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This article was published on January 10, 2013

Tout now makes email less hellish for 40,000 users, updates UI and service to attract more

Tout now makes email less hellish for 40,000 users, updates UI and service to attract more
Ken Yeung
Story by

Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

ToutApp, a service that functions as an email communications platform, has launched an update with four new features that will benefit its nearly 40,000 users. With Tout 2013, customers now have, among many things, an updated interface with better identification to check who has been responded to, a real-time email feed, and a new way to share presentations over email.

If you’re not familiar with Tout, its goal is to help make life a lot easier for anyone who deals with a busy inbox. Whether it’s introductions to your company, invoices, meeting requests, or any form of email communication that becomes rather repetitive, the service says it enables users to simply write a template for each type and modify it to personalize it each time.

An alumni of 500 Startups, Tout offers its users useful analytics to help measure and track activity within each email. Not only can you find out who’s reading it, but also what’s specifically been read, when it was opened, where, and how long it was viewed.

Redesigned interface


One of the features of this update is the redesigned interface that the company says will help its users identify who companies have reached out to and keep track if any need follow up. Tawheed Kader, Tout’s founder and CEO, tells us an update was needed because prior to Tout 2013, the platform made it super easy to write emails faster with the templates while also offering real-time tracking. When customers were consulted about the service, Tout learned that outward-facing people are “challenged in their ability to follow up effectively”. To that end, Kader says it wasn’t about inbox management, but rather being able to manage “sent emails.”

To resolve this issue, the company says it released a new Emails Tab that shows customers a streamlined view of “all the people that have been reached out to, whether they’ve viewed or engaged with the email, who’s replied, who didn’t, and who companies need to follow up with next.” The interface also includes a different way to suggest meeting times and can send out links to presentations that are easily trackable.

Real-time feeds

Tout Real-Time Feed

The service now includes a real-time feed that displays useful statistics such as email views, clicks, and where readers are visiting on websites linked to from the email.

While this seems pretty minor, as more businesses are seeking to maximize the impact of their email marketing efforts, finding out the reader’s click-through path is increasingly important. Being able to understand where exactly they stop reading or what they find to their fancy can help companies effectively adjust their communications.

Sharing presentations over email

Tout says that its updated platform allows users to easily upload PowerPoint, PDF, or HTML file and share a specific link that can be embedded into an email so it can be shared. All files are converted so that it’s viewable in the Tout Connect viewer. The company says that as different pages in the presentation are viewed, the Live Feed will show the author the activity in the presentation. Kader says that “it’s all about driving engagement in the sales and emailing process.”

Additional improvements

Besides these three main updates, the company says that there are more than 97 improvements added to its Tout 2013 platform, including adding suggested meeting times into emails, making phone calls right from the Live Feed, enabling Tout to automatically follow up on email at least three days later, applied deeper Salesforce integration, and enabling teams to share feedback around email templates.

The company has raised $720,000 in its since being founded in 2010 from Esther Dyson, Eric Ries, Dave McClure, 500 Startups, Venture 51, NYC Seed, Founder Collective, and Daniel Eskapa. Businesses can sign up for access for one of several price plans ranging between $12 per month and $199 per month.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images