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Shared contacts for Gmail: Options to streamline communication

Shared contacts for Gmail: Options to streamline communication

min read

You’re wrapping up a month-long project, and all you need are a few more details from the client. Since your colleague has been the point of contact the entire time, you reach out to request the client’s email address.

You may get an instant response, or you may find yourself stuck, unable to continue until your coworker sends you the contact details. 

Using a tool to share Gmail contacts with your team is one way to improve productivity and efficiency in your organization. 

<a href="#why-would-you-need-shared-contacts-for-gmail" class="anchor-link">Why would you need shared contacts for Gmail?</a>

<a href="#delegate-access-to-shared-contacts-in-google-workspace" class="anchor-link">Delegate access to shared contacts in Google Workspace</a>

<a href="#limitations-of-google-workspace" class="anchor-link">Limitations of Google Workspace</a>

<a href="#manage-shared-contacts-in-streak" class="anchor-link">Manage shared contacts in Streak</a>

  • <a href="#automatic-contact-pages" class="anchor-link">Automatic contact pages</a>
  • <a href="#auto-enriched-contact-information" class="anchor-link">Auto-enriched contact information</a>
  • <a href="#view-and-edit-shared-contacts" class="anchor-link">View and edit shared contacts</a>
  • <a href="#importer-tool" class="anchor-link">Importer tool</a>
  • <a href="#action-buttons" class="anchor-link">Action buttons</a>
  • <a href="#access-on-mobile-devices" class="anchor-link">Access on mobile devices</a>
  • <a href="#personalized-email-sharing-options" class="anchor-link">Personalized email sharing options</a>

<a href="#its-easy-to-share-contacts-with-your-team-using-streak" class="anchor-link">It’s easy to share contacts with your team using Streak</a>

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Why would you need shared contacts for Gmail?

As customers move through your sales pipeline, they interact with different members of your team, and once a deal is closed, the focus turns to customer retention instead of acquisition. 

More than a dozen people within the company could be involved in converting and retaining a customer, and they all need at least the basic information pertaining to customers. It’s an added bonus if you can provide each other with contextual information to make interactions go smoothly no matter which team they’re working with.

When it comes to sharing your Gmail contacts, there are two main options: share your contacts within Google Workspace itself or use a tool (app, extension, plug-in, CRM) to share contacts with your colleagues.

Let’s talk about two main ways you can share your Gmail contacts with other people in your organization.

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Delegate access to shared contacts in Google Workspace

Google allows you to give another user access to your contacts by creating “contacts delegates”. Once delegates have access to your contacts they can add and update information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses.  

To share access to your contacts in Gmail: 

  1. Make sure you're signed in with your work or school account - you can only give access to contacts in a Google Workspace account.
  2. Go to your Google Contacts.
  3. At the top right corner, click on the Settings gear icon. 
  4. Select Delegate access.
  5. Click Invite delegate.
  6. Enter the name or email address of the person you want to give access to your contacts. You can invite up to 25 people, just separate their names with commas.
  7. Once you've entered the details, hit Send.

Your invited users are now granted access to your Contacts list, which enables them to view and edit your contacts.

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Limitations of Google Workspace

Sharing contacts through Google Workspace is a straightforward solution when others need to view or edit contact information, but the option comes with a few limitations that may prevent it from being the ideal option. Here are a few barriers you may run into. 

Requires a Workspace account

It’s one of those obvious facts you might not think about until you run into an issue: you have to have a Workspace account to share contacts via Google Workspace. Any free Gmail account (the kind that ends with won’t be able to share or access shared contacts. 

Delegates can’t import or export contacts

They only have permission to view and make edits.

No delegated access on Contacts app

Unfortunately, even people with access to shared contacts won’t be able to view and edit delegated contacts using the Contacts app on a mobile device. The only way for delegates to access shared contacts is on a computer. 

That’s not a problem when you’re in the office, but may become an issue if you’re a salesperson on the road or trying to respond to a client on a Thursday evening while you drive to a basketball game. 

No access to interaction history

Google Workspace provides all of the contact information for each of your contacts… and that’s it. Helpful when you need to send an email, but not so much when you need context about interactions your team has had with them. Unless colleagues CC you or forward an email, you won’t know what communication they’ve had with specific shared contacts. 

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Manage shared contacts in Streak

Sure, we’re a bit biased, but we truly believe that there are a number of advantages to using Streak for shared contacts. 

Sharing your contacts via Streak allows your team to avoid the bottleneck that happens when you’re waiting for a colleague to share necessary contact information. Best of all, it helps you create a personalized experience for prospects and clients. 

Not only can everyone on your team see each contact’s information, they can also track interactions with your team. Here’s how Streak can help you get more out of sharing contacts in Gmail. 

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Automatic contact pages

Zight 2024-03-07 at 12.58.22 PM; a screenshot of automatic contact page where one can see the interaction under one contact information using Streak in Gmail

Streak automatically creates contact pages that show your interaction history with contacts, including: 

  • Their emails with anyone on your team
  • Deals they’re associated with in your pipelines
  • General contact information

Contacts that share a custom email domain (like everyone with an email) are automatically grouped into an organization together. When you look at an organization’s page, you can see interactions your team has had with everyone within the organization. 

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Auto-enriched contact information

Streak helps you learn more about your contacts by auto-enriching each contact with publicly available information associated with the email address you enter. This saves you time finding social media profiles, websites, addresses, or other information that your contact has made available online.

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View and edit shared contacts

Your whole team can view and edit shared contacts to add new information. 

Everyone has access to a contact’s interaction history, so even if a customer didn’t email you about a technical issue, you can see the email they sent to your support team. This makes your contact pages the ultimate source of truth.

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Importer tool

The Streak importer tool allows you to effortlessly import and export your contacts without leaving Gmail. There’s no need to copy and paste or convert files.

The importer offers:

  • easier data clean up, so you can quickly fix errors in your contact data. 
  • intelligent mapping, matching columns in your import file to your pipeline columns.
  • auto-creation of new columns so every piece of data has a place to live.
  • email sharing preferences that apply to future and previous emails with a contact. 

If you don’t have contact data to import you can also use the Quick Add feature, which scans your inbox for people and companies to add to your pipelines. 

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="action-buttons" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

Action buttons

A screenshot of a contact info in Gmail where you can quickly email, call, or set up a meeting with contacts using the action buttons. 

Quickly email, call, or set up a meeting with contacts using the action buttons. 

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Access on mobile devices

Using the free Streak mobile app, you can view your contacts on any Android or iOS device. 

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Personalized email sharing options

Even if you set up automatic email sharing for a shared contact, you can still control which emails are shown to your team. Change settings for individual emails to keep them private and out of the contact’s page. 

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It’s easy to share contacts with your team using Streak

Shared contacts are included in our Streak plans. You’ll also get CRM and email features like mail merge, email tracking, snippets, and more. 

Streak is a CRM that includes powerful email tools and integrates directly with Gmail to help you organize your emails for each process from hiring to fundraising to sales. Streak’s browser extension allows you to easily track link clicks, email opens, deal progression, pipelines, and more - right inside Gmail. More than 750k+ people across the globe use Streak to manage their VC firms, start-ups, growing businesses, and everything in between.

Check out our complete list of features here

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