User of the Week: Eric Wu from Bracket Labs

I'm one of the founders of Bracket Labs. We're a Boulder, CO startup building enterprise software apps for the Salesforce AppExchange. Our apps are TaskRay and Campaign Calendar, and together they're helping thousands of sales and marketing people around the world work more productively in Salesforce.

We're a small company, so as a founder I wear a lot of different hats. One of my primary roles is sales, so I spend a lot of time talking to customers who have found our apps through the AppExchange and are looking for more information so they can make a purchase.

I love ToutApp for three big reasons:

1) It helps me do more faster! We have a set of emails we send to new leads to help them understand the apps and determine whether there's a good fit for their team.

ToutApp has allowed me to send (and schedule) my emails in a way that has reduced my time per lead by about 30%.

2) The ability to deliver nicely formatted, trackable follow-up email responses from within the Salesforce Leads tab but sent from my own email address (rather than Salesforce's mailer) is great because I don't always trust the deliverability of the Salesforce mailer.

3) The Live Feed of activity on my sent emails is awesome and gives me new insight on customer engagement with my emails. I can prioritize my follow-ups based on their activity and interest level, timely response to an engaged customer is a big part of showing them you're paying attention and you are ready to help.

Every other week, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.


Tout was Featured as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s 7 Essential Apps for Sales Teams

This week, we were honored to be featured by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the 7 Essential Apps for Sales Teams. And of course, we're in great company. As the article points out, there are a lot of small details required to for a salesperson to close a sale. If you can't manage the tiny details, there's no way you will be able to be a successful sales person.

A Better Way to Work

Luckily, tools like Tout will help you increase your productivity and manage each step in a smarter way. For example, the ability to schedule emails means that as soon as you've left a meeting, you can follow up immediately, but you won't seem over-eager. The fact that Tout will automatically update your CRM with not only a copy of the email, but also analytic data on that email, means that you have one more step you don't have to worry about. People are raving about it.

A browser plugin automatically scans for any email addresses listed on a Web page, helping you quickly find the person you need. 'Click the [contact] you want, click the template button and you're sending an email in two minutes,' says Beth Morgan, vice president of marketing for Palo Alto, Calif.-based healthcare tracking site Simplee.

It's all about streamlining the process. If we can find ways to help salespeople close deals faster and more efficiently, we ultimately help salespeople partner with their customers to bring them more of the products and services they need, without losing a bit of the personal touch.

Want to streamline your sales email process? Try Tout for free today.

And of course, a big thank you to Entrepreneur Magazine for helping us share our love of workplace productivity with the world!


Stay out of the Spam Filter: 4 Little-Known Benefits to a Complete Email Signature

You already have some basic information in your email signature, but have you ever stopped to think about what you put in and why? You don't want to add too much to an email signature, at the risk of being repetitive, but it's important to have enough of the right information. Here's the key information you should include in your email signature:

  • Name
  • Title & Company
  • Contact information (email address, phone number, social networks)
  • Website
  • Mailing Address

So who cares? Well, there are some surprising benefits to a completed email signature.

Stay out of the Spam Filter

Having a proper email signature is one of the best ways to ensure that your email gets delivered. Most spammers don't have one, so when you're sending mail to someone who hasn't already saved you as a contact, a completed email signature will help prevent your message from being confused as spam.

Don't Break the Law

If you're sending mail for your business, especially if you're using an automated mailing system, you have to have your physical address in your signature. The CAN-SPAM act defines this as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” which includes a lot of outreach emails. To avoid any confusion, it's always best to include your business' physical address. Plus, it's just nice to know where people are located when you're sending and receiving email – a personal touch adds something extra.

Phone Calls Made Easy

Let's face it: most people read email on their phone. Have you ever been late to a meeting, or wanted to call someone while you're on the go? Having your phone number in your email signature makes communicating so much easier, so why not throw your contacts a bone and make your info easily accessible?

Promote Your Business

You'd be shocked how often people click on the links in your email signature. It's a great way to promote your business, and you can even tweak your email signature to show links to certain landing pages that you're looking If you want to see it happen, try tracking clicks on your emails. Wondering if you're getting these benefits? Check to see if your email signature is complete, and make sure to check on your phone as well.


Michael Elmgreen: Speeding through the Everyday Sales Process

Michael Elmgreen knows what makes salespeople tick. He's head of business development for Handshake, the top rated sales order platform in the App Store. Handshake is perfect for anyone  who has to process sales orders – it helps salespeople write faster, bigger orders, improve cash flow by yielding less time to order fulfillment, and reduce cost reductions by making fewer mistakes.

