Boomerang for Gmail creators launch Respondable to help you write better emails using A.I.

Expanded view shown in Boomerang Respondable, highlighting real-time analysis of the email and what's needed to make it more appealing.


The battle over how to make our lives more productive continues to wage on, especially on the email front. For Baydin, it has spent the past 6 years helping people bring some normalcy to their inbox through its Boomerang for Gmail plugin which provided a scheduled approach — specify when you want to send or receive email. But solving distribution is just one part of the equation as the next part is just how do you create impactful communications so that it requires fewer emails to be sent.

Enter Boomerang Respondable, a plugin for Gmail and Outlook that uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to not only predict email replies, but suggestions on how to improve your writing and striking the right tone. Integrated directly into the Compose window of the support email client, this feature analyzes your writing style, such as word count, politeness, subjectivity, question count, and reading level to help get the point across.

Gmail does have its Smart Reply feature which offers prepackaged email responses, but Respondable doesn’t compete with it. Baydin’s tool isn’t a quick auto-responder. It provides real-time suggestions on how to improve your writing, but it doesn’t interfere with your creativity or even put words in your mouth.

Recommendations from Boomerang Respondable on how to improve the chances of your email receiving a response.

Above: Recommendations from Boomerang Respondable on how to improve the chances of your email receiving a response.

Image Credit: Baydin/Boomerang

When implemented, Respondable scores your message based on the likelihood of you receiving a response and a variety of aforementioned factors. If one of these factors are ranked in an extreme, the plugin will provide custom advice on how to improve it, meaning that the suggestions given won’t always be the same for every person, but is customized based on the current circumstances.

Baydin chief of product Aye Moah explained that this feature will be beneficial to users for two reasons: “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 samples of data about what kind of writing is effective…Second, 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.”

To use this feature, install the plugin for both Google and Outlook and it should work across all of your email addresses. Baydin said although it’s analyzing your email, it doesn’t transmit any message data anywhere for any reason. However, if you elect to use Respondable’s advanced machine learning features, Boomerang will pass along message data using enterprise-grade encryption, analyze it on a secure server, and pass it back through encrypted communication channels. All data is “immediately discarded” from the company’s servers.

Respondable is free to use, but if you’re interested in more advanced parameters, it’ll require a subscription to Baydin’s Boomerang for Gmail’s pro and premium plans starting at $15 per user per month. The company explained that it’s because these features need more complex implementations of machine learning done in real time, which is “expensive to provide.”

Users will only be able to use this feature on the desktop. “The vast majority of [users] wait to write important emails on desktop clients whenever possible,” Moah stated. “We’ve constructed the service in a way that will make it easy to bring to our Android and upcoming iPhone apps if users request it, though.”

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