Is Gmail (or Outlook) your favourite email tool that you use for business every day? I love Gmail because it’s simple, fast, and clutter-free. But it does have some serious limitations if you’re really serious about your business.
For instance, you never know if the recipient has received or read your email. You cannot schedule emails to send later or set automatic reminders. Most importantly, when the number of emails crosses a certain threshold, it becomes a pain to follow up on each email. As a result, many potentially profitable conversations can slip through the cracks and get lost. Not if you’re using Boomerang.
What is Boomerang
Boomerang is one of those plugins that puts native Gmail on steroids. It’s a simple add-on that installs in seconds and makes your life much easier. No more sending messages in the dark or losing track of the important emails—Boomerang allows you to do almost everything you always wished you could do with Gmail.
- Schedule messages to send them at a later date and time
- Schedule recurring messages
- Find out when the recipient hasn’t opened your message
- Find out if the recipient has clicked on the link that you sent in the email
- Follow up on all emails including those that haven’t been opened, clicked, or replied
Boomerang comes with another built-in tool called Respondable, which assists you in composing emails that have better chances of getting a response. Respondable analyzes your email’s subject line and message to determine its “respondability.” It will tell you if your text is too long or too short or too difficult to read…or if it lacks a question or two that could make it more interesting. Pro and Premium members can use the advanced machine-learning features to further refine their emails.
Benefits and Features
The best thing about Boomerang is that it has an almost non-existent learning curve. You can install and master it in minutes. Most of the functionalities are free, but you’ll need a paid account if you want to track more than 10 emails a month. So, you’ll invariably need the paid version (starting at a negligible USD4.99) if you’re really going to put Boomerang to good use.
When you install it and click the Boomerang icon on your browser, the app’s control panel will be displayed with every email you compose. Simply use the “Send Later” button at the bottom to schedule the email to be sent at a later time. So, if you don’t want to disturb a client in the evening by beeping her with your email message, and you want to send the message because tomorrow is going to be a busy morning, just schedule it for the next morning and get it off your mind. Handy to let you work evenings and weekends without your clients knowing!
At the bottom of the Send Later menu, you have the “Schedule recurring message” option. You can schedule recurring messages, for example, if you are a bookkeeper, you can send a monthly email to remind your clients to send you their bank statement.
To the right of it, you can find a small “Boomerang ” sign with a checkbox. It’s a powerful feature that you can use in a variety of ways. You can Boomerang a message that you are composing to reappear at the top of your inbox if the recipient does not open, reply or click the message in the period of time that you specify.
You can also Boomerang an important but low priority email for the next week, when you’ll need to take action on it. Just click the Boomerang icon at the top of the email and click “In 1 week”. That email will disappear from your inbox and resurface after a week, or at the time that you have specified. You’ll see a “Boomerang-Returned” with that email.
Finally, you can also use the Boomerang feature to bring up any webpage, video, or photo that you want. Suppose you read an article while waiting at the dentist and want it to prepare a presentation in the morning. Press the Boomerang icon in your browser’s toolbar to Boomerang that webpage to the top of your Gmail the next morning (or whenever). You’ll receive an email containing the URL of that page.
Who Should Use Boomerang
Boomerang is a must-have if you send or reply to a large number of emails and need to follow up with your clients regularly. For example, you can Boomerang a proposal to return to you in a week if the client has not replied by that time, so you can send your follow-up email. I use it to send reminders to clients when I need them to approve content to be posted on their website.
It’s the weapon of choice for the B2B marketer, but it’s equally good for customer service and as a personal reminder. It can help you stay on top of your inbox and never let an important message get lost in the void (as I write this email, I realize that I could use Boomerang to keep a few videos from aHrefs at the top of my inbox – I really want to watch them but keep forgetting as they get buried in my inbox). The most useful feature, I would say, is that you can prioritize messages to the top of your inbox at a specified date and time, when they require your attention. That means you can schedule a high-priority message to be in your inbox the next morning, and you can make a low priority email disappear until next week or month.
Limitations and Alternatives
Boomerang will let you know if your client hasn’t opened the email in the period of time that you set, but it won’t tell you exactly when, and how many times your client opened the email. For this you need another app called HubSpot Sales. It’s a free app by HubSpot that tells you instantly when the recipient opens your email. Together, they can give you better control over your Gmail and make your email marketing much more productive. As for alternatives, you can try FollowUpThen or Laytr, but they lack the native Boomerang functionality to bring up messages that haven’t been opened in a specified amount of time.
On the whole, it’s a nifty app that you can try in under 5 minutes to see if it works for you.