Selling for Salespeople

Michael is in the unique position of selling to salespeople – he understands what their challenges are, and Handshake truly addresses those challenges. Still, it's Michael's responsibility to make sure that customers are engaged and understand how to effectively use the product to solve the problem. He spent much of his time reaching out to new and potential customers, finding ways to engage them and help them get the most use out of Handshake.

There were two major challenges in Michael's workflow. First, it took forever to look up and email address, copy and paste his message, and tweak it for each customer and their company. Second, he had no way to track actual engagement with the email. Sending email was basically a giant, untraceable vacuum, with no way to improve his message.

Tout + Handshake: A Better Workflow

Michael started using Tout to increase the number of emails he could send each day, and he used the Tout browser extension to do it. He would take his list of emails, put them into a Google Doc, and started clicking and sending. Tout's CRM integration was perfect, too – when he used Tout, he had sent an engaging email and added a new, completed contact to his CRM, all in under a minute.

Tout helps us be more intelligent about customer outreach and follow-up, and to make sure we're delivering a message which is resonating with users. I also really like the CRM integration.

Michael also found that by using Tout, he could see which messages resonated with people – he has certainly taken advantage of Tout's open and link tracking to improve his message.

Tout helps you minimize duplicative work while maintaining personalization and human feel.

With a personal tone, the right timing, and effective follow up, Michael has created some seriously powerful messages. Some of his templates have over 90% engagement! Do you know how many people are connecting with what you're saying? Are you using email as a major workflow tool, without having any way to track it? If you're ready to send email quickly and gain visibility into the email vacuum, try Tout today.


7 Surprising Ways You Can Get Through Your Email Faster

People seem to find a lot of ways to sort and slash when it comes to email. Batching emails and answering them all together,turning off notifications, focusing on big projects during the day: they're all tried-and-true ways to generally be more productive. We've seen them, we've tried them, and they work. (Sometimes.) Still, it's hard to avoid getting bogged down with email, especially when your phone is buzzing, your computer is dinging, and your co-workers are waiting on your response. Last week, Scott Britton shared some of his favorite  and most creative lifehacks, among them some that actually help him actually achieve a better email workflow. We've shared some of them below – enjoy!



Step. Away. From. The. Inbox.

Bookmark pages you access through email

If you're using your mail to access your calendar and your documents, create bookmarks for the pages you normally have to go through your mail to access. That will keep you out of your inbox until the time you've designated to look at your mail.

Download a Chat Client

Using a chat client solves two problems. First, it keeps you out of your inbox so that you can batch your email response. Second, using chat encourages you to send those quick questions faster – freeing you and your colleague from another “quick question” email. Many businesses choose to use internal chat clients that save your chat history, like HipChat, so that you can reference them later if you need.

Use What You've Got

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Does it really take that long to move your mouse and click on “New Message?” No, it doesn't. But why not do it faster? Data analysts learn all the excel shortcuts in the book; they want to do their job as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you're using email as a major part of your job, why not find a faster way to do it? Google has a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that you can learn, and you can even customize your own shortcuts in your email settings.

Use Filters Effectively

All email clients offer filters. Use them. In every way possible. For your personal email, a tool like Other Inbox is great – you'll keep the junk out of your inbox, without losing a single bill notification. For all other emails, you can sort by sender, message, or subject to organize them before you even see them. Not only will it cut out steps for you, but it will also help you batch your email, since you'll be able to move through similar emails all at once, rather than jumping around to different subjects.

Create Templated Responses

Every time you're answering an email that you think you've typed before, create a template from it. The next time you're answering a similar email, you'll just need a few clicks to send a thoughtful response. Plus, templated emails ensure you don't forget anything if you're in a rush.

Use Rapportive to Get In Touch

If you're not already using Rapportive for Gmail, you should be, because it's seriously awesome. When Rapportive reads an email address, it searches that address across all social media sites, and pulls the most recent posts into a sidebar instead of ads. If you don't know someone's email address, you can try to guess the email address from various first and last name combinations, and once you guess their email correctly, Rapportive will show their picture and LinkedIn information. Rapportive is also great if you're not the best at connecting names and faces. Each time you email someone, you'll see their picture right next to their name. It's like having little flashcards in your inbox!

Don't Send an Email Unless it Needs a Response

Want a better response rate on your emails? Make sure that every email you send has weight. Remember the little boy who emailed wolf? If you're constantly sending a little note here or there, it creates work for the other person, and if your messages don't have a certain degree of urgency, you're probably getting pushed down the priority list. If you have a message that doesn't require a response, think of more creative way to send it. Birthday wishes? Thank you note? Try sending a card! You'll stand out, and they'll be happy to avoid another message in their inbox. Have any other tips you use? Share them in the comments below!