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Screengrab via Boomerang/YouTube

New AI-powered email plugin will help you write emails that get replies

It will fill up your inbox.


AJ Dellinger


Posted on Aug 23, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 5:01 am CDT

Email is the form of communication everyone loves to hate because unlike a text message or phone call, emails often go unrequited. Email plugin Boomerang believes it has the answer as to what gets emails answered, and its new artificial intelligence-powered tool can tell you.

Boomerang’s new feature is called Respondable, and it promises to help users write emails in a way that will be sure to get a response. The service analyzes emails as they are being written and grades the message in real time on a variety of criteria the company has determined to be important.

Respondable focuses breaks down the email into the more tangible categories—subject length, word count, question count, and reading level—and the more abstract measurements like positivity, politeness, and subjectivity.

Meters resting on the side of the email window provide the author’s ranking in each area, along with an overall grade that correlates to the likelihood the message will receive a reply. Behind those metered metrics are a set of algorithms that process the message and work to push the writer in the right direction. 

Boomerang fed the algorithms movie reviews to teach the difference between positive sentiment and negative sentiment in a body of text. 

Other apps like Crystal can help fine tune an email to a recipient based on their public social media profiles, but Boomerang also has a wealth of user data that it can tap into to get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t.

Boomerang has tools to help users keep track of emails they are waiting to receive a response from. It can use that information along with the deep learning algorithms powering Respondable to understand the language of email. 

The information gathered by the plugin has already provided a considerable amount of interesting insight into emailing habits. For example, messages written at a third grade level are considered ideal, while messages at a sixth grade level or higher see a significant drop-off in responses. 

Boomerang also found while being overly negative is a good way to get ignored, a somewhat negative message is more likely to get answered than a neutral one.

The basic version of Respondable is available in the free version of Boomerang, and works with Gmail and Google Apps accounts. The advanced version of the tool, complete with machine learning and advanced sentiment analysis, is available to Pro members for $15 per month.

H/T Wired

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*First Published: Aug 23, 2016, 4:40 pm CDT