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ContactDirect Frequently Asked Questions:


Q. What is ContactDirect?
A. ContactDirect is the world's only interactive, industry specific database offering Contact Management tools and services. We believe that your contact information should be easily accessed and managed from any computer connected to the World Wide Web. top

Q. How is ContactDirect different from Server-based Contact Management products?
A.Our Web-based Contact Management Database solution provides many advantages:

  • With ContactDirect, all that's required is a standard browser. Server-based Contact Management products requires software installation, typically on both laptops/desktops and centralized servers, which often requires significant time and energy to configure.
  • With ContactDirect, upgrades are made routinely and automatically, providing Subscribers with new features at no extra cost or effort. Server-based Contact Management applications require expensive and intricate upgrades that often necessitate the purchase of addtional software and sometimes hardware.
  • With ContactDirect your data is securely accessible from any machine that has access to the Internet, including colleagues' computers or your home computer. In the near future, your data will even be accessible via Internet enabled cell phones and PDA's. Server-based Contact Management applications require all Subscribers to have access to their own machines at all times.
  • With ContactDirect, data is regularly updated so that you will not need to personally manage area code changes, personnel changes, company openings and closures, etc. ContactDirect manages the information for you, freeing you to focus on your primary responsibility. Server-based Contact Management applications require a local copy of the data on a laptop and/or desktop, and if you want to share data with others and get the most up-to-date data, you have to go through a synchronization process that frequently takes hours and often requires advanced technical assistance.
  • ContactDirect insures security, reliability and accessibility of your contact data. ContactDirect and your data are housed in an industrial strength data center that is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our equipment has redundancy built in to every component of the architecture to ensure against hardware failures. And, your data is backed up every day. Additionally, our equipment is in a physically secure location, and all data communications use the latest SSL encryption technology. Unless your company has invested in building a world-class highly secure and reliable data center like this, access to your data is much more reliable using ContactDirect than it would be if you were to use traditional server-based applications that you host yourself. top

Q. What are ContactDirect's Market Sectors?
A. ContactDirect sub-groups industries into specific market sectors in order to make it easier for subscribers to sort the databases by particular company functions, products, and product forms. This unique structure within ContactDirect enables subscribers to quickly and easily access the exact company information that they need. top

Q. Can I use ContactDirect anywhere?
A. Yes! ContactDirect is a site on the World Wide Web. It is accessible via any Web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, etc.) from anywhere around the globe, from any type of computer system, at any hour. Accessing ContactDirect is as simple as going to www.ContactDirect.com and typing your Email Address and Password. top

Q. Who should use ContactDirect and why?
A. ContactDirect is designed for small to mid-sized businesses that do not have the time or resources to gather and maintain a world-class customer database. Every employee within a company can benefit from utilizing all that ContactDirect has to offer:

  • Chief Executive Officer: ContactDirect not only increases productivity but also provides unique security for critical company information. No longer will sales and purchasing personnel be able to leave a company with their customer and supplier lists and notes. ContactDirect can secure all information generated by a company's employees and make that information accessible only as the company deems appropriate.
  • Chief Financial Officer: ContactDirect provides a tremendous cost reduction in prospecting new customers. In addition, ContactDirect's monthly subscriber fees provide a significant cost savings over the capital expense of typical client server customer relationship management software.
  • Sales and Marketing: ContactDirect provides a critical tool for sales and marketing departments. Whether sourcing new products, prospecting for new customers, organizing your sales strategy, managing existing relationships, or posting your products on the Internet, ContactDirect offers a highly effective, affordable solution.
  • Research and Development: ContactDirect's Notepad feature provides a unique opportunity to research customer requirements and specifications. This insight can be instrumental in the development of new products and/or processes.
  • Office Manager: ContactDirect provides the means by which employees can better document their daily activities. Managers have the ability to review an employee's notes and activities in order to gauge productivity.
  • Advertising & Promotions Manager: ContactDirect can track the progress of marketing programs.
  • Purchasing Department: ContactDirect provides detailed information on thousands of potential suppliers. Each supplier has the ability to list current product offerings, including brand information, product specifications, inventory, and prices.
  • Production Manager: ContactDirect can help to bridge the communication gap between sales and production. top

