Jul 19, 2010

MailChimp in your Gmail with Rapportive

rapportive-logoIf you use Gmail for work, you’ve probably heard of Rapportive.

It’s an incredibly powerful Gmail plugin that turns your inbox into a mini social CRM.

For example, let’s say I work for "The Big Agency" and I’m reading a message from a very important client (her name’s Amanda) inside my Gmail inbox. With Rapportive installed, I can click or hover my mouse over her name, and the Rapportive panel displays information about Amanda from the social graph, like this…

mailchimp-raplet-amandaRapportive gives me:

  • Her photo (pulled from twitter)
  • a brief bio
  • her recent tweets
  • links to her profiles on other social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Plancast, and more.

Cool, huh?

As you can see, she’s the Head of Community at some company called "mailchimp" (heh. that’s a funny name for a company).

Hmm, looking at her latest tweets, I can see that she frequents the dribbble website (do I detect a little designerd in Amanda?), and she’s also thinking about getting an Android smartphone. If she were my client, I might reply to her tweet and send her this video review from an Engadget staffer. If I didn’t have that kind of rapport with her yet, I’d probably just get up to speed on Android phones, because the next time we meet, I could bring it up in conversation: "Whoah, is that the new X? How’re you liking it so far?" And if I had an extremely high level of rapport with her (I’m talking like — off the charts), I’d send her this very NSFW but hilarious video link about the iPhone4.

It gets cooler.

The MailChimp Raplet

Rapportive recently opened up their platform to allow developers to add "raplets." So basically, any company can build a little plugin that, um, plugs in to the Rapportive plugin.

And you know the nerds in MailChimp Labs had to give this a try.

So now let’s say I sent this email to my entire customer list:


It showcases some new free guide our agency just published. Since it’s about social media, maybe Amanda would be interested.

With the MailChimp Raplet installed, the next time I email Amanda from Gmail (say, to give her an update on her project), some really handy MailChimp information will appear inside the Rapportive panel:


As you can see above, it contains her latest MailChimp activity:

  • It tells me if Amanda is subscribed to any of my lists (indeed she is)
  • It’ll show me her list engagement level (hey, 4-stars. She really likes our content!)
  • I can see that she opened my last email newsletter
  • And I know she downloaded our "Let’s Get Social" PDF guide.

There’s also a link that’ll take me to her profile page in MailChimp:

Amanda's profile page in MailChimp

Amanda's profile page in MailChimp

Where I can get:

  • Even more information from MailChimp’s new SocialPro add-on,
  • her preferred email program (if she’s a big spender, I’d be sure to check my campaign’s renderability in Thunderbird with inbox inspector), and
  • her previous email open and click activity with other emails we’ve sent.

And since my campaign had MailChimp’s integrated Facebook Like button feature, I get stats that tell me if Amanda actually Liked my guide:

I can see if Amanda, and any friends in her network, liked my email

I can see if Amanda, and any friends in her network, liked my email newsletter

Looks as though she did indeed "Like" the guide, along with 2 others in her network. Ka-ching!

If she re-tweeted my campaign, I’d see that as well, thanks to MailChimp’s built-in twitter tracking:


Getting the MailChimp raplet installed to Gmail

First of all, you’ll need to install Rapportive to your Gmail account.

Then, within Gmail, look for the Rapportive link at the top of the screen:


Now stare at that image a while, and burn it into the long term memory portion of your brain. You’ll be going back to that little "r" Rapportive link a lot. Notice that this is where you log in to Rapportive. Occasionally, you’ll need to log back in there (if you get logged out). It’s also where you add raplets to Rapportive.

Click on "add/remove raplets" then on the next screen, add the MailChimp raplet:


Bam. You just made Gmail even more awesome.

While you were there, did you notice the Raplets for Batchbook, and Pearl CRM? They integrate with MailChimp too. So while I’m in Gmail, getting all this wonderful data from social networks and from MailChimp, I can also click into my Batchbook Raplet and see if my teammates might’ve made any recent comments about Amanda:


Oh crud. I better not mention that Android phone afterall. And I *definitely* better not send her that iPhone video. Hmm, looks like the Batchbook raplet actually lets you enter comments from inside Gmail.

So I can post a comment back into Batchbook, for all my teammates to see:


Depending on how that lunch with Amanda goes, I might try to work this video (iPhone vs. Blendtec) into my next email newsletter as sort of an inside joke. Wink wink.

Social Graph + Email Graph

The MailChimp Raplet uses Rapportive’s social graph data and blends it with MailChimp’s "email graph" to give you information you need to get to know your clients better.

In real life.

Loosely related: