I’ve been a big fan of a tool called Boomerang for some time. Essentially, it reminds you about emails you’ve sent to someone if the recipient doesn’t respond. You can also specify any period of time for that email to be returned to your inbox.
On its own, this is a very powerful tool. It removes the cognitive load of needing to remember to follow up with someone who hasn’t responded or the task load of having to put a reminder in our calendar to remember to check with the recipient.
However, having pooled data from millions of emails that have either been or have not been responded to over years, Boomerang now released a tool that assesses the “respondability” of your written email. Essentially, this is a gauge that sits at the bottom of your email and as you write, displays the likelihood that the recipient will reply to your message. The new tool takes into aspects of language like number of questions posed, tone, sentence structure and other aspects.
I started my career making cold calls into businesses — over 20,000 calls to strangers. I’d leave messages and sometimes email. I was always fascinated with who would respond and why and where on a call script I’d be more or less likely to move to a next step or appointment.
Boomerang now takes that interest to a new level. In terms of a new technology development, this tool helps us improve how we interact with each other. It also brings up at least two issues.
1) At some point, I gave Boomerang access to my email content and my contacts. I trusted that it wouldn’t share that info with anyone else as if it did and was caught, it’d be toast. The hope is that it would use this data to improve its service and offer me more tools, which it did.
2) This is an example of an AI tool that we can adopt to advance ourselves. Those who do will end up being much more effective than those who don’t. This is a theme that will continue for all AI;s until eventually there will be no differentiation between us and the AI.
You can check out Boomerang here.