Why we love Flashissue




At Shared Contacts for Gmail®, we are absolutely delighted to showcase other products that you can plug-in to Gmail to increase productivity and usability even more. We particularly love these products when they are as initiative as Shared Contacts for Gmail®.

For this reason, we are eager to highlight Flashissue which is a plug-in that allows you to design and send bulk email from within your Gmail.

Flashissue allows you to concentrate on what you do well, but advertise it with professionalism. No need to go to an outside product and then import your contacts. You no longer need to train staff on a new interface. If an employee knows how to use Gmail, which almost everybody does these days, they’ll know how to use a Gmail newsletter product such as Flashissue. Flashissue is easy and intuitive, which in our opinion, exactly what a Gmail plug-in should be!

Simple ‘Drag and Drop’ Editor 

Perhaps the key consideration for organisations without designers on staff is the ‘Drag and Drop’ feature. With Flashissue you don’t have to spend hours making your email look how you want it to look. You can add any image you want and resize accordingly. Adding text is as easy as typing a regular Gmail.


GDPR Compliance 

Flashissue also makes staying legal whilst doing email marketing or sending out a non-profit newsletter a lot easier. Many people naturally worry about keeping GDPR compliant. Whilst we can’t go into detail about how to keep GDPR compliant - giving people the option to remove themselves from your existing mailing list, then removing their information from your database entirely, will go a long way in helping your firm or organisation maintain GDPR compliance. You can add an unsubscribe link inside the content of your email, pretty much in the same way as you would add any link inside Flashissue.

How you can use Flashissue day-to-day 

The real reason we like Flashissue so much is that it can help our customers send out really professional newsletters with ease, particularly those that are schools or Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) who have money or time constraints. Flashissue is particularly good if you may have only a few dozens or low hundreds of email newsletters to send out. If this is the case, configuring and paying for some of the larger email marketing providers (such as MailChimp) doesn’t make a lot of sense. Just like Shared Contacts for Gmail®, Flashissue also provides a discount for educational institutions, feel free to look at their pricing page and reach out to them for a quote.

Flashissue also allows you to track the open rate of your email newsletter.

With one click you can access reports on who opened your Gmail newsletter and see what content they find interesting. This helps you measure what messages are working for you with your audience and lets you become more effective with your marketing.

How to set emails to be ‘Confidential’ in Gmail



This ‘How To’ set emails to be ‘Confidential’ follows on from Shared Contacts for Gmail® Blog post on ‘How to schedule emails on Gmail’. As and when Google updates Gmail, Shared Contacts for Gmail® Blog will keep you up-to-date so that you can make the most out of any new features.

Why did Google make this change? 

More and more companies and individuals are using Gmail for work. There is also a greater need for organisations to keep emails (and data generally) secure. Particularly, if the emails may contain the personal information of customers. This is good practice whether or not you are legally required to be GDPR compliant. You can read the Shared Contacts for Gmail® GDPR compliance statement here.

These ‘Confidential’ emails are slightly different from regular emails sent via Gmail. This is because they are hosted (until they are permanently deleted) on Google's servers rather than been sent and stored directly in the recipient's Inbox.

These emails can’t be forwarded, copied and pasted, or even printed. They are also set to expire after a designated amount of time.

At this point, you are probably wondering why we’ve put the word ‘Confidential’ in quotation marks. Whilst it is true nobody can copy/paste, print, or forward the email to someone else. Gmail can’t stop people taking pictures on their phone or using screenshot software to store and share the email

A good rule to follow still is don’t put in an email what you wouldn’t say to someone's face (you don’t want to be one of these people)!

Step 1



Click on the ‘padlock and time’ symbol.

Step 2


The default time before the email is deleted or ‘expires’ is 1-week.


You can either control the exact date - or pick from any of the above options Google has given you.

Step 3



If you choose "No SMS passcode," recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don't use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.

If you choose "SMS passcode," recipients will get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient's phone number, not your own phone number!

You can only add SMS passcodes for phone numbers from these regions:

- North America
- South America
- Europe
- Australia
- Asia: India, Korea and Japan 



So if you are sending to people outside of these regions it is probably best to stick to “No SMS passcode”.

