Looking for an alternative CRM and email solution? It can get kind of tricky trying to keep track of all that information using Outlook or Gmail, in combination with other third party customer relationship management software. Try as you might, you’ll probably lose track of some things once in a while. Relenta, a new CRM solution that combines email, contacts and tasking in one place, aims to help minimize those dropped threads.
Relenta aims to replace your web-based email and popular CRM apps like Salesforce and SugarCRM, all in one convenient package. It offers the same features as these apps, but with tight integration with your email and task management software as well, since it’s all managed from the same central location. That kind of streamlining is priceless in the web working world, when keeping tabs on so many different apps can quickly become an overwhelming chore.
The email client that’s included with Relenta allows you to use your own existing company domain name, and gives you the option of sharing email, so that multiple people can share a single alias, like firstname.lastname@example.org. Combined with the calendar and task manager, staff using shared email accounts can see exactly what’s been attended to, by whom, on what date, and whether or not any follow-up action is required. It also resembles desktop clients in its physical layout, and provides quick access to contacts in the left-hand menu, so it’s a comfortable environment to work from.
From the same central dashboard, you can access your contacts list, which displays a list of truncated entries in its default view. Contacts can be created from directly within the web view, or imported from existing sources via CSV files, like those exported by most programs and web-based clients. Clicking on any contact entry in your list expands that item and displays detailed information, including all the fields you’d expect if you use Apple’s or Outlook’s address book applications.
Each contact can also be assigned tags, which provides another useful sorting method that transcends organization or other common groups. And, true to their goal of intertwining contact management, email and tasks, you can instantly attach an activity to anyone, and view any emails that may have been sent or received from the contact inline, without having to switch to the Email tab.
Under the Calendar tab, you can see your upcoming appointments. Each event has its task type in front of its name of the event, and has a column listing guests or contacts from your address book. Clicking on them displays their contact details, food preferences, and other notes, and shows an activity stream of what you’ve done with that client in the past.
Relenta also offers a file manager and an email campaign manager. You can customize your email campaigns, allow people to unsubscribe, and set up various templates all from within Relenta with no prior experience of email marketing required. The file manager is very basic, offering no inline viewer, and only the ability to download, delete and rename files, but that should be all you need out of this kind of app. The ability to attach files you’ve uploaded is also available, which is a big plus if you’re not at your home computer.
As a full-featured, yet simple and direct CRM tool, I think web workers, and especially whose who do a lot of sales-related work, will really appreciate Relenta. It keeps everything together and tightly integrated for those of you who love organization. Personally, I like how it enables me to keep everything nicely contained within my browser, so that if I need a break, all I have to do is quit Firefox and the air is cleared.
Relenta offers a free 14-day trial, and quarterly ($20/month) or monthly($25/month) pricing plans for the full version after that. I tested the demo. There’s also a free version, though, that they tuck away under the paid options, which limits you to 1 user, 100MB storage, and 100 contacts, but if you’re a freelancer working solo, that might be all you need.
What do you use for CRM?