Q. What is the best way to use ContactDirect?
A. The ContactDirect database is constantly updated with new contacts, product listings, and information. Every member of your corporate team should access ContactDirect daily in order to track developments in their market sectors. Each team member will quickly find that ContactDirect makes him or her more productive by enabling, among other things:

  • Access to fresh and updated trade leads.
  • Constantly updated company contact information, including new email addresses, phone and fax numbers, product listings, etc.
  • Contact Management features, such as Notepads, which allow Members to keep a comprehensive history of interactions with any database contact.
  • Professional services to aid Members in their daily business. top

Q. Can ContactDirect help my business grow?
A. Yes! ContactDirect is a valuable tool that can help you source new products, find new customers, and increase sales. top

Q. Will ContactDirect grow with my business?
A. Yes. ContactDirect is a highly scalable service. It's simple to sign-up, and equally easy to add new Subscribers from your company team. And to ensure that your needs are always met, ContactDirect uses load-balancing technology to ensure the highest possible performance for all online ContactDirect Subscribers at all times of the day and night. Average machine loads are kept under 20 percent to compensate for spikes in traffic, and we routinely add new servers without interruption our Subscribers. top

Q. What will ContactDirect's performance be like?
A. ContactDirect is designed to deliver extremely fast routing to your contacts, notes, etc. However, keep in mind that performance can be influenced by many factors, including the speed of your modem or Internet line, the performance of your ISP, and traffic on the Internet when you access ContactDirect. top

Q. How can I get back to the ContactDirect.com Web site quickly and easily?
A. Simply bookmark www.ContactDirect.com. top

In Netscape Navigator:

  • Go to the ContactDirect.com home page (www.ContactDirect.com).
  • Select the Bookmarks menu on the toolbar and choose Add Bookmarks.

Microsoft Internet Explorer:

  • Go to the ContactDirect.com home page (www.ContactDirect.com).
  • Select the Favorites menu and choose Add To Favorites. top

Q. How can Members learn more about the ContactDirect product?
A. Because ContactDirect is Web-based, it is extremely easy to learn more about our product. Visitors and Subscribers alike can get a quick overview of ContactDirect by clicking on the "Learn More" link on our Home Page, or by signing up for a 7-day risk-free trial and following the easy instructions throughout the site. Finally, you are welcome to contact us at Support@ContactDirect.com, by phone at 757-599-4644, or by facsimile at 757-599-3104. top


Q. Why register with ContactDirect?
A. By registering, your company will automatically be listed in our database, providing your primary business falls within one of target industries. Your registration information will help your trading partners understand your business, therefore, it is best to be thorough and to provide correct information. top

Q. How do I sign up for ContactDirect?
A. Most Subscribers will sign up online right on the ContactDirect Web site. The process is completely safe and secure. Additionally, if you prefer, you can also sign up with us over the phone. Sales and customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time at 757-599-4644. top

Q. Can I use the existing Internet software on my computer?
A. Yes! ContactDirect does not require any proprietary software. You need to have a Web browser installed on your computer and access to the Internet. Its that Simple! We recommend using the newest version of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator for best viewing results. top

Q. Can someone from ContactDirect help me get started?
A. Yes! To get you started quickly, we offer context-sensitive help throughout the site, and the FAQs you are currently viewing. In addition, one of our friendly customer service representatives will be happy to work with you in order to help you understand how ContactDirect applies to your business. Simply contact a customer service representative Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time at 757-599-4644. top


Q. Can other employees at my company have his or her own account?
A. Yes! Each and every employee at your company can go to the ContactDirect Web site www.ContactDirect.com and create a personal account for him or herself. In fact, ContactDirect provides "group" sharing which allows an employee from the same company to view each other's notes (if desired). Group sharing even works between offices in different regions or different countries. Thus, we encourage entire companies to sign up each employee with an individual account so that they can more completely track their Company's overall business and in doing so increase overall productivity. Please contact a customer service representative to get details on multiple user discounts. top

