Email is alive and kicking. It remains resolute in spite of the upheavals which have taken place over the years on the internet. Email continues to be the most professional means of touching base.
Gmail, with the backing of Google, is one of the most popular email services. It is highly probable that you are one of 500 million plus users of Gmail. Are you making the most of your email account? For many of us, our inboxes are busting at the seams! Others find responding to email too time-consuming. There is good news. There are several tools available that make your email management more productive. In this week’s article, we look at three such tools that can help improve our daily email workflow.
Would you like to establish some kind of connection with a prospect before sending an email? How about a deeper understanding of the person whose email you are responding to? Rapportive lets you gain a quick knowledge of who you are emailing. When you receive an email, Rapportive replaces your Gmail sidebar with a detailed profile of the sender’s social profiles, their current work positions and location (see figure 1). This information is also displayed as you compose a new message. Thus, Rapportive makes it easy to follow and connect with your contacts in a variety of methods.
The following are a few situations where Rapportive can be useful:
- When sending an email is not your first choice of messaging. Rapportive can help you can establish a better connection by sending a tweet or connecting on LinkedIn etc. Rapportive will help you do that.
- If you are not sure the email address you have for someone is correct, you can verify as Rapportive loads the recipient’s data. This reduces the chances of sending an e-mail to an invalid address.
- When determining the appropriate response to a message from someone you do not know.
From my experience it seems the profiles pulled by Rapportive are LinkedIn biased. You can use this application to also grow your LinkedIn network and establish connections.
Rapportive is completely free and works as an add-on for Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Head over to www.rapportive.com and click on ‘add Rapportive to Gmail’ to set it up. You can also visit the Chrome webstore to download this extension.
Figure 1 – A view of how a Gmail inbox looks like with Rapportive.
1 – Shows the sender’s name.
2 – The sender’s picture.
3 – The sender’s job title.
4 – The sender’s social media circles. You can connect easily via social media by clicking on any platform of your choice.
5 – Social circles/networks you both have in common.
If you want to take charge of when you send and receive email messages, Boomerang can be of immense help. Boomerang lets you schedule emails (you want to be sent at a later time/date) and sends them on your behalf. With Boomerang, you can make sure your email is sent at a time that is most convenient for your clients especially if they are in different time zones.
You can schedule up to 10 messages with Boomerang Basic (which is free for all Gmail and Google Apps accounts). Unlimited plans start at $4.99 a month. Boomerang works on Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Below are some details about the features of this application.
Features (see figure 2):
Here as some features of Boomerang as found on: http://www.boomeranggmail.com/
- Send an email later: With Boomerang, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at the perfect time. Just write the messages as you normally would, then click the Send Later button. Use our handy calendar picker or our text box that understands language like “next Monday” to tell Boomerang when to send your message. We’ll take it from there.
- Remind you if you don’t hear back: There are times you need to make sure you follow up within a specific time frame after sending a message. You can select to only be reminded if nobody replies, or regardless. This way you won’t let messages slip through the crack and will never forget to follow up with people.
- The best follow up reminders: Want a cleaner inbox, but don’t want to lose track of important messages? Use Boomerang to take messages out of your inbox until you actually need them. Just click the Boomerang button when you have an email open, and choose when you need it again. Boomerang will archive your message. At the time you choose, we’ll bring it back to your inbox, marked unread, starred or even at the top of your message list.
- For mobile and Android!: Have you ever been out at dinner and remembered that you need to do something when you get to the office tomorrow morning? Now you can write an email while you’re on the go, and have it arrive exactly when you need to be reminded – like 8:00 AM the next morning.
Boomerang can also help you:
- Remember to pay bills
- Schedule birthday/holiday notes when you have time to write them
- Make sure you follow up with a sales lead
- Communicate with people in different time zones
- Clear out travel confirmation emails, returning them on the day of your trip
Download Boomerang with this link: http://www.boomeranggmail.com/download.html
Figure 2 – With Boomerang you have options to
1 – Send a mail instantly or
2 – Send later.
3 – You can also set reminders
Even if you don’t have an internet connection, Gmail offline makes it simple to read your emails on the go. You can compose and send emails, archive items, read up on emails, and anything else you would normally do.
Sent emails will be kept in your Outbox until you reconnect to the Internet. Whenever you reconnect to the internet, emails you archived when you are offline will disappear from your inbox.
How to set it up
- Sign into your Gmail account (through Chrome)
- Click the gear icon (right corner of the screen)
- Select settings.
- Choose Offline and click Install Gmail Offline.
Figure 3 – choose offline
Figure 4 – launch Gmail Offline
Downloading from Google Chrome’s Webstore
- Use Google’s Chrome web browser and search for Offline Gmail in the Chrome Webstore.
- Install Offline Gmail, launch the app from your Chrome start screen, and click “Allow” and “Continue.” See figure 3
Figure 5 – your mails will be saved on the computer you are installing Gmail Offline on. It is not advisable to use this feature if the computer is shared or a public one.
I hope after installing these plugins, you become an Email ninja and your inbox becomes a friendlier place to visit. Let me know if you found this article helpful! Kindly leave a comment below ! #BeInspiredGh!