ToutApp, the San Francisco-basd startup founded by Tawheed Kader with the goal of providing sales staff and other business professionals with email management and analytics, today unveiled a major update to its platform. ToutApp 5.0 brings a number of new features to the tool, all of which are aimed at the software’s capabilities in areas where it matters most to salespeople.
The additions include better Outlook support, including a new tracking sidebar to show email activity like when a message was last opened in real-time alongside a user’s inbox. There’s also a better iOS implementation that now brings email templates and real-time analytics to the ToutApp iPhone application, and an iPad-specific web-based product. Since the goal is to provide sales staff with tools where they really need them, the company focused on Outlook, far and away the most predominant desktop mail client used in business; and iOS, which is gaining in popularity for mobile use among enterprise clients and SMBs.
“With mobile email, when it came around they kind of just copied email from the desktop and that’s all they did,” Kader told BetaKit in an interview. “The biggest problem you have with email now is that you’ll be on the road and you’ll read your email, but you pretty much have to go back to your computer to write the real response, especially with the type of business emails where you have to move the process forward.” That’s where Kader says the new email templates for mobile devices come in especially handy; they make mobile email more about productivity since people can respond in full without having to worry about touchscreen typing or having a limited selection of attachments on hand.
ToutApp 5.0 also brings additional Gmail tools, as well as real-time alerts designed to provide users with notices about important steps in their individual relationships. It’ll tell users when they’re losing touch with someone, for instance, or when emails are working particularly well in terms of engagement. That’s combined with improved analytics and reports for management.
For ToutApp, there’s plenty of competition out there with tools like Rapportive, which was recently acquired by LinkedIn, and more directly from Yesware, a Boston startup whose Series A funding we recently covered. Kader believes that ToutApp’s approach, which has very much taken a lean mentality and focused on building out as many features as possible, has clear advantages over others in the field, however.
“Pricing is something that we focused on right from the beginning, and we have a great paying customer base,” he said. “At this point, we’re exploring whether or not we need to raise our Series A right now. One of our competitors just raised a Series A so that they could build the features we now offer, so we’re in a good place.”
ToutApp is iterating quickly in terms of offering new features, and that’s a very good thing considering the emergence of new competitors and the speed at which mobile is taking over in terms of handing email (recent surveys found that 20 percent of all email is opened on iPhones, and 27 percent on mobile devices). Whether or not it seeks a new round, so long as it continues to put money back into engineering, the startup definitely has a chance at becoming big, and possibly a juicy acquisition target for larger CRM providers.