I read a post yesterday from a friend about how they received an e-mail from one of their users exclaiming surprise that they actually replied to their e-mail! This makes me a bit sad, but also glad that it doesn’t have to be a herculean effort to surprise and delight your customers, clients, users.

That’s not the action, don’t worry, but it does start with responding.

A short quick response to anyone who’s ever signed up, purchased something, or asked you a question can distinguish you, and put you on a higher level than your competition. It sounds odd, but it’s true.

If it’s quick, and demonstrates you’ve taken the time to get to know them, you’ll potentially earn a follower, user, or buyer for a very long time. Time though, is just the point, who has the time to do that? How do you know if the person has a website, or blog, or Twitter account just by their e-mail? How can you comment on it without digging around?

Rapportive is a tool that does that for you instantly, allowing you to stun the person you’re replying to rather easily. It’s fun, beneficial, and really useful.

It comes in the form of a web browser plugin, and interacts with Google’s webmail (Gmail). You’ll need to be using Gmail, so you’ll either need to have an @gmail address, be using Google Apps with your domain, or have your Gmail account set up to check other e-mail accounts. I’ll be creating a guide for that soon, but until then, here’s a fairly decent one.

Once you have Rapportive installed, [install it here] simply load up a message in Gmail, (see below) and reap the rewards.


Here’s a common scenario, you’ve just received a newsletter sign up from your website, like the one above from the Mailchimp e-mail marketing service.

I instantly can see a picture, location, and a button to view the LinkedIn profile of the user who signed up.

Here’s where the magic happens, a quick reply saying thanks, whatever business relevant sentence that applies, and hey, I see you have your MBA, [says so on her LinkedIn] that’s awesome… may just be enough to stun the person receiving the e-mail in a good way. Woah, they took the time to look me up, they know me.

You can take it from there, perhaps their inquiring about a service, and you now have access to their website, work history, tweets…you could reply and hit on all their pain points by glancing at a few pieces of data about them and make a sale, or provide extremely useful information to them.

Give it a try and checkout Rapportive.