Step 4




At the bottom of the email you are sending, you will see exactly how long the other person
will be able to access the email before Google deletes it from their system.



The bottom of the recipient's email will show them how long they have access to the email.
If they attempt to open it after this date they will not be able to view the email.

NB: After this date to ensure that nobody can access the email. Be absolutely sure to also delete the original email from your sent folder.   

How to schedule emails on Gmail


Gmail is constantly improving, although when Google they don’t tell people about it, that change sometimes doesn’t feel like an improvement. Which is why Shared Contacts for Gmail® will keep you on top of the changes. 

At the beginning of April, Gmail rolled out what are arguably the two biggest improvements to Gmail for a long time. Firstly, it is now possible to schedule the time at which your email will be sent. Secondly, you can now send ‘confidential’ emails that cannot be copied, forwarded or shared with people who are not those you’ve sent the email. 

This Blog will deal with how to schedule emails. Look out for another Blog post in the next few days on how to send ‘Confidential’ emails. 

Why did Google make the change? 


There is a big cultural shift happening in most offices in regards to work emails. There is a growing realisation that employees receiving emails ‘out of hours’ are more stressed and have worse mental health than those that can ‘switch off’ at the end of the workday. This has knock-on effects in regards to employee retention and the quality of the decisions employees make. This Gmail update is an important tool to allow the sender to schedule the time that people will receive an email. Need something acted on the next day, but want to write the email at 6pm? No need to stress people out by receiving an email on their commute home. Schedule it to be sent at 08:45 am the next day so it is fresh in the receiver's inbox. 

If you are a home worker, you can even use this tool to schedule something to go at 09:05 am so it looks like you are already busy at work. 

Then you’ve got more time for that long morning shower / first coffee. It’s OK, we don’t judge, your office colleagues know you do it. Besides, studies show you are more productive than them, so you deserve that 5-minutes extra ‘me time’.

Step 1 

Click on the downward arrow next to the send button.

Step 2 

Click on the ‘Schedule send’ button.

Step 3 

Gmail should find your correct time zone from your IP address. If not, and you are travelling, you may need to do a little math. Sorry! Nobody likes maths, we know!


Step 4 

If you want to schedule the post even further ahead you can pick a specific date and time in the future. Click on ‘Schedule send’ and then you are all set. The email will go automatically!

If you realised you accidentally set the wrong date/time - no problem!

Just click ‘Undo’ and the message will revert back to a draft and you can modify the send time.

You’ll find ‘Scheduled’ emails on the left and side of your Gmail page. If you want to cancel the send or change the send time again.

If you click ‘Cancel send’ the email will revert to the draft folder. From there you can either discard completely or change the send time/date again.

Pros and Cons of having a CRM and how a Contact Sharing tool might replace it


If you work regularly with different clients, then you probably have a CRM or at least might have considered having one to help you manage your sales process. But do your really need one?

Depending on what you’re doing, you may simply need a contact management tool. What are all the pros and cons of a CRM to consider before having one or keeping it, and how can you use Shared Contacts for Gmail® (a contact sharing tool) to replace it in case you need to?


Let’s start off by defining what’s a CRM

“CRM” stands for “Customer Relationship Manager”. This system is designed to compile information about your clients, so that all of the information relevant to your organization is centralized in a single place so employees like sales and customer support reps can access it . 

Some of the information you can gather in a CRM is: 
- A client’s website,
- Telephone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses
- Client industry
- Social media account integration
- Lead status or scoring
- Date of first contact

These are only some examples, but a CRM can gather much more information depending on which one you choose. You can compile this information manually or it may be auto-populated through built in integrations with third-party data sources. 

#1 Pro: You can centralize all your client’s information


In order for customer relationship management to be effective, it needs to be centralized and a CRM might solve just that centralization. Instead of trying to look in different tools, spreadsheets and notes for information, everyone can automatically be on the same page as they can have the same access to the same data. 

Con: Learning the new system might be time consuming. 


The process of learning and implementing your new CRM might take all the excitement away from having it, as it takes time for people to learn how the system works, what are the capabilities and how to accomplish tasks with it. Once everyone gets used to it, the benefits can be enormous, but the training period might be a killer. As instead of  setting up appointments with clients or reaching more prospects the time is consumed by the technicalities of the new system. 

If you believe that the information you need to centralize is more simple, Share Contacts for Gmail® might not be as sophisticated as an actual CRM… But it’s simple enough for everyone to use without the learning process and doesn’t turn into an admin chore, as it is perfectly integrated with your Google Contact Manager. 

#2 Pro: You can have an efficient dashboard for sales activities 

Image result for organized desk
Most CRMs allow you to organize the order in which information appears, so that the most relevant information is at the top of the screen. Additionally, some might even let you customize your dashboards, reports, and sales funnel in order to make a lot of tasks easier.

Con: CRM’s might be focused on the wrong person 

Image result for somebody's watching me

Although automated processes can save time and make tasks easier, this also means that some human element in the business relationship might be lost. Not to mention that many CRMs are more focused on the needs of the sales manager than they are on helping sales reps sell. This might be counteractive as sales reps are the ones trying to sell and hit quota. 
Shared Contacts for Gmail® gives your team an atmosphere of collaboration instead of stress on the numbers, since everybody can contribute to the same address books and contacts directly from Google. 

#3 Pro: A CRM is a solution that grows as you do! 

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As the number of customers grow for your business, it might become difficult to meet the specific needs of each client, as there is a specific time investment that needs to be given for each new customer and follow up. This software is a scalable solution that will organize tasks and time for clients as the organization grows so that the needs of everyone can be effectively met.

Con: Cost & Support Process 

Image result for customer support meme

A CRM might come with a high subscription cost, usually based on the number of user licenses. In addition to this, you might also need a CRM tech support. Many CRM companies will provide support, but it could come at a higher price that isn’t included on your first purchase of the solution. You may need to pay for outside consultation or hire an in-house administrator. This normally isn’t an issue for large organizations, but it could be for small businesses.

#4 Pro: Data can be accessed anywhere 

Image result for access cloud

This wasn’t a benefit a while ago, but now thanks to the cloud, you can access most CRMs online without having to install it on a specific computer. Not only that, but depending on the CRM you choose, some might offer you a mobile application so you can access the database on the go! A great example for this one is Zoho CRM, which offers a wide range of mobile apps to access such information.

Con:(Without proper setup) access might not mean user friendly

Image result for table throw meme
Many CRM systems will automatically back themselves up through the Cloud, but not every system does it or it might take a while to be synchronized. Additionally to this, because of the sophistication on the information collected, it might be hard to get an overall glance from a mobile. Even Cloud systems can fail if there is a problem with the internet connection or the server on the other end. 

If you would like to access to your customers information on the go, Shared Contacts for Gmail is perfectly integrated with Google so the experience is smooth and seamless, unlike most CRMs. With Shared Contacts for Gmail, once contacts and contact groups are shared, the domain admin can enable synchronization for any and all users. This means your selected users can have access to all the shared contact details they need, via Gmail, Outlook and of course, on their mobile device.

Conclusion

CRMs can be amazing tools for organizations, but this doesn’t mean they are for everyone. The decision you make regarding CRM will depend largely on your business’ unique needs, goals, challenges and budget. Whether you decide to use one or not, the pros should outweigh the cons and if they don’t, there’s the chance that you might not need a CRM or might be using the wrong one for your needs. 
If you would like to switch from a CRM to Shared Contacts for Gmail®, without any strings attached or risks, you can try the app for free here. If what you need is a CRM then don’t hesitate to contact us in case you want help to find a good option. 

Regardless of what you decide to do, we’re here to assist you and give you the guidance you need!

Success Story: Lyska



Share Contacts for Gmail® is a contact management tool, simple enough for everyone to use and doesn’t turn your customer management relations into an annoying admin chore. 
Lyska knew that they could use such functionality so they decided to use the app to simplify the process and save some headaches along the way. 


The Customer

Lyska is a young tech startup that plans and creates enterprise software solutions. Currently they are building an API to standardise eCommerce data. 
They believe that new technologies and digital tools offer several capabilities. But instead of making things better,these could often make things more complicated. Their goal is is to make things easier by the use of tech, and that’s why they decided to try Shared Contacts for Gmail® to manage their customers contacts! 


