27 Jan 2014

Smarter Outreach: 3 Tools to See Who’s Behind Each Email

Today’s social networking world is overwhelming: You meet people online, talk to them, lose them for a month or two, then find them again. There should be better ways to keep up than trying to remember everything!

Luckily, apps are popping up that allows for smarter outreach, by putting a social dashboard inside your inbox. These three helpful tools work by giving you information on each contact, effectively establishing your own little social network.

If you have been looking for a more social way to interact with your contacts, or just don’t always remember names without faces attached, check these programs out.

1. PowerInbox

PowerInboxWorks as browser plugin (PowerInbox login is not required)

Integrate your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn emails inside of your inbox, and that is just a start. PowerInbox is all about creating a more interactive email experience, not only adding that element to the email itself but also putting interactive live feeds within your range of sight.

They also have security icons, allowing you to confirm the source of emails and quickly catch phishers posing as official parties. It works with Gmail, Yahoo and Outbox email clients, and you can download it for free.

2. Rapportive

RapportiveWorks as browser plugin (Rapportive login is not required)

This Gmail client is the first program I ever came across, and my personal favorite. Though it doesn’t have compatibility for any other platforms, which is a downside for may people who would otherwise use it. It gives you a basic rundown of contacts who write you.

These include who they are, where they are, what they do, who they work for, what they look like, and some of their social activities on various linked profiles. This is a free program, and you simply add it to Gmail. It can be customized, but the features are pretty straight forward.

3. Xobni

XobniAvailable for Outlook, Android and iPhone (Xobni login is required)

Get profiles on all contacts, see who you have most recently been speaking to the most, compose faster emails, search by first, last or company name, and minimize the program into a sidebar when you want it out of your way. Those are the helpful features of the free version of this program. It is available for Gmail, Outlook, Android and iPhone.

The pro version ($7.99 per month or $47.95 per year) turns it into a full content and contact management dashboard, with advanced search, composition and organization features. Both versions have social media updates, a way to view all emails exchanged between you and the other contacts, and ranked auto suggest.

What Do Do With This Info?

Alright, so you can get all these social and demographic tidbits about your contacts. What exactly are you supposed to do with all this data once you have it? Knowing things like their social activity, general location and work info is great, because it lets you better target the conversation.

Do they live in the same city as you? Invite them out to lunch for some one on one networking. See that they are going to be attending a conference you are? Set up a meeting during it to get face time with people you normally wouldn’t. Just finding contacts at companies you want to be affiliated with can be a major benefit.

At the very least, these tools can be a great way to organize your contacts, a list that can get very long and hard to keep track of.


Anyone can see a real change in their engagement and outreach with one of these tools. They are quick, easy to use, and (mostly) free. Not to mention a fun way to keep up with social media in your personal life.

Do you know of any good outreach tools for email clients? Have you been using one not on this list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to include a link!