App review: Contactually keeps track of clients old and new

Most of us aren’t making the most of our contacts lists. That’s according to the team behind the cloud-hosted platform and mobile app Contactually, a tool that allows us to sort the people who get in touch with us into categories based on how and when we should follow up with them.

Contactually pulls information from email accounts, social networks and external applications like MailChimp. Designed like a game, you use this data to sort people into “buckets”, each with its own reminder timer, starting with the top priorities and working through the rest. For old clients who have dropped off the radar, you might want to check in with them in three months’ time, whereas a hot lead might need a nudge the following day.

Once it’s up and running, the process starts to automate repetitive tasks. You’ll head to the dashboard each day to see the recommended follow-ups, today’s calendar events and any upcoming tasks. Mass mailing can be carried out with a feature called Scalemail, which allows each email to be personalised, or template-based follow-ups can automatically be triggered via email or social media.


Then there’s “Pipelines”, which helps you visualise the different steps you need to take with a particular contact, and see where you are in the process. Like most customer relationship management (CRM) tools, you can assign tasks to workmates, and there are different pricing plans for different types of business, from US$29 per month for the basic package up to $99 for a plan that allows audit logging and advanced permissions.

Contactually lacks some of the advanced capabilities of more complicated software like Salesforce and the odd bug may still occur, but what makes it stand out is how user-friendly it is for people with little experience in the field.

It will guide you through getting started in a way that won’t hurt your brain, suggesting templates for your particular field and allowing you to sort your most important buckets and start automating tasks in just a few minutes. This is recommended for businesses just getting started in the CRM game.

q&a a bigger shift

Tony Cappaert, co-founder and COO of Contactually, tells ­Jessica Holland more about the app.

Are there ways Contactually can specifically help people working in big industries in the UAE, such as oil and telecoms?

Sure. We’re a proactive CRM for people who need to build authentic relationships with their leads and customers. They could use Contactually to stay in better touch with their top clients or prospects, close leads faster and get more referrals.

Are there any glitches still to iron out?

No. We’ve been in business for nearly four years and are used by over 12,000 customers, from individuals to enterprises. People generally see positive ROI — a closed deal or a new referral — within 30 days, and on average, active customers generate 34 per cent more referrals after using Contactually for three months.

Is Contactually part of a bigger shift to automate more tasks, and “outsource” our own capacity to remember things?

Of course. Professionals often get distracted and focus on the “busy work” that’s urgent, but not important. We’ve built Contactually to automate all of that busy work — setting reminders, inputting contact information, writing one-to-one emails for each person — so you can spend more time actually engaging with the people in your business that matter most. I think we’re just at the start of this trend. As technology in general — and AI in particular — gets better, we’ll see more and more software helping people in this way.

Who would the basic package work for, and who should upgrade?

Anyone who gets the majority of their business from their personal network is a perfect fit. Our recommended package is $59 per month.

business@thenational.ae

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