The challenge

Lyska needed a simple but effective solution that would provide the whole team a quick access to account names and contact information of their clients and would also be integrated with their email and activity management. 


The Solution 

Yves Schleich (CO-founder and frontend developer of the company), decided to try Shared Contacts for Gmail® in order to solve the matter. Now Lyska has the possibility to have organized and updated contact groups with all their client information. Furthermore, the organization can easily distribute the contacts to the appropriate person and the synchronization is fast.


What did they say? 


“Shared Contacts is simple to use and serves as the best alternative for a CRM. It's the best possible alternative right now as far as I evaluated so far.” - Yves Schleich 

Are you experiencing the same issue Yves had? Don’t feel committed and just try Shared Contacts for Gmail for free.
Are you evaluating wether you should use a CRM or a contact management tool? Then this article might help you evaluate the pros and cons of having a CRM.


How to be prepared for GDPR in 5 Steps


GDPR is coming and you must be prepared...But why? 
Let’s start with the obvious reason: You’re sharing your contacts with Shared Contacts for Gmail®, hence you’re handling personal (your contacts’) information in your organization...and who doesn’t? 

This May 25th, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is going to be enforced and all companies storing data from European nationals will have to be compliant. 

Even if you think this might not concern you, it does… Because, if you heard about the latest Facebook scandal, you will know that authorities from several countries have been pushed to consider taking more serious measures when managing information. 

So how can you take action? And what does this mean for you as a Shared Contacts for Gmail® user? 

Let’s begin with defining what GDPR means:
Enacted by the European Commission, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has the purpose of protecting personal data of Europeans, stored by organizations and businesses like yours. Soon with GDPR your duty is provide individuals with the right of information, access, rectification, portability restriction and most importantly, deletion (or “right to be forgotten”). 

So what are our obligations with you as a user? 
Besides that fact that the app is 100% hosted on Google Cloud infrastructure (the most secure in the world), by making Shared Contacts for Gmail® GDPR compliant, we have the responsibility to keep you informed. 

Therefore you must know that unless you’re in the Corporate Edition and have activated the contact backup feature, we won’t keep any of your contacts in our systems. Instead, we will use hash technology to compare and synchronize every update you make.

In order to provide you with the best service, Shared Contacts for Gmail® stores the following data: 
-The names of your contact groups (so you can share them) 
-The names of your user groups (in order to facilitate sharing with a mailing list)
-Your sharing settings (so you can manage who can access which contact group) 
-The users in your domain (if you are using G Suite)
-Your language and country 

What happens to your data if you uninstall Shared Contacts for Gmail®?
If you canceled your subscription with us, the information mentioned above, will be kept during 2 weeks and then will be permanently deleted. However in case you wanted to exercise your right of deletion before that period, or you want to request access to the information we store about you you can always contact us.

How can YOU take measures to protect your contacts’ personal data?
To be compliant with the new regulation, you essentially need to ensure the privacy and security of the personal data you store about individuals, by doing the following:


1. Understand what kind of data you’re storing and where 

Make sure that you know all the places where the contact information of your contacts and users is located (CRM, Gmail contacts, devices, mail client, backup files etc).

2. Make it obvious! 

Make obvious to your customers in your website the steps on how to request right of access or deletion. Remember that they also have the right to be informed.

3. In case of a deletion request 

If someone requests to be deleted from your company contact lists: 
  a. Delete the contact from the shared group it belongs to
  b. Make sure every user deletes it from specific (not shared) locations.
  c. Delete the contact from your backups.


Need assistance? Gapps Experts can help you make a domain-wide search to make sure that the contacts of your choice have disappeared from your systems. If you would like to know how to be compliant as a G Suite user you can read more here

4. Make it simple

Once you know where you’re storing all your data, apply the minimalist concept of ‘less is more’ by making sure that you keep only the information that you need to operate in your activities and in the minimum locations. This way it will be easier to access them in case of request for inspection or deletion.

5. Always ask questions

Remember that GDPR is just common sense! It’s all about having a sense of the data you store so you can understand its purpose and being transparent about it.

But in case you still have questions or need further guidance, feel free to ask! That way you can ensure a smooth transition for GDPR compliance.