E-mail or electronic mail has totally changed the way we communicate with anyone. It’s instant, real-time and doesn’t even require the other person to be online in order to receive our mail (as is the case with phone calls). There is no limit for what we can send either- from text to adding links, from attaching images to just about anything. Perhaps, this is the reason, that even after several new communication methodologies like SMS, Chat Messaging, it remains the trustworthy and reliable mode for official communication or even personal needs.
So, what’s the first and foremost requirement before sending an email to someone? Their Email ID, of course! But how do you know that the email id is correct or even you’re sending an email to the right person? Heck, we don’t even know anything beyond the person’s email id (if we don’t know then offline). Comparing email ID to a telephone number, there is a telephone directory which gives us the numbers of all the people. Today we have a tool/ extension named Rapportive which can help you solve this problem.
Rapportive sits nicely in your Gmail inbox and shows you detailed information about the contact you are emailing or you got email.
Before starting any further, it is necessary to understand where the Rapportive can be used.
Currently the rapportive supports Gmail accounts, so you can only use it with you Gmail id.
If your company uses Google Apps, then Rapportive can be added as a gadget, but it does not offers all the features as of regular extension.
The tool can be used on computers only when coupled with a browser extension. Find the extension for your favorite browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari by visiting www.rapportive.com/install.
Unfortunately, if you use Opera, then you don’t have any extension. However, this bookmarklet is a good alternative to extension and offers most of the functionalities, though the experience is not so seamless.
So, now you’ve downloaded the extension, it is time to set it up. You’ll first need to claim your email address and complete all the relevant information. You will also need to login to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc., so that you can find your contacts on these social networks and even connect with them over there.
Rapportive presents itself at the right hand side of the mail whenever your mouse scrolls towards an email address. Not only it replaces the Gmail ads, it also doesn’t hampers your experience of using the email. So, if you receive a mail and check the right side, you’ll see the information about the person. Unfortunately if you want to use the information when drafting a new mail, then that’s not possible with the new redesign of Gmail by Google. This redesign brings a pop-up of compose box and thus there’s no place where rapportive can come. Still, if you want to find an information about the person, then you can try replying/ forwarding any old email to the person, since then the compose window is in the standard interface only.
In the sidebar, you can see the profile picture of the contact, his professional information sourced from LinkedIn. You can also see their recent tweets and even take action upon them (reply or retweet). You can also see their profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, AngelList, and several others and connect with them. You can even add personal notes for the particular person, this will be shown to you every time you see their details.
Finding email id of persons you don’t even know
So, want to send a mail to a recruiter of your dream company, but you don’t know their email? Worry not, Rapportive can easily help you with that. You simply need to know their first and last name, and the company’s name.
Let’s suppose the name is John Doe and the company is xyz.com. Try the combinations for the email id. Most probably it would be something like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc. When you’ll enter the email id, if you start seeing their details on the rapportive sidebar, you will come to know if the email id is right, but if not, then you have to try a little harder.
Get all your details correct
So, if other persons are using this tool, and you would like to present yourself in a best manner, then make sure you post correct details on some of these websites-
- Gravatar for your profile picture
- LinkedIn for your professional details
- Your Twitter bio
- Your Facebook details
In rapportive, you can also control what all profiles should be connected to your account and people will be seeing them only against your email id.