Success in business is all about relationships. Often times, email is the only means of communication available, and it is a challenging way to start a conversation. It is just so impersonal. Rapportive is an extension for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Mailplane that brings everything you need to know about a contact right into your Gmail interface. It won’t take long after installing this tool to wonder how you ever lived without it.
If you’re an entrepreneur who is trying to take a concept to the next level, creating a relationship with a thought leader could be huge for your business. If you’re a sales person trying to make a contact with a prospect, creating a connection that moves them to a reply brings you one step closer to a deal. In both of these situations, you need something to make a personal connection.
When you enter an email address into the “To” field in Gmail, Rapportive starts searching for accounts that are associated with that email address. From right inside your Gmail interface, you can see your contact’s latest tweets, LinkedIn status updates, and Facebook posts. Here you can find a great source of contextual information to include in your email.
Review their latest tweets to see if there is any information you could use to make your correspondence more personal. Maybe they recently tweeted from a conference, and you can ask them how they enjoyed their time. If you’re not yet connected on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you can do so without even leaving Gmail. This feature helps you continue to expand you social network as you communicate with new people each day.
Even if you don’t know the email address of the person that you’re trying to get in contact with, Rapportive can help you out. Start typing different email variations of their name and initials into your “To” field. When Rapportive finds a match, the associated account information will show up on the right side of the screen.
Rapportive can also serve as a mini-CRM. When you install the extension, you have the ability to start taking notes on their profile. This can be a great tool to record offline communication or just to jot down a reminder about a shared interest. They have also attracted the attention of some notable investors. Gary Vaynerchuk, author of The Thank You Economy and Crush It!, and Paul Buchheit, the creator of Gmail, are both investors in the venture.