckon with for customer management.

It also comes with a free plan for up to 3 users, where despite being limited, it boasts incredibly useful tools. Act! CRM, of course, doesn’t have a free plan.

That said, we found that Act! CRM matches Zoho (if not beats it) when it comes to integrated email marketing CRM benefits – plus, it offers better customer support and a smaller learning curve.

Act! CRM vs Pipedrive

Pipedrive is an ideal option for those who want the ability to create custom deal pipelines and dashboards, and that too, effortlessly with a drag-and-drop builder.

On the other hand, Act! will serve you better if you want a CRM solution that also comes packed with email marketing features. As we found in our Pipedrive review, it has little marketing capabilities.

Beyond this, Pipedrive also doesn’t offer phone support, like Act! CRM does.

Verdict – Is Act! CRM Worth it?

Act! CRM is an incredibly feature-packed CRM solution that combines useful marketing automation abilities with near-class-leading contact management.

Everything else, from sales pipeline management and reporting functionalities, is available, and, from our experience, all work really intuitively. In short, it’s worth it for small and midsize businesses.

It offers simple pricing and an easy-to-use cloud and on-premise solution. However, it’s not the best choice if you want new-gen features, like AI automation, or you want a cheaper solution.

For this, we recommend checking out Monday CRM or, if you have the budget, Salesforce.

How We Test CRM Services

We’ve been in the industry for over 13 years now, and our in-house team of experts is well-versed in the market trends and what really qualifies as a good CRM service.

We begin our review at the CRM service’s website, where we analyze the claims it makes. Next, we install the apps it offers – both mobile and desktop – and test all of the features therein.

This includes its data management and automation capabilities to see if everything works as advertised by the company. However, we don’t stop there; we also take into account customer reviews.

This allows us to create a well-rounded review of the product, highlighting both good and bad so that we can give it a fair rating, helping you decide if the product’s worth your time and money.

How to Choose the Best CRM Solution

Let’s look into the main factors you’ll want to consider if you want to ensure you choose the best CRM app for your business:

PriceFeaturesScalabilityEase of UseIntegrationsCustomer Support

We recommend that you look beyond the price tag of the service and instead consider the feature-to-price ratio. This means considering whether you’re getting what you want within your budget.

Note that not all services are like Act!, which doesn’t lock advanced features behind a higher-tier plan. Business AI features are commonly locked behind higher-end plans, for example. So, it’s important that you strike a balance between what you’re paying and what you get.

Even if business expansion isn’t on your memo for the time being, it’s always advisable that you pick a CRM provider that can scale your business without hassle – and without asking you to break the bank for it, either.

Picking a relatively straightforward service with a simple design and interface will help your employees get going with the software quicker – which also means that you’ll save money on training costs. We recommend trying any free versions before committing.

Look for a CRM service that offers enough integrations, as that’ll allow you to manage almost every single business task from a unified dashboard. Be sure to check whether the CRM can integrate with the tools your business already uses.

Regardless of the size of your business, we recommend you prioritize services with prompt support – preferably 24/7 via multiple channels, including live chat, email, and phone.

FAQs

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References

Vaishnavi Srivastava

Vaishnavi Srivastava has a computing degree. She joined Techopedia.com in 2023 after working at Techreport.com where she developed her area of expertise in software reviews. She has extensive knowledge of CRMs, VoIP systems, password managers, and hosting services. Her portfolio includes various buyer guides from individual product reviews to highly detailed comparisons.