Write better emails: be astute, personal, and effective

When somebody emails you, Rapportive is great!

You can immediately see what people look like, where they are based, and what they do. You can establish rapport by mentioning shared interests. And you can grow your network by connecting on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and more.

But what about when you send email?

When you start a new conversation, Gmail itself doesn't help at all:

You're emailing Conrad, but you are flying blind.

Where is he? What's he doing? What's he thinking?

What's going on in Conrad's life?

It would be tremendously useful to have Rapportive right here:

Today, we are super-excited to deliver one of our most requested features: you can now use Rapportive when you are composing an email.

By using Rapportive before you email, you can be more astute, personal, and effective. You can find ways to break the ice, topics to bond over, and reasons to get in touch with people. You can even make small gestures such as liking Facebook posts and following on Twitter.

We've been testing this ourselves for a few weeks, and it's already changed the way we write email. We think you'll like it too!

We're gradually rolling the feature out to everybody. But if you can't wait, feel free to upgrade instantly here: rapportive.com/compose :)

Enjoy!

Not yet using Rapportive? Get it free at rapportive.com.

Your address book and inbox: together, at last.

I love business cards. There, I've said it.

Business cards have names and photos. They have jobs and companies. They have email addresses, phone numbers, and wide variety of usernames. Business cards are easy to exchange, remind you who people are, and help you reconnect with your contacts later.

Business cards are Rapportive for real life.

I get plenty of cards, so I have a small process to deal with them. I'll fire up Google Contacts, type up the details, then head over to Gmail and send a quick note. It's usually something like "it was great to meet you" or "let's grab a coffee" or "you should totally meet Sam".

Except there's a problem. When a contact emails you back, you don't see their business card. If you want to phone them, you have to jump from Gmail to Google Contacts via a series of clicks just to even see their number. This is crazy, especially considering you've spent time to type up the card! Enough of this craziness: we have now integrated Google Contacts into Rapportive.

To see your Google Contacts in Rapportive, click "Connect my networks" in the Rapportive menu at the top of Gmail, and then click "Sign in with Google".

Over the next hour, any photos, phone numbers and occupations in your Google Contacts will be seamlessly integrated into your Rapportive sidebar. For example, if you had my contact details, you would see my numbers as in the sidebar below.  (Please don't all call at once!)

It gets better. If any of your contacts have multiple email addresses, we'll merge their Rapportive profiles into one. For example, suppose you know two email addresses for one of your contacts: john.smith@gmail.com and john@acme.com. Through the gmail.com address, we find John's Facebook account; through the acme.com address, we find John's LinkedIn account. When John next emails you from either address, Rapportive will show you a complete profile with information from Facebook and LinkedIn.

Of course, your contacts remain absolutely confidential: their photos, phone numbers, and any merged profiles are only ever shown to you.

Enjoy!

Not yet using Rapportive?  Get it free at rapportive.com.

The new Gmail menu bar

Today Google released a new design for the menu bar on Gmail to a small percentage of users. It looks nice, but sadly it also had the effect of breaking Rapportive for those users who had been randomly selected by Google.

Fortunately, we soon figured out what had changed, and within a few hours we had Rapportive up and running in the new design. This is what it looks like:

Just one thing to note — you need to update your Rapportive browser extension to version 1.2. In Firefox, you'll need to go to Tools → Add-ons in the menu, click "Install updates" and restart Firefox. Chrome and Safari should get the update automatically in a few hours, and after you reload Gmail. If you just can't wait to get your Rapportive back, here's how you can update right away:

Build Rapport over Facebook

We believe that companies will increasingly compete on treating people excellently.

How do you treat people excellently? You respond to people quickly. You help people feel like they belong. You personally connect with people: you care about who they are, what they think, and what they do.

The trend is most visible in customer support, but it will not stop there. It will affect sales, business development, and every other way in which companies communicate. As a result, more of us will spend significant amounts of time building rapport with people. Many of us already do.

How do we establish rapport in an increasingly online world? It's simple: we interact with people on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But if you're at all like me, you're too busy to go to multiple sites. This is why Rapportive brings your network into one place — your inbox.

Since our accidental launch, we've shown your contacts' recent tweets. With our LinkedIn integration, you can grow your network from Gmail. Today, we are excited to announce that we've integrated Facebook right into Rapportive.

You can add contacts as friends on Facebook. You can see their Facebook posts. You can see attached photos. You can 'like' and respond with comments. You can even watch attached videos. And you can do all of this without ever leaving Gmail.

Building rapport has never been this easy, or this much fun.

Enjoy!

Grow your network with Rapportive

We've never had more demands on our time, or more ways to spend it. It's never been easier to neglect things which aren't urgent, but which are good for us. Like eating well, exercising, or filing receipts. There is one other thing I regularly forget to do: grow my professional network.

We all know that relationships matter. Networks like LinkedIn can remember all of our previous colleagues, and can track what they're working on now. This could be an invaluable resource for every one of us. But for me, it doesn't quite work: my LinkedIn network does not represent who I've worked with. I rarely remember to go to LinkedIn and update my network; when I do, I forget to connect with everybody that I should.

LinkedIn is great at knowing your network, but it's not great at knowing who to add to your network. That's why we've integrated LinkedIn into Rapportive. You can now add contacts to your LinkedIn network without ever leaving Gmail.

To add a contact to your LinkedIn network, just click "Connect" in their Rapportive profile. You can enter a short message, click send, and you're done. When your invitation is accepted, your contact's profile will show that you are connected.

This is the kind of feature we love to make: it not only saves time, but also quietly reminds us to do something worthwhile – at precisely the moments when we're ready to do it.