Q. Can my company just get one account and share it between different members of our company?
A. No. Accounts are for individual use only and are not to be shared. Sharing accounts is expressly prohibited in our Terms of Use policy and is detrimental to the value of the service. ContactDirect routinely searches for multiple user abuse and reserve the right to terminate your membership should we determine you have violated our stated policies. top

Q. Can I increase or decrease my company's membership?
A. Companies can increase the number of Subscribers simply by registering a new Subscriber. In order to decrease the number of Subscribers, simply notify ContactDirect by email, phone or fax in order to adjust your accounts accordingly. top

Q. If my company wants to decrease the number of Subscribers, can I have the notes of a cancelled Subscriber transferred to another Subscriber from our company?
A. Yes, notes can be transferred, however, the most efficient method is for us to electronically assist you. Therefore, your Group Administrator should contact a customer service representative for assistance by sending an email to Support@ContactDirect.com. top

Q. How many Subscribers can have access to the service?
A. There is no limit to the number of Subscribers that can access the service. top


Q. Are their any rules to choosing a password.
A. Your password is a very important security devise for the protection of your company's information. Therefore, we suggest that you choose a password that is unique and difficult to guess. ContactDirect requires that passwords be at least six characters. Further, we strongly suggest that Subscribers routinely change their passwords in order to maintain a maximum degree of security. top

Q. How do I change my password?
A. You may change your password by clicking on Change my password after clicking on the "My Account" link found on any page after logging on, then follow the prompts to change your password. top

Q. I'm already a ContactDirect Subscriber, but I forgot my password. What can I do?
A. From the Home Page, click on "Forgotten Password" and follow the prompts. Otherwise, please send us an email at Support@ContactDirect.com. top


Q. What is the difference between "Public Database," "Private Database," and "Entire Database?"
A. Information listed in or added to ContactDirect's Public Database is shared with all ContactDirect Subscribers. Information listed in or added to your Private Database is strictly Subscriber-specific and, therefore, is only viewable to you and never anyone else. ContactDirect Subscribers can search the Public Database, the Private Database or the Entire Database. When you search the Entire Database, you are searching the Public Database as well as your own Private Database at the same time. top

Q. Does ContactDirect update the Public Database?
A. Yes! ContactDirect updates the Public Database 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. This out-sourced database management provides our Subscribers with tremendous value by decreasing your database management costs and by ensuring you have the most up-to-date information available at all times. top

Q. Does ContactDirect update my Private Database?
A. No. Your Private Database is accessible only to you and, therefore, you alone are responsible for all updates. top

Q. How do I choose between adding a company to the Public Database, or to my Private Database?
A. Contacts you wish to share with all Subscribers or visitors should be added to the Public Database. Contacts you wish to keep private should be added your Private Database. Since out-sourced database management is one of the services that ContactDirect provides, we recommend that you add your industry contacts to the Public Database so that we may maintain the contact for you. In contrast, we recommend that you add your family, friends, or business contacts you wish to keep private to your Private Database. top

Q. When I am viewing a Contact Page, how do I know if it is Public or Private?
A. Contacts in your Private Database will show your name on the Contact Page. top

Q. How big can my Private Database be?
A. There are no size restrictions on your Private Database, however, ContactDirect does reserve the right to notify you if your Private Database is exceeding technical limitations. top

Q. Can I add any company to the Public Database?
A. No. Only companies whose primary business activities fall within our targeted industries may be added to the database. However, any of your non-industry related contacts may be added to your Private Database instead. top

Q. If I add a company to the Public Database, will the company be listed immediately?
A. No. It will take up to 48 hours for it to be added to the Public Database. top

Q. If I add a company to my Private Database, will the company be listed immediately?
A. Yes, it will be added within seconds of the entry. top

