13 Comments

Summary:

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 […]

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.

picture-15The 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 info@yourcompany.com. 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.

picture-35From 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.

picture-53Under 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?

  1. Checking it out right now! (the free version) Looks very promising.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Share
  2. Well you are definitely talking about small business. This is only for sales, not for problem tickets.

    Good heads up though. It’s nice to know all of the options.

    Share
  3. Darrell, thanks for the ink! I couldn’t have explained Relenta better myself :) You made my day. Thanks.

    Share
  4. Relenta is much better SugarCRM .. Thats for sure..

    Valencio
    http://www.ePostMailer.com

    Share
  5. This is not Customer Relationship Management — this is an email and contact manager. There is no opportunity management, no pipeline, nothing that vaguely resembles Customer Relationship Management. Relenta better than Sugar? Sugar is bad and this is worse. Go back to the drawing board Relenta and come back with a real product…

    Share
  6. How about OpenGoo? I mean, it does this plus file management, notes, calendars and more… Best of all, it’s free!

    Share
  7. Batchbook on your recommendation. I had surveyed them all and the different features. I went with Batchbook because it feels like a whole new architecture for contacts and information maintenance.

    Share
  8. All these tools try to say that they are CRM apps, but they’re nothing more than Microsoft Outlook in an on-demand format… and usually even do that poorly.
    CRM is not just people, emails, and a calendar. It is a tool to track and enhance the entire customer lifecycle, from lead to sales to support.

    Share
  9. I was looking for a real good CRM solution. After analysing the demo, it is clear that Relenta is a not-so-good copy of Outlook with Business Contact Manager (check the post of Todd Lohenry). Furthermore, after checking Relenta’s e-mail campaings in their demo, bearing suggestive names like ‘blowjob’, ‘erotic’ or other, I just felt a huge and sad sensation of having lost my time in visiting their website. I was thinking how would feel some of our women webworkers when reading such e-mail campaing titles at Relenta’s demo. Time is money also for us webworkers, let’s forget this waste of time and back to some productive discussion about CRM. I tried for some time Maximizer CRM. It can integrate with Crystal Reports. Maximizer is a complete standalone solution, but IMHO the interface is poor and a not so easy to manage all its functions. Does anyone here recommends other full CRM solution?

    Share
  10. @Magenta, anybody can enter and modify the information in our demo account. It’s live and fully functional. Some good Samaritan apparently thought that adding blowjobs and other such terrible words to our demo would be a fun thing do do.

    We restore the demo account clean from scratch every night precisely because things like that happen from time to time.

    In any case, it was very nice of you to point this out to us. I am glad I review the comments frequently so we were able to act on your advice and clean it up right away. Thank you!

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post