BOOMERANG INSIGHTS (AND YOUR 2019 YEAR IN REVIEW) ARE HERE!
How’s that saying go? Better late than never? Like you, we’ve been operating in a whole new world in 2020. Our workplaces, our homes, and our lives have all been impacted by the spread of an invisible virus. But we’re winning this battle. We’re flattening the curve, caring for each other, and making headway with the resources that we have available. We are, well and truly, all in this together.
The coronavirus has made digital communication an even bigger part of our lives, so we wanted to share some insights into how we, collectively, emailed last year. We also wanted to share some knowledge about how we can use those insights to communicate more effectively this year. We missed the western new year, and the lunar new year too, but we managed to bring this year in review email to you just in time for Thingyan. (Thingyan is the Burmese New Year — a point that will be relevant a little later in this email.)
Before we jump into the data, we know that many of you have been experimenting with different browsers, buying new devices, and generally making changes to how you work. We’re here to help.
Let’s start off by making sure that you have Boomerang installed and ready to use.
We all like to sound smart. So it’s no surprise that we make our emails more difficult than they should be. The average email is written at a 9th grade level, but data tells us that we should write like a 3rd grader. If we do, we’re 36 percent more likely to get a response!
We also found out that we’re more grouchy on Thursday, we get the most emails on Wednesday, and 57 percent of us never see inbox zero. Maybe we’re grumpy on Thursday because of all of that email we got on Wednesday…
This data all came from Insights. It’s an awesome new feature that gives you a personalized, AI-powered view into how you use email today (and how you can use it better, and how it compares to how others use it.) Insights is available to every Boomerang user, but we typically reserve some of the features to those of you on paid Boomerang plans. For the next 7 days, we’re opening up the paid features to everyone!
The artificial intelligence behind Insights tells you about the tone of your emails and how likely you are to get a response. We let you know how much email you get and how you organize it too. As you look through your Insights dashboard you’ll see that we included some tips and education based on research that we’ve done over the past decade.
Did you find any surprises? What other information would you like to see? We’d love to hear from you, so feel free to reply to this email.
New Features in Boomerang for iOS
You asked, we listened, and we added a wealth of new features to Boomerang for iOS in 2019.
If you’re anything like us, you have quite a few different email addresses that you use for different purposes. Unified Inbox brings all of their inboxes into one display, letting you manage all your emails across all your accounts from a single location.
The iPad is a great device, and Boomerang is now a great iPad app! The iPad’s bigger screen size makes landscape mode even better than on the iPhone. The split-pane view helps you do more work faster by supporting multitasking.
Whether you’re on a flight, riding the subway, or just dealing with spotty service, Offline Mode lets you handle email on your device without a connection. Once you’re back on a solid signal, Boomerang goes right back to normal and synchronizes all of the work that you did while offline.
Share via Boomerang
Someone sent you a great meme via text message, and you want to email it to your team? Now you can choose Boomerang from your share menu and save yourself a step. Oh sure, you could use it for important things like work, but why let a good cat picture go to waste?
TWO New Schools in Burma!
When Alex, Moah, and Mike founded Boomerang back in 2010 they made a promise to themselves — if they ever made a profit, we would donate part of it to educational efforts in Moah’s native home of Burma. Because of you we have been able to keep that promise. In 2013 we donated the funds to build the first of those schools, and 2019 allowed us to finance the building of two new ones, bringing our total to six.
Our first project of 2019, in Ho Lain, is complete and will have students starting in June of this year. This will be the first time that children can attend middle school in their village.
The second school, in Gam Ngai, was started in early March. Today, students in Gam Ngai have to ride over two hours in a four-wheel-drive vehicle to reach the nearest high school. Most families are not able to afford this transportation, and the local government did not have the funds available to build a school. After this school is built, it will be the first high school in a seven-village district, allowing students to finish their education while still remaining with their families.
Doing Better, Together
Our mission to help out our communities has led us on some interesting journeys. From donating food and helping to pack and distribute it through Second Harvest Food Bank, to sorting holiday gifts at the Family Giving Tree, we’re dedicated to making positive changes at home. 2019 brought about an opportunity for us to fund a “dream shot” related to climate change.
We had some remaining budget after helping to build the schools in Ho Lain and Gam Ngai, so we went looking for somewhere else that we could help.
Climate change is a subject that is near to our hearts, and we wanted to put resources toward research in areas that are the least-funded and highest-risk. Experimentation and innovation are at the heart of what we do, and without them Boomerang wouldn’t exist.
Dr. Ken Reardon is the Professor & Associate Department Head of Colorado State University’s Chemical & Biological Engineering department. His team has been working on using genetically-engineered algae to capture carbon. The ultimate goal is to not only capture carbon from the atmosphere, but to then use that captured carbon in a positive way – like making fuels or inputs for chemical manufacturing.
In March of this year, Dr. Reardon visited the Boomerang offices in Mountain View and shared their progress with us. We were delighted to see that they’ve already started making progress on a prototype of an artificial leaf – algae grown on a thin film that takes in carbon dioxide and generates useful precursor chemicals.
We’re excited to continue funding the team’s research, and for what this can mean on a large scale in the future. Globally, less than two-tenths of one percent of the world’s GDP goes toward funding public clean energy research and development. Removing carbon from the atmosphere has traditionally been seen as inefficient, but we’re hoping this new research can show that there are viable methods and good ways to put the captured carbon to use.
What’s Coming in 2020
In 2020, we’ll continue to improve the products that you love, and bring you new features that we hope you’ll find delightful. Here’s a sample of what you will see this year:
Our mission has always been about productivity, and adding scheduling features to Boomerang will help you to do more, faster. Boomerang for Outlook users already have Scheduling features enabled, but now we’re improving them and bringing them into Boomerang for Gmail as well. No more going back and forth to find free times. With Scheduling, you simply click a button to share your schedule, and then your recipient can click on the time that works best for them.
Would you like to be the first to see new updates and help us make them even better? The Boomerang Insiders program is for you! You will get early access to new and improved features, and all we ask in return is that you let us know how they’re working for you. Ready to be a Boomerang Insider?
Boomerang for iOS is getting recurring messages, smarter notifications for the emails that matter most, and translation into even more languages. We’re also working on a dark mode for the iOS app so those late-night email sessions won’t leave you squinting. Oh, and Scheduling features are coming to the iOS app too!
When we started planning for this email, the world was dramatically different than what it is now. Our team has been fully remote and working from home since the second week of March, and we’re adapting to new challenges. Our singular focus has always been on making your life easier. If there are ways that our team or our products can help you to weather this storm, please let us know.
Stay productive, but above all else stay safe and stay healthy.
The Boomerang Team