Sep 252013

 forZoho ContactManager for Small BusinessesIIT Madras alumnus Sridhar Vembu’s business apps company Zoho has launched a new online contact manager with an unusual pricing model.

Zoho says for a limited time it’ll let users pay what they want for its new online ContactManager application after the initial free 30-day trial.

Small Business App

Targeted at small businesses, ContactManager lets users keep all their interactions with clients, suppliers, and partners in a centralized address book.

Zoho has designed the new app to provide a unified view of all interactions by keeping key information like tasks, meeting notes, history and important e-mail conversations with contacts right inside a contact’s page.

A free companion app is available for iOS and Android phones to let users access their contact’s phone number, e-mail address, notes and other details via the native app for iPhone and Android phones.

ContactManager works with Zoho’s Card Scanner app for iPhone to import contact information.

Another useful feature is ContactManager’s integration with Google Apps.

Pricing Gimmick?

Here’s what Zoho had to say about its novel pricing scheme:

Zoho is dedicated to nurturing entrepreneurs of all sizes to help them grow to be successful organisations. This time with start-ups and independent entrepreneurs in mind, we wanted to keep your expenses low on productive tools like ours while you stay focused on your business.

Hey, Zoho is letting customers pay as little as $1 per user.

If you’re a small business owner, I bet ContactManager’s pricing scheme sounds very tempting.

It remains to be seen if Zoho’s pricing model for ContactManager is a gimmick or a novel idea.

If you ask me, I’d be inclined to say Zoho’s pricing is a smart gimmick to attract users and media attention (it worked).

But human nature being what it, users will pay no more than the minimum. So Zoho will have little choice but to raise prices or limit the features of ContactManager in the not too distant future for those paying too little.

Besides ContactManager, Zoho offers a suite of business, productivity and collaboration apps for customer relationship management, accounting, invoicing, live support, password management, reporting, creating surveys and recruiting.

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