Hey, do me a favor: If you’re using Gmail, go and get Rapportive right now. Go ahead. I’ll sit here and wait. Well, this article will sit here and wait. I’ll probably go back to browsing OK Cupid until something comes up in my RSS reader that I think is worth sharing with you. I am the world’s worst OK Cupid user by the way. I barely talk to anyone on there, but I kill boredom by reading the answers people write to the site’s questions. I know that’s not how you’re supposed to use OK Cupid, but I’m a marketing nerd. What can I say?

Are you back yet? Got Rapportive installed? Good. If you REALLY want to get crazy, now go and get Contactually. You’ll have to pay for Contactually, which kind of sucks, but it’s totally worth it. These two together though are the two-headed dragon of email mastery, so if you can swing it, or if your boss can swing it, go and get them both.

Ok. Now that you have these two things installed, you should never, ever, send someone a generic email again.

If you do, you’re just being lazy, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a racist. Or … lazy people. That’s what I meant to say. Ok, and the ridiculously high rental prices for the city of San Francisco. Alright. I guess there’s a bunch of things I can’t stand, but let’s stick with lazy people for right now. Can’t stand them, have no need for them. I don’t know, maybe it’s because everyone in my family is incredibly lazy and it drives me crazy. Never have I seen a bigger group of lazy people in my life. “What’s that? The dog is trying to hang himself by getting tangled up in his leash? Eh. I’ll take care of it later.” This goes on every night at my parent’s house. Every night! The dog is sixteen-years-old, he doesn’t know where he is or who you are, but he poops everywhere, so he’s gotta be contained. Unfortunately. And part of the containment means having a leash that keeps him in one area which he likes to wrap himself in.

Wait. Why am I even explaining this to you? Oh. Right. The lazy family explains my intense hatred for lazy people. I don’t want you to be lazy. I want you to be good at what you do, and these two tools I told you about will do that. Being awesome at work, if you haven’t noticed, is a new theme here. And one we take pretty seriously. Awesome people doing awesome things makes the world an awesome place. Not hard to understand at all.

So, Rapportive will tell you who you’re emailing and where you can find them on different social networks. USE THAT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!

Contactually will keep you on top of your contacts and remind you to stay in touch with people. This is super important, especially if you’re trying to build a real relationship and not the crappy, phony, kind that “inbound” marketers and social media gurus advocate.

And if you still need additional information on the person you’re about to email? Google them to fill in whatever blanks may be left. There is absolutely no excuse now, none, to send generic emails that aren’t addressed to an actual person, and not a website name. Nor is there any excuse to send someone an email that is completely targeted wrong.

I don’t know what it is, but I feel like if people took five minutes to lookup the person they were about to email, they would be far more successful in getting the results they want. But for whatever reason, this simply doesn’t happen. I don’t know why. It’s so dumb. Just look at the journalists in the video above from Conan. That’s being lazy, and look at how dumb and horrible they look. That’s what you look like when you send lazy emails!

Take the five minutes! Don’t be one of those people who don’t. Be better than they are. Use these tools, take five minutes to carefully research the person you’re about to contact, and then take your best swing of the bat. If you do it this way, you’ll see the results you’re looking for.

P.S. This short opinion post may or may not have been spurred by emails I receive daily that go, “Dear SocialTimes” and “Hey here’s this thing you’ll love and your audience will love that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING WE WRITE ABOUT.”

I know this is a rant, but it’s an important point I’m making here. This lazy emailing thing happens way too much. I’ve seen this when I was in the PR world, I’ve seen it running sites like this, and I’ve seen it advising startups. The sheer amount of lazy people sending lazier emails is astronomical, so I hope writing in a slightly extreme way will get at least a few of you to go and get the tools you need so as to never send another lazy email again.

P.P.S. If you know of any other useful email tips and tricks, leave them in the comments section below. Or don’t. It’s your life, I can only give advice, not tell you what to do.