5 Alternatives to Social CRM Service Etacts

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Yesterday, Om reported that Etacts is to be shut down. While that’s bad news for users of the social CRM service, fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives available. While none of them provides an exact like-for-like replacement for Etacts, here is a selection of the more useful social CRM tools that have been reviewed by the WWD team:

  • Gist is an online service that “connects your inbox to the web,” automatically building a profile for each of your contacts from the data that’s available in your inbox and via their social networking profiles. Like Etacts, it will also remind users if they haven’t been in touch with an important contact for a while. It’s available as a Chrome extension, Firefox add-on, and also as iPhone and Android apps, and can work with Gmail, Outlook and Lotus Notes. The service is currently free. See Scott’s review of Gist here.
  • Rapportive uses social data (pulled from the controversial Rapleaf service) to provide additional information about your contacts. It replaces the adverts in Gmail’s sidebar with useful information about your contacts: a photo, bio and links to social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, etc) and works via a Firefox add-on or Chrome extension. As the information is taken from the Rapleaf database, the results are sometimes hit-and-miss, depending on how well Rapleaf has managed to tie a particular contact’s email address to various social media accounts. Rapportive is free. See my review of Rapportive here.
  • Plaxo is an online address book that can store contacts from Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. Like Etacts, it’s “socially aware,” tracking social feeds from Twitter and Facebook to keep users up-to-date on their contacts. The basic Plaxo service is free; Plaxo Premium adds sync with Outlook Contacts, Google Contacts and Windows Mobile and some additional features and costs $36.95 per year. See Judi’s review of Plaxo v.3 here.
  • MailBrowser. Webyog’s MailBrowser is another CRM app that works with Gmail to provide additional data about your contacts, and can automatically keep contact information up-to-date by pulling data from emails. However, it doesn’t provide easy access to social network profiles or updates. Unlike some of the other services here, MailBrowser is a locally installed app, so it may be a better choice for users with privacy concerns. MailBrowser is free, and is available as an IE plugin, Firefox add-on and Chrome extension. See my review of MailBrowser here.
  • Xobni is a popular productivity add-on for Outlook that provides a sidebar offering additional information about your contacts culled from their social network profiles and emails. It can automatically extract information like phone numbers from email messages, and also provides a threaded conversation view and easier ways to find attachments. The basic Xobni product is free, while Xobni Plus costs $30 and adds advanced search features, auto suggest, support for more than one PST file and more. See Scott’s hands-on review of Xobni here.

What are your favorite social CRM tools?

Photo courtesy stock.xchng user GretheB

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