An action type is a user-defined value that further defines the action category. Using both of these fields gives your action records a lot of detail.

Using just one action type, like Birthday, can mean different things on the Action record:
Action ValuesMeaning
Action Category: Phone Call
Action type: Birthday
A phone call was made to wish the constituent a happy birthday
Action Category: Meeting
Action type: Birthday
A meeting was held to wish or to celebrate the constituent's birthday.
Action Category: Mailing
Action type: Birthday
Something was mailed, such as a card, to wish the constituent a happy birthday.
Action Category: Email
Action type: Birthday
An email was sent to wish the constituent a happy birthday.

Here's another example using the action type of Follow-Up:
Action ValuesMeaning
Action Category: Phone Call
Action type: Follow-Up
A phone call was made to follow-up with the constituent.
Action Category: Meeting
Action type: Follow-Up
A meeting was held to follow-up with the constituent's.
Action Category: Mailing
Action type: Follow-Up
A follow-up mailing was sent to the constituent.
Action Category: Email
Action type: Follow-Up
A follow-up email was sent to the constituent.

Other useful action type examples are, but not limited to, Invitation, Welcome letter, Inquiry/Enquiry, Visit, Introduction, and Solicitation. To add new action types, please refer to How to add new table entries.