Q. How do I find a company in the Public Database?
A. If you know the company's full name, enter the company name in the "Quick Search" field after logging in. Follow the prompts to find the listing and to view the Contact Page. If you do not know the company's full name, or wish to search using other search filters, such as product, company size, country, etc, click on "Search Tools" after logging in. Follow the prompts to select your search criteria and to then view the listing(s) and individual Contact Pages. top

Q. How do I add a company to my Private Database?
A. After you have registered, or if you are already an existing Member, you may add a company to your Group, or Private Databases by clicking on "Add Company". Simply follow the prompts to complete the process. top


Q. What is a "Contact Page"?
A. A "Contact Page" is an individual page in the database which contains specific information about a specific company. Normal Contact Page information includes the company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, email address, Web site link, contact name, company functions, product forms, brands, product listings, etc. In addition, on the Contact Page you will find the Notepad area, My Contacts, Employees, Company Profile features. top

Q. What is the Time feature seen on each Contact Page?
A. The time you view is the local time at the Contact Page's location. top

Q. What is the Weather feature seen on each Contact Page?
A. The weather you view is the local weather at the nearest major city to the Contact Page's location. top

Q. What is the Currency feature seen on each Contact Page?
A. The currency feature you view is the Contact Page's local currency compared to your own currency. top

Q. What other features can I access from the Contact Pages?
A. Other features which may be accessed from the Contact Pages include a personal Calendar. By clicking on "Calendar", you may schedule your own activities. You may also access our "Live Help" feature, which is a real-time "chat" with one of our customer service representatives. top


Q. What are ContactDirect Notepads?
A. ContactDirect Notepads provide Subscribers with a secure means of composing notes, ideas, or any other information that the Subscriber would like to save for future reference. For example, a Subscriber may wish to record sales or product requirements to finalize a particular sale on the notepad for a specific customer. Notepads can be private, accessible to other members of your company, or accessible to only specific members of your company. A Subscriber's notepad is never Public (accessible to people from outside of your company). top

Q. How do I add a note to a Contact Page?
A. At the bottom of each Contact Page simply click on "My Notepad", then "Add Note". A new screen will appear with an area for you to type your notes and, if you wish, to add it directly into the Calendar. Once you click submit, the notes will automatically appear on the Contact Page, along with your name and date, and appear in your Calendar as well if you chose to add it to your Calendar. top

Q. How do I view existing notes?
A. Existing notes will appear automatically at the bottom of each Contact Page under the "My Notepad" section. If there are no existing notes, the notepad will appear empty. top

Q. How do I edit notes on a Contact Page?
A. To edit existing notes, click on "My Notepad" then click once you view your note, click on "Edit". From there you will gain access to the notes and be able to edit them as desired. Click "submit" to save your changes. top


Q. What is the Group sharing feature?
A. The Group sharing feature allows Members to view the notes of other Members within your company. This function is often considered a crucial sales and marketing tool as it allows sales teams to coordinate their activities. Further, management can closely monitor sales progress in local or satellite offices without the trouble and cost of synchronizing databases. top

Q. How does ContactDirect's Group sharing feature work?
A. One of the key advantages to ContactDirect is its flexible Group sharing feature. Each Member can define the sharing parameters for his or her organization in order to give other Members access to information. Typically, Members choose from three Group sharing options:

  • Private: This choice allows Members to maintain private notes that are not viewed by anyone else.
  • Company: This choice allows Members access to the notes posted by Member accounts within a specific company.
  • Company/Employee Specific: This choice allows Members access to the notes posted by specific Member accounts within a specific company. top

Q. Can a Member change who has access to his or her notes after initial set-up?
A. Yes. Members can change their Group sharing set-up any time. This adaptability is critical as new employees join your company and old employees leave. top

Q. Can I have access to an ex-employees notes?
A. Yes. Members can get access to an ex-employees notes so that existing employees may carry-on a company's business. top


