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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 (s aapl) and Android apps, and can work with Gmail (s goog), Outlook (s msft) and Lotus Notes (s ibm). 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 (s yhoo), 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 (s msft) 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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7 Responses to “5 Alternatives to Social CRM Service Etacts”

  1. If the focus is less on “contact management” and “searching” and more on “sorting” and curing “email overload”, then EmailTray still hasn’t sold out to a giant.

    But SalesForce is messing with our space as they bought Jigsaw right when Jigsaw was talking with us. =(

    Have you tried EmailTray (formerly SenderOK) which gets at least 10% the traffic on Alexa as xobni gets and just received an excellent review in PC World:

    Its a universal smart email sorter with social network profiles in the email header panes that will soon be a full client competing with Outlook (at least Outlook Express).

    It shows the Facebook profile of senders, whose emails are divided into 4 priority Inboxes instead of just 1 Inbox (which was always a bad idea to have).

    If you read and/or delete an email in EmailTray, it will be marked read and/or deleted back at its source, whether that is inside Outlook, AOL, Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. All the spam from all the webmail and Outlook spam folders will be accumulated in one big spam folder where everything can be checked and deleted all at once (meaning all spam folders will be emptied everywhere all at once). EmailTray’s smart algorithm would have already saved several good emails from the spam folder.

    We’re going to be a full email client because Google and Microsoft and Yahoo were too busy looking at their navels or trying to invent half baked solutions for themselves on the fly, instead of answering our phone calls about how we could give them excellent smart sorting technology that actually works. =)

  2. I’ve tried all of those (except Xobni), and none of them compares to BatchBook. That service makes my work (and my whole team’s work) so much more efficient every day. I feel like I live in the BatchBook website.

    These guys are also working on updating their service and adding on a lot of features, plus they integrate with services like Rapportive, MailChimp, TungleMe and others to make it a full-feature service. Sometimes I wish I had a larger team, cause that would make it all even better.