April 17, 2012

Contactually Rocked My Inbox

Title slide bg wide
This week we have a guest post from Matt Hubbard, from FullContact. The original posting can be found here.

My email filing system is like a grandmother's basement. Everything is segregated into a Byzantine series of boxes and labels. Items are often mislabeled or stored in the wrong box. The total volume is frightening, and I'm not inclined to take several days and clean it out. But there's gold hidden in there--important emails that I should follow up on, and contacts with whom I need to maintain a relationship.

Sound familiar?

Like your grandmother's basement, wouldn't it be great if someone sorted through your inbox automatically and reminded you of the valuable stuff? Like a digital version of Antiques Roadshow, except you don't have to dig up the items yourself? That's similar to what Contactually does for your email.

After you sign up for a free subscription, Contactually processes your email account to identify your important contacts, using cues like how quickly you respond to the person. You can manually organize your contacts into groups, called "buckets," through a quick and surprisingly engaging bucket game. Contactually then sends you an email every morning and afternoon to remind you to follow up with important contacts. In the emails, you can click a button and type in natural language how you want to respond, such as "follow-up tomorrow." You can also use the Contactually dashboard to analyze your communication metrics, such as your most frequent correspondents and the days of the week when you email the most. Those metrics are enlightening, to say the least.

Since I started using Contactually, I've had several "Wow, I forgot about that guy" moments that helped me improve my networking and relationship management. I've also picked up contact with a few close friends who I hadn't talked to in a while, and I gained some serious insight about my email communication habits and patterns. Basically, my inbox got a lot smarter and transparent.

One of the best parts is that Contactually connects directly to your email account, without the need for browser plug-ins or other software. For business users, Contactually syncs with Salesforce or Highrise CRMs, and is part of the growing family of apps that use the FullContact API to provide rich contact information for users.

Check it out. It may very well remind you to email someone from your past who could help you get your next sale, or your next job.