Why we transformed Mailbutler into an inbox CRM tool
Mailbutler CEO Tobias writes in this article about why he decided to focus his extension on customer relationship management.
After his studies in industrial engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Tobias co-founded Mailbutler GmbH together with Fabian in 2015. In his free time, he spends most of his time in the garden and with his son Timo.
Hi, I’m Tobias, CEO and Co-Founder of Mailbutler. Since the release of our Contacts feature, I’ve been motivated to write this blog post.
Mainly because of questions about Customer Relationship Management tools, like: Why did Mailbutler decide to become a customer relationship tool? How do I use it? How do I integrate it? Which CRM tool is the best? and so on.
But first, an update: as of May 2022, the BCC to CRM will no longer be available. This decision was made based on research we did among our users: we found that most people used the Contacts feature as their CRM, and the automatic BCC to CRM feature was rarely used.
So, to make Mailbutler more streamlined, more integrated, and less complicated, we decided the best course of action was to remove the feature entirely.
Surprise findings about CRM tools
These questions motivated us to dig deeper. So we decided to find out more about CRM tools. How do self-employed people and small enterprises use them? What worked well? What could be improved?
During interviews, we were soon surprised. Many small enterprises reported failed CRM experiences or found a CRM wasn‘t the right tool for their needs.
After further interviews, we found the root cause of why most CRM projects fail: Lack of use! A CRM only works if everyone in the company uses it. Otherwise, you end up with outdated & incorrect data in the CRM.
Communication with clients gets missed, resulting in extra work. Unsurprisingly, this causes dissatisfaction within the team, and of course, lost money!
Then we asked ourselves: “Why aren’t people using the CRMs?” After more research, we uncovered three very simple reasons:
1. Complex and complicated
CRM services are designed for big corporations with huge sales teams: So many functions for so many scenarios. Of course, that makes CRM tools very powerful.
However, this power makes them complicated and difficult to use. Teams need ongoing professional consulting and training to make it work.
Nowadays, CRMs have web interfaces for users to access and edit data. Naturally, this is an ongoing process, so users need to switch between email inbox and CRM – often multiple times per day.
When things are busy, taking time to update the CRM often gets pushed down the priority list, and maybe even forgotten. Then you’re left with an outdated CRM, which is no good to anybody.
3. Too much information
CRM tools show all kinds of different data about the contact, often too much for the average user. This affects their experience and makes it harder to find relevant information.
One can fill five pages full of data that is at best of questionable importance: “event revenue”, “religious belief”, “first referring site” and so on.
Bridging the gap
We quickly realized something major: There was no CRM tool for self-employed people and small enterprises on the market which didn‘t come with some or all of the problems listed above.
These features might have been great for helping our users to better manage their email communication, but they didn’t directly help to strengthen their customer relationships.
That’s why we decided to fill this gap. It was time to develop a new feature for Mailbutler, one which would help self-employed and small enterprises to better manage their customer relationships.
The Contacts feature builds the bridge between email communication and relationship management. In turn, this transforms Mailbutler into a complete customer relationship management tool.
Our goal was (and still is) to present this data clearly, integrated into your email inbox, and accessible at any time.
You‘re now provided with the following data:
This acts as a hub. Where you can create, view, add your contacts name, address, social media account, languages spoken, or anything else that is needed. You can share this with your entire team. That way everyone has access to the same information about the contact.
Self-employed and small enterprises can organize contact data on a single platform, one that‘s easily accessible for everyone in the team. On top of that, the data is always synced in real-time, and securely stored on encrypted servers in Germany.
Contact Notes and Tasks
Mailbutler’s Contacts feature allows you to add notes to your contact, a simple but productive tool to better manage your customer relationships.
During calls, meetings, or any kind of communication with your client, you can take notes. No risk of forgetting what was said or agreed! Plus, these notes help you pick up on conversations much later on.
You’ll save so much time and trouble down the road, and everyone stays aligned and accountable.
A quick tip: Write your notes as if someone who doesn’t know anything about that contact will read it.
That way all the information is there, even if you forget what was said at the time. After all, contact notes are only useful when it can be used by you and others.
The tasks feature is very similar to the note feature. As soon as the contact requires you to perform any kind of action or to-do, create a task for it, and define a due date.
You can even assign the task to another team member. They’ll receive both the task and the reminder date.
This feature shows the entire conversation history with a specific contact.
By using contact history, you and your team know who’s already spoken to this contact, and when. For you, there’s no missed or redundant communication. For your customers, an improved client experience, making them more loyal to your company!
Our promise, your feedback
The goal of Mailbutler is simple: Improve email communication and business relationships right from your inbox.
The Contacts feature helps you gather more information about your contacts. This leads to stronger and better communication. In turn, you build trust, helping you close deals, and build your business.
We can’t wait to receive your feedback on any and all of features as we move forward and improve Mailbutler for you, the most important part of our company.
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