Boomerang launches machine learning email composition tool Respondable

Writing emails that get responses is a valuable skill - but it is hard to determine what makes an email likely to get a response. Boomerang thinks its new tool has the answer for businesses.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Mountain View, CA based Boomerang has launched its Respondable feature. Users can get real-time analysis of their emails as they write them, while offering suggestions for how to improve the message before they send it to ensure it gets a response.

Boomerang launches machine learning email composition tool Respondable ZDNet

There are certain sure-fire ways to ensure your email gets read according to Boomerang. There is a 53 percent response to emails written at a 3rd grade reading level. However, emails sent at a college reading level only get a response 39 percent of the time.

Short emails work. The best length of email is between 50 - 125 words. These are responded to 50 percent of the time. Short subject lines are better too, as do asking one to three questions in the email.

If you write with a slight emotional slant, be sure to temper your tone. Moderately negative emails receive a 13 percent uplift compared to neutral emails. Happy emails elicit a 15 percent uplift.

The app brings those tips into an interactive format, utilizing a set of curated factors to provide a probabilistic estimate of response rate for each email a user writes.

Its machine learning algorithms have been trained from tens of millions of emails to determine a broad set of factors that contribute to an email's probability of a response.

As users write emails, algorithms predict the likelihood that the message will receive a response and explain that analysis to the user.

It has been designed to act in concert with a human as they work. It layers several techniques together.

It uses deep learning and neural networks for textual analysis, and boosted decision trees which work best for assigning weights to outputs across neural networks.

The tool can remind you to follow up with someone after your initial email or send an email automatically. The email can resurface at the top of your inbox if it has not been responded to, or enable you to schedule a meeting from within an email message.

The app provides actionable suggestions on how to improve messages from that perspective, helping millions of people communicate more effectively.

Emails are graded based on factors such as subject length and word count, reading level and question count. It also covers sentiment, politeness and subjectivity of the email.

Respondable aims to be an artificial intelligence app that aims to curate human capabilities and creativity in a work environment, rather than replace it.

Boomerang Respondable will be included with Boomerang for Gmail and for Outlook.

It will be available for all existing Boomerang users who use Gmail, Google Apps and Microsoft Office365 or Outlook.com. New users will receive Respondable when they install Boomerang.

Aye Moah, Chief of Product, Boomerang said: "Unlike applications that seek to use technology to replace humans, our philosophy is to enhance human creativity with assistance from artificial intelligence in a manner that puts humans in control."

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