Q. How can I update my company's Contact Page?
A. Simply click the "Update Contact" button found on each and every Contact Page. Follow the prompts to update the contact information. top

Q. Will the updated information be entered immediately onto the Contact Page?
A. If the Contact Page you have updated is your Private Database, it will be updated immediately. However, if the Contact Page you have updated is in the Public Database, it will be reviewed by both the contact and ContactDirect before the Contact Page is altered and shared with other Members. This approval process usually takes less than several hours. top

Q. How do I provide updated information about my company to other Members using ContactDirect?
A. You may change your own Contact Page at any time. Once your Contact Page change has been verified by our customer support department, the revised information will be made available for all ContactDirect Members. This approval process usually takes less than several hours. top

Q. Can I update Contact Pages other than my own?
A. Yes. ContactDirect works best when Members freely update contact data that they know to be inaccurate or incomplete. Members can click the "Update Contact" button found on each Contact Page in order to update company information. The change(s) you make will be submitted to both the company and to ContactDirect's customer service team for verification prior to any permanent change to the database. This verification procedure ensures the accuracy and reliability of the data and usually takes less than several hours. top


Q. Can I import my existing contact data from other applications into ContactDirect?
A. Yes. We can assist you in importing data from other applications into ContactDirect. For very complicated import projects, ContactDirect consulting services are available for a fee to manage the complete importing process for you. Simply contact a customer service representative by phone, fax, or email for assistance. top

Q. What file formats can ContactDirect import?
A. ContactDirect can assist you in importing your contacts directly from an ACT!, Goldmine, Telemagic, or Outlook applications. In addition, you can import from any program that can be saved in the comma separated value (CSV) format, such as Palm Pilot and any Excel file. For assistance, simply contact a customer service representative by phone, fax, or email. top


Q. Where are my Private contact data and notes stored?
A. Your Private contact data and notes are stored on ContactDirect's secure servers based in an ultra-modern data center. For more information on our data center security, please contact a customer service representative. top

Q. Who owns the Private contacts and notes which I enter?
A. You own your Private contacts and notes. ContactDirect has no right to access or use your data. top

Q. Can I have my Private contacts and notes deleted from your server?
A. Absolutely. Should you choose to cancel your membership, and would like your Private contacts and notes removed from our servers, simply notify us in writing by email at any time. Your Private contacts and notes will be removed within 48 hours of your request. top

Q. Can I get copies of my Private contacts and notes?
A. Yes. Copies are available by request and for a modest copying fee. top

Q. How much database storage will I have available?
A. ContactDirect allocates up to 250MB of database storage as part of your membership fee. For additional storage needs, please contact a customer service representative. ContactDirect reserves the right to charge for database storage above the initial 250MB allocation. top


Q. How do I send email from ContactDirect?
A. On many Contact Pages you will find a company email address. Simply click on the address in order to launch Microsoft's Outlook Express. Your contact's email address will be pre-loaded in the "To:" field in order to save you time and insure accuracy. top


Q. How secure is the ContactDirect Web site?
A. ContactDirect uses a special Java application and with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) that encrypts all information sent over the Internet. We support SSL in both 40 bit and 128 bit modes. When your file information arrives here, it's stored as encrypted, unreadable gibberish. No one but you can unlock the code. The servers that store your information at ContactDirect are kept in physically locked rooms with limited, supervised access. In addition to a physically secure data center, we have redundant back-up generators in the event of power failure. Finally, ContactDirect does not permit access to your data or your password - no one over the Internet can read your information unless you give them the password or have specifically chosen to share certain files. At ContactDirect, we take security very seriously. For more information on security, contact us at: Info@ContactDirect.com.top

Q. Is my data backed up frequently?
A. ContactDirect performs daily backups, with a weekly full-system backup stored in a separate, fire-safe facility. Secure connections keep your data and passwords completely confidential. ContactDirect is equipped with high-speed processors, extensive memory capabilities, and redundant power supplies to provide high levels of availability, performance, and disaster-recovery. For more information, read our Security Policy. top


