Guide to Etacts Alternatives

Aye Moah January 31, 2011 9

Etacts recently announced some great news – they’ve been acquired by Salesforce. Unfortunately, that means that both Etacts and EmailOracle will shut down service today, January 31st. If you depended on their integrated, social CRM service for Gmail, you’re probably finding a replacement service to migrate to and here’s our guide to help you with making your selection.

Etacts has three primary functionalities as follows:

  • Social profiles
  • Relationship maintenance
  • Email reminders

Social Profiles

Gist

Much like Etacts, Gist provides social profiles, conversation statistics, notes, and extracted contact info in a side panel alongside the email you’re reading. Gist currently supports more platforms than any of the other social profile providers. In addition to their web interface, Gist has a plug in for Outlook, Lotus Notes, Gmail (Firefox and Chrome plugins), the Google Apps Marketplace, and Salesforce. You can also use Gist on your mobile with their iPhone or Android apps.

I am not sure if most Etacts users actively managed their contact network to the full extent of features built into Gist. However, if you use multiple platforms or a lot of CRM-type features, you will enjoy Gist. Overall, Gist is a solid alternative to Etacts.

Pros: Free, full featured, multiple platforms
Cons: Browser plugin for Gmail is less mature than Google Apps Marketplace versionRapportive

Rapportive adds social profiles inside Gmail and Google Apps through a Firefox, Chrome, or Safari plugin. It’s a great lightweight replacement for Etacts if your primary use of Etacts is to see people’s social profile info alongside their emails.

In addition to the the major services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Rapportive provides integration with a ton of different web services like TripIt, Plancast, and Tungle.me. However, don’t expect the full CRM functionalities like a dashboard, notes, or reminders to keep in touch with your contacts.

Pros: Free, lightweight, and easy to use. Integrates with a bunch of newer web startups.
Cons: Subset of what Etacts used to provide.Xobni
If you spend your day inside Outlook and your Blackberry, Xobni can bring most of the Etacts experience to your platforms. Xobni and Etacts have very similar functionality, like having their social profile info inside your email and quickly accessing your communication history. Since Xobni is designed for Outlook, it includes a lot of features that Gmail users had out-of-the-box, like better search and autosuggest.

In past months, Xobni has moved toward creating one social CRM platform across all your devices. With Xobni Mobile and Xobni One, you can get contact sync and management between your Blackberry and Outlook contacts.

Pros: Mature product, enhanced search, stats and analytics included. Good Blackberry support.
Cons: No support for Gmail, Android, or iPhone. Contact sync features are a separate product. Xobni Plus (better search and autosuggest features) and mobile apps are paid products.

Relationship Maintenance

 

Sensobi

Like Etacts’ relationship management features, Sensobi helps you to keep in touch with people at the intervals you specified. Sensobi’s interface makes it easy to find out who you’re losing touch with and who is most important for you to keep in contact with. Sensobi also lets you set reminders for followup and take notes on a conversation right after you make a phone call. Sensobi is a great option for people who use a Blackberry and use phone calls to keep up with their contacts.

Pros: Phone calls as well as emails are tracked, easy to manage on-the-go.
Cons: Only available for BlackBerry. (They are working on web, email plugin, and Android versions)

Email Reminders

 

Boomerang
If you primarily used Etacts or EmailOracle to remind yourself to follow up if you don’t get a reply to your email, Boomerang can fill that gap.
We had dozens of requests from Boomerang users to add this feature, and after the Etacts announcement, we rolled up our sleeves and built it. In the latest version of Boomerang, you can send a message and schedule it to be brought back to your inbox (if nobody replies, or regardless) all in one step.
Pros: Monitoring responses and reminding you all as you compose a reply or send a message.
Cons: Only available for Gmail.
Boomerang for Gmail reminder screen

9 Comments »

  1. nikolieri February 1, 2011 at 12:28 am - Reply

    Rapportive links to boomerangmail. Fix it.

  2. Allen MacCannell February 1, 2011 at 5:09 am - Reply

    Hello Aye,

    Don’t forget EmailTray, which often shows up in such comparisons and should (despite the company, Web CEO, not being located in Silicon Valley). EmailTray will soon be a smart email client but is now a smart email notifier (a reader enabling quick replies). It has 4 Inboxes the first of which is the Top Priority where a smart algorithm puts only those emails, and no newsletters, that are likely to be very important to you. The algorithm is very accurate. While it can be fine tuned manually, it doesn’t (unlike Gmail Priority Inbox) depend on manual input to be accurate from the beginning.

    If you read and/or delete an email in EmailTray, it will be marked read and/or deleted back at the source, if that source is Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail or any IMAP based web service. It will also mark read and/or delete email inside Outlook so you barely need to process email there anymore. Good email will be rescued from the spam box and you can check all your spam from all accounts and delete it all at once.

  3. mike February 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    @nikolieri

    Oops! Thanks. It’s fixed now.

  4. Josh February 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Great post!

    Crazy, Etacts.com doesn’t even have a “good bye and thanks” message – domain is just down.

  5. David April 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    With mature outlook and blackberry products and gmail, android, and iphone products in beta/alpha, it looks like Xobni will be a pretty good replacement for the social profile part of etacts at least.

    http://blog.xobni.com/2011/03/18/xobni-for-gmail-android-iphone-coming-soon-testers-wanted/

  6. Gloria May 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Are there any plans to let you specify a *specific time* (as with Send Later) when you want the email returned to the inbox ONLY if the recipient doesn’t respond? I’d like to be able to say today at 5PM or 3 months from now at 8PM. “In one day” etc is too nebulous when precise follow up is needed. Thx!

    • Alex Moore May 18, 2011 at 3:04 pm - Reply

      yes, we’re working on it!

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