(How an old 1996 database version kicked tail end of Microsoft Access 2000!)
Why is it that I feel like I've been to hell and back?
If you email your prospects or customers, or if you know you should but don't, hopefully my experience will be of value to you.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I had a list of names and email addresses I desperately needed to send emails to. These were people who signed up to resell my product, "The Amazing Formula That Sells Products Like Crazy."
I had a ton of duplicates in my list. For some reason, people sign up multiple times. Yet, I only wanted to send them one email.
Emailing your list of associates, customers and prospects is absolutely essential. I felt humiliated that a stupid database problem was preventing me from contacting my associates on a regular basis.
My list was in this format:
12234 firstname lastname email
The data was listed on a password protected web page. I tried to copy and paste list into Excel, so I could manipulate it, but that wouldn't work. It wouldn't separate data into columns.
I tried Boxer 99, an ultra-cool text editor with remove duplicate liens feature.
But it wouldn't remove duplicates because first number on each record was different. But name and email were same. To Boxer 99, it wasn't a duplicate record.
My email program is supposed to remove duplicate records. For some reason I still don't understand, it wouldn't zap records for me.
Feeling exasperated, I decided to "get tough" and import names into Access. Surely heavy duty database programs would pull through for me and end my misery and humiliation!
Have you ever tried to remove duplicates in Microsoft Access? Oh my gosh. Don't even try unless you're a professional!
I used a "find duplicates" query to locate duplicates. But how do you remove them from your list?
Whew! What a nightmare. I never did figure it out. I tried to follow 15 steps in on-line help file, or however many there were.
But it didn't work.
You'd think there would be a button to click on that says, "remove duplicate records," right? It isn't exactly an unusual or exotic procedure.
Anyway, I hunted all over and tried out some other email programs, figuring that one of them surely would import data in a format that would allow me to de-dupe list.
But nothing would work. I tried exporting list out of Access and then importing it into my email program.
Finally, a friend of mine said, "Hey, why don't you try Lotus Approach? You can do what you want in only one click!"
I tried to buy Lotus Approach at their web site. But if I remember correctly, I couldn't download it. You had to wait for CD!
What are they thinking? It's called downloading. Hello!
Anyway, thank God I had an old 1996 version on CD. I wasn't confident I could install it since I probably didn't have unlock code.
Thankfully, Lotus didn't require multiple unlock codes like a lot of software does today. And it wasn't an upgrade version that required you to hunt down original version you bought back in dark ages!
Like you can ever find original version before 3 upgrades you bought. You know what I'm talking about?