I’ve long touted Rapportive as a must-have networking tool.
The free Gmail add-on pops up as a sidebar anytime someone sends you an email, so you can easily see more about them — their photo, where they live, job title and links to whatever social networks they use so you can easily connect with them there. Sometimes I even use Rapportive as a research tool, typing an email into Gmail’s “to” field without any intention of writing to that person just to see what information Rapportive pulls up.
But now Rapportive has taken it an AMAZING step further, offering customization options they call Raplets. These extensions integrate other tools around the web, like Aweber and Klout, into the Rapportive sidebar to give you even more information on the person you’re corresponding with.
While there’s tons of potential here, let me tell you about just one extension that has changed how I do business: the MailChimp Raplet.
MailChimp is my newsletter service; it’s how I send my weekly newsletter, organize sign-ups for webinars, and follow up with anyone who purchases my guides. I even run my Twitter Power User course through MailChimp.
Since adding Rapportive’s MailChimp Raplet, whenever someone writes me an email, I not only see that person’s social networks, photo and title, I also see all sorts of additional information that helps me with my business, including:
(I’d like to show you a screen shot, but I can’t get a good one. The MailChimp info is in its own small, scrollable window at the bottom of the sidebar.)
As one of my friends pointed out, this tool gives me and my small business access to smart data that used to be available only to big companies with lots of cash. It helps me learn how individuals are interacting with my content, what topics buyers are interested in, and even how I should respond to that person’s email. (If someone asks for free advice, for example, I tend to be more generous with my time when I see they’ve done their research first by reading a lot of my content and even buying one or more of my guides.)
Do you see how this could be useful for you, whether you’ve just started a newsletter or are on your way to becoming an e-commerce expert?
Here’s the quick-and-easy guide to getting your hands on this wow-worthy tool:
1. You have to use Gmail — Rapportive doesn’t work on any other email clients. If you’re not using Gmail yet, let this be your excuse to migrate. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the awesomeness you’ll find through Gmail.
2. Install Rapportive. It’s painless, I promise.
3. You’ll now see a Rapportive option in the upper-right corner of Gmail, next to your name. Click that, and an option to add Raplets will pop up. Click “Add Raplets,” and you’ll land on the customization page, where you can choose Raplets that suit you or your business.
4. That’s it! Now you’ll see even more gems in your Gmail sidebar.
Have you tried any of Rapportive’s other Raplets? What’d you think?