Cloud Solutions Series: Contactually for CRM in Your Small Business

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In our new blog series, we’ll showcase cloud tools we think help our clients run their small businesses better. We don’t have any affiliation with the companies, nor are we concerned about increasing their sales. We just like these tools and think you will too.

Disclaimer: We've used a personalized link, which means Contactually will give us credit if you sign up, but nothing more.

Our pick for customer relationship management (CRM): Contactually

Contactually is a web-based tool that helps you organize your contacts and keep in touch with them. It helps small business wrangle the hundreds of contacts sitting in their inboxes or on their social media accounts, and reminds them to follow up with top leads.

Once you sign in with your accounts, Contactually starts populating contact lists filled with information it grabs from email signatures and social media accounts, noting duplicate content and merging it all into one contact. It will remind you if you aren’t following some of your email contacts on Twitter or Facebook.small business

Organizing small business contacts

The tool then reminds you to put all contacts into different categories — called “buckets” — and assign particular rules to each bucket. Depending on what kind of rule you set up, Contactually will send out reminders about following up with a contact. As your small business makes new contacts, they are automatically added to your contact list.

We like Contactually because it can be as simple as we make your IT, or as complex as you need it to be. Solo entrepreneurs can use it to stay on top of a burgeoning list of contacts, while an elite sales manager can set up a drip email program (we don’t do that, because our services are customized to each client, but businesses with a single product or service might like the option).

While it’s an obvious tool for entrepreneurs and sales teams, it can also work for anyone who needs to manage a long list of contacts to do his or her job. A reporter could use it to manage sources and a non-profit director would use it to manage volunteers.

Customized email templates, reminders and integration

We particularly like being able to choose specific email templates to match the specific communication. Emails to existing small business clients will have a different template than any emails to a new lead. We don’t spend time writing new ones each time we reach out.

Using the dashboard, you can also set up a notification if someone hasn’t responded to the email you sent through Contactually. The recipient won’t ever know you sent the email through Contactually — it just looks like a regular email.

Because it’s a cloud tool, Contactually integrates well with other services, like MailChimp, that use contact lists. You don’t need any additional services, support or overhead to start using it. You can also just cancel it if it doesn’t work for your company.

Photo 1: http://flic.kr/p/d4TmAW
Photo 2: http://flic.kr/p/bBcgXr

Topics: Cloud Solutions Series