Introducing Boomerang Respondable: Personal AI Assistant for Writing Better Emails

Posted By on Aug 23, 2016

Millions of people use Boomerang to schedule emails for the best time to get a response. Eager to learn more about what influences email response rates, we rang in 2016 with our first dive into the world of Big Data. We analyzed millions of emails and discovered common characteristics of messages that got responses. We excitedly shared our findings in a year-in-review email to users, and in a blog post on data-backed tips for writing effective emails.

And that blog post blew up! Coverage ranged from the Washington Post to Le Monde (merci beaucoup). We even made it to the Today Show. But as blog views climbed, so did the number of people asking for more. Knowing how reading level and message sentiment affected response rates was helpful, but people had no easy way to gauge their own messages to practice what we preached. People sought help striking the perfect tone, length, and reading grade level. And today, we have an answer.

We are delighted to announce Boomerang Respondable for Gmail and Outlook, the first AI assistant that helps you craft perfect emails. Respondable uses machine learning algorithms trained on hundreds of millions of messages to isolate what factors impact response rates. It understands how different aspects of your writing combine to affect the quality of the emails you send. It’s a real-world implementation of the tips we blogged about in February, right in your compose window.  

Respondable gives you unique insight into your writing style and how it impacts the likelihood that the messages you send will receive a response. And it’s built directly into the same Boomerang extension used by millions of people to schedule and snooze their emails. For existing Boomerang users, simply reload your Gmail or Outlook window, and the new features will appear. For those new users, you can get Respondable (and all the other Boomerang features) using the button below:

Add Boomerang for GmailGet Boomerang for Outlook

Once Boomerang is installed,  it will add a new bar into your compose window. The display updates in real-time to show you the quality of your message as you write.

Click the Respondable button to see insights into how Respondable’s algorithms analyzed your message. You can see how each aspect of your writing impacted the quality estimate and see where you might want to make changes.

For more details about each parameter, just click the graph associated with it. Boomerang provides a description of each measurement and an overview of the findings from ourresearch. Each detailed view provides actionable advice, based on your individual message, about how to adjust the writing to improve the likelihood that your message will get a response.

Access to Respondable is included for all Boomerang users, and advanced features are available for Pro and Premium users of Boomerang for Gmail. These advanced features use machine learning, which means Respondable should get smarter and more helpful as time passes (natural language processing is approaching the accuracy of humans!) It might all sound very technical, but we designed Respondable to improve your email experience without any hinderance. Calculations are all done in the background to prevent any slowdown of Gmail or Outlook. (For those interested in how this all works, we’ll be blogging a more technical overview soon.)

Try Respondable in GmailTry Respondable in Outlook

We’re incredibly excited about these new features! There are two major reasons why.

First, a lot of recent news coverage about artificial intelligence has focused on the possibilities that machines can someday replace humans. Respondable doesn’t try to write important emails on your behalf. Instead, it helps you unlock your creativity. It’s an editor that works alongside you – and one that you can and should ignore when your judgment says otherwise.

Second, we’re excited about the prospect of using machine learning to provide actionable writing advice based on data. Historically, authors of writing style guides have not had access to large amounts of data or had the tools to process it. Our company library includes a dog-eared copy of Strunk and White, and we don’t see ourselves throwing that out. Still, this is the first time in history that anyone has ever been able to get an unbiased, data-driven, real-world view into what kind of writing is *actually* effective. And it’s the first time in history that there has been a way to bring that analysis to bear on your own writing in an accessible way. We hope you’ll find it illuminating – as we’ve been testing it, we certainly have.

Please take Respondable for a spin, share it with friends, and let us know what you think!

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