Q. How much does ContactDirect cost?
A. ContactDirect is priced as follows:

Food & Beverage Database

  • $69 per month (by Credit Card)
  • $699 per year (by Credit Card or Invoice)

    Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, & Life Sciences Database

  • $99 per month (by Credit Card)
  • $999 per year (by Credit Card or Invoice)

    Pay annually and its like getting two months free! top

  • Q. Do I have any commitments or obligations during my free trial period?
    A. No. Your free trial is exactly that: free! You have no obligation to cancel your free trial or to subscribe at the end of your free trial. top

    Q. How do I change my pricing plan?
    A. You can make a price plan change request at any time if you decide a different plan would better suit your needs. However, any change made to your price plan will not become effective until your next monthly billing date. For a change or additional information, contact us at Support@ContactDirect.com.

    NOTE: In order to provide you with the greatest flexibility we will accept change requests up to 72 hours prior to your monthly billing date. top

    Q. How am I billed?
    A. When you decide to subscribe, you will be asked to choose monthly or annual membership. If you choose monthly, you will need to enter your credit card information so that your card may be charged in order to begin your service. If you choose to be invoiced (for annual subscriptions only), you will receive an invoice by fax and by mail with payment instructions. Upon receipt of your payment, we will activate your account. Sales@ContactDirect.com. top

    Q. Are there annual upgrade and maintenance fees for ContactDirect?
    A. They're Free! As a Member of the ContactDirect, you always have access to the most up-to-date version of our product without any additional charge. These updates are transparent and almost continuous. top

    Q. What payment methods does ContactDirect accept?
    A. ContactDirect accepts payments through major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. ContactDirect will also accept checks in US Dollars drawn on an American bank account for annual payments only. If you would like to pay with a company check, please contact us at Sales@ContactDirect.comfor additional information. top


    Q. Why can't I log on?
    A. Incorrect password entry:

    Passwords in ContactDirect are case sensitive. Try entering it again. Forgot your Password:If you forgot your Password, click on "Forgot Password" on the Home Page and follow the prompts.Forgot your Username:Your User name is the primary email address you submitted when you registered. While you might have more than one email address, the primary email address is your User name. top

    Q. What if I have problems, questions, or suggestions about using ContactDirect?
    A. We would love to hear from you. ContactDirect has a dedicated staff of Customer Service Representatives and Technical Support Staff to help answer your questions or hear your concerns.

    • For general questions, send us an email at Sales@ContactDirect.com and we will reply with detailed comments and/or instructions.
    • For questions once you are a Member, or for technical questions, send us an email at Support@ContactDirect.com.
    • Call us in the U.S. by dialing 757-599-4644.
    • Send us a fax in the U.S. by dialing 757-599-3104.Regardless of how you decide to contact us, we are here to help resolve your concerns quickly. Support hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. U.S. Eastern Standard Time. top

    Q. What if I can't find answers to my questions here?
    A. If you didn't find the answer to your questions on this page, please email us at Support@ContactDirect.com. Every effort will be made to reply to your email within 48 hours. top


    Q. If I discontinue my membership with ContactDirect, what will become of my notes?
    A. Currently, stored notes will become inaccessible 60 days after the termination of your account with ContactDirect. Your ContactDirect Login name will be reserved. To re-activate your account, simply go to www.ContactDirect.com, and enter your Username and password. You will then be able to once again access the Contact Management Database. If your account stays "inactive" for a full year, your notes and contacts may be permanently deleted. In addition, as a service to our Members, we provide the ability to close an account and permanently delete the data. We advise Members to choose this feature with care, as it will result in the irretrievable loss of all information. top

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    Jim Rorie
    Director of Business Development
    ABC Research

    "We continue to get 2-3 new customers every month from ContactDirect's service. When we have the opportunity to make these new customers clients for life, our business grows significantly. I can't say enough good things about ContactDirect. It has a permanent place in our marketing mix. "

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