When Chris Keller started FollowUp in 2007, it was an email reminder tool that kept you productive throughout the day. Now, a decade and an acquisition later, the company is launching its next product, a Contact Relationship Management (CRM) service that’s similar to Rapportive, but with features that will help you keep in touch with business or personal contacts.
FollowUp is built around your Gmail inbox. It appears in the sidebar on the screen so you’ll be able to manage relationships while exchanging emails with someone, all in real time. The contact card FollowUp displays is also updated in real time, so when a new message pops up, the card automatically reflects the thread.
But FollowUp goes beyond just offering details about an individual to prod your memory. You can instruct it to remind you when it’s time to take actions, like reaching out to someone, and you can specify when it should send you a reminder.
Cody Halff replaced Keller as chief executive following FollowUp’s acquisition by Argon Technologies, and he shared with VentureBeat what’s changed at the company: “We put a strong emphasis on customer feedback this past year, and what we learned was that a lot of people were setting reminders to stay in touch with people, not to complete tasks or answer emails… Instead of packing a successful product with features that didn’t make sense, we built something new.”
When it comes to managing contacts, many people think of Nimble and Salesforce, but for personal use these can be overkill. FollowUp believes its true competitors are spreadsheets, sticky notes, and our brain. But in tech specifically, it would be Cloze, Contactually, and Airtable.
FollowUp is available as a freemium service. The basic plan gives you unlimited contacts to manage, but the number of events, reminders, follow-ups, and other features are limited. They’ll increase with either of the other two plans, priced monthly at $19 and $29, respectively.
If you meet a lot of people, the information you have about them is likely scattered across many different areas, such as notebooks, Evernote files, Trello boards, Google Docs, LinkedIn profiles, Quip documents, your mobile phone’s address book, and emails. Our usage of different apps tends to change over the years, but our email providers often remain the same. And our inboxes can tell us so much about our lives and who we’ve talked to that having all this information consolidated into one place can be helpful.
Currently, FollowUp’s personal CRM works with Gmail, but there are plans to expand to Outlook and to integrate with Firefox and Safari in future.