Can futuristic apps bring business email out of the Dark Ages?

Email is one of those rare holdovers from the dawn of the Internet that continues to have practical applications to our everyday lives. Through constant challenges from the likes of tweets and text messages as the preferred means of relaying information to a friend or colleague, email has remained as useful as ever. Like any other technology, email has its limitations, but with the help of a couple of easy to use apps, you can turn your inbox into a beacon of productivity and efficiency. Here are a few useful apps you should be using for your emails right now.

 

Moveable Ink

Thanks to the proliferation of social media platforms, the internet is a wealth of perpetually updating, dynamic information.  Up until now, email has been a static form of communication that’s done little to tap into the rich source of rapidly changing data continually flowing through other channels. The longer an existing email remains unopened, the information it contains become increasingly irrelevant.

But what if an email could stay current with relevant information? Moveable Ink helps it do just that by creating a live container that “lives inside” emails, letting companies share up to the minute information from their websites with email recipients. These relevant data points are based on time, location, social context and what kind of device being used. This technology allows emails to remain current long after they’ve been sent.

 

Attachments.me

Thanks to Attachments.me, the time sucking process of searching through gmails for crucial attachments is now a thing of the past. Not simply a set of static filing folders,  Attachments.me lets users set up rules dictating how attachments get stored, automatically directing them to specific locations where access  is simple and efficient.

The system begins by indexing your existing email. Once all of the attachments you’ve ever received are accounted for, they are classified by file type: music, code, archive, movie, image, and document.  The main navigation page is then populated with thumbnails of each of these attachments sorted alphabetically or by date.  Available as a Google Chrome extension and as an iPhone application, the service also connects to your Dropbox or Box account so you can easily move files between your email and your cloud-storage service.

 

Rapportive.com

Imagine how useful it would be to have all the current information available about your clients right at your fingertips when you are composing an email? Rapportive.com aggregates and displays the social networking accounts of the people you contact through Gmail. It pulls their profile photos, job titles and latest posts from various social media accounts.  You can immediately see what people look like, where they are based, and what they are currently doing. With quick access to timely information you can mention shared interests, comment on topical updates and build a rapport with clients without time consuming search efforts . In addition, when you receive emails, the free Rapportive.com browser add-on replaces Gmail ads with contact info about the sender and allows you to follow them on various social networks immediately.

 

Tout

Tired of rewriting basically the same sales emails over and over again? Well that’s a silly question, of course you are. The Tout App cuts down on the tedium of recreating repetitive information each time you send client emails. The app integrates directly with Gmail and Yahoo mail and makes it easy to create and save templates. Tout templates can be used to auto attach files, and auto-fill name, company and other custom fields. The app does more than create templates, it also tracks views and clicks in real-time and tells you what happens after you hit “send” , taking the guesswork out of your business emails by letting you know whether your Email has been viewed and which links have been clicked.

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1 Comment »

 
#1
Anonymous
June 13th, 2012 at 9:08 am

It’s a good list.  Email remains tremendously useful for me, despite all of the competition. For personal communications, its less important to me because of the alternatives (texting, FB, IM), but for business it remains crucially important despite the drawbacks (spam, lack of encryption).  I keep waiting for something to come along and completely knock it off. I don’t think the email-killer is going to be FB or Twitter in their current forms because you have to have an existing relationship in place. Email is more egalitarian in that, if you can bypass the spam filters, you can still reach someone if you have their address. We almost need some kind of a message switch that lets you message from any platform and have it redirected into the recipient’s platform of choice. Until that day, I remain tethered to email like a prisoner to a ball and chain.

 

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