Gmail was launched as an invitation-only beta release on April 1, 2004, and I note from my records that I became an early-adopter in June 2004.
Whilst I wouldnâ€™t contemplate moving away from Gmail after almost nine years together, two things in particular have frustrated me: Firstly, the inability to see if my messages have been read by the recipient, and secondly, the apparent inability to add an image in the signature box.
But there is now light at the end of one of the tunnels â€“ enter ContactMonkey â€¦.
While there is plenty of work happening to make the inbox smarter and less time-consuming, there is still a big problem with email: people have no clue what happens to their messages after clicking the â€œsendâ€ button.
There is an information void because you donâ€™t know if someone has read your email or, more important, has any interest in it. For salespeople, this creates â€œprospect paralysisâ€ because they donâ€™t know whether to follow up and, if so, when and how.
So how can email deliver more insight?
The answer is ContactMonkey, a new smart email tracking service for Outlook and Gmail that tells you in real-time if, when, how many times and where a message is opened, as well as what device or browser was used.
Armed with this knowledge, a salesperson has valuable and actionable insight to make better and more informed selling decisions so they can focus on the most promising prospects and opportunities.
Â The idea for ContactMonkey emerged when Scott Pielsticker, a serial entrepreneur, was frustrated with not knowing if his sales pitches were getting read or were resonating. To solve this problem, ContactMonkeyâ€™s developers created the software, which was recently launched.
Â To illustrate how ContactMonkey works, letâ€™s use the example of a salesperson sending a proposal to a potential customer.
Â After the email has been sent, the salesperson will be able tell if and when the email has been opened, which is a great starting point. The more the message is opened, the more interest someone likely has in the proposal.
But thereâ€™s even more insight that can be gleaned.
Another feature within ContactMonkey is knowing if a message was opened on a mobile device, within the Chrome browser or Outlook. If an email is originally opened on an iPhone, and then opened on Chrome or Outlook, it could mean the proposal generated solid interest.
The same approach works for location. An email opened by recipients in Toronto, Boston and London is another indication of good interest.
For salespeople, this information makes it easier to focus on better prospects interested in their email, while they can quickly ignore prospects who paid little or no attention to their email.
For â€œwarm leadsâ€, the salesperson can figure out the best time to follow up. If thereâ€™s a lot of interest in a message in a short period of time, the salesperson can strike while the iron is hot â€” knowing that they will likely get a good reception.
ContactMonkey wants to add a new layer of intelligence to email so salespeople â€” and other people who want to know if their email attracts any interest â€” can work better, more productively and close more deals.
In the near future, the company plans to add a dashboard to let people take a holistic view of their email activity to extract key trends and best practices.
For people who want to get more out of their email, ContactMonkey offers an attractive return on investment. Hey, if you close one deal, it would more than pay for an annual subscription.