Fun fact: Americans spend about 329 million hours on email per month.That number doesn’t surprise me.
A public relations professional, it’s safe to say I spend at least one to two hours at work each day sending emails and conducting follow-up. Anyone who works in a communications field, be it PR, social media, or sales, likely spends just as much time as me staring at their inbox. It’s exhausting – particularly the follow-up portion, sending email after email to the same person hoping to receive a single response.
Thanks to a new tool called PolitePersistence, that time previously spent on follow-up emails can finally be spent doing actual work.
PolitePersistence is a Gmail extension, set to roll out on Chrome and potentially Firefox, allowing you to set and then forget your email follow-ups – a Godsend for someone like me who is tired of all the time wasted on email follow-up.
What’s great about PolitePersistence is that email follow-up can be completely personalized to the recipient, and the process to you.
Through a single template you can compose both your initial email and all follow-up emails, then set all the desired variables for follow-up within that email string (including send date, send time, and number of follow-ups). Once everything is set up, you click “Send and Initiate” and your emails will be sent to the recipient according to the schedule you set until he or she replies, or until you decide to cancel the emails. If a recipient does reply before all follow-ups have been sent, the system will delete all future scheduled follow-ups. It’s that simple.
Other tools on the market like MailChimp, Boomerang, and Aweber provide aspects of PolitePersistence’s offering, but PolitePersistence is the first company of its kind to actually automate the follow-up process, and create a continual, one-to-one dialogue between sender and recipient.
According to co-founder John Genovese, “PolitePersistence is the structured email system you wish you always had,” and I’m inclined to agree with him. Though I haven’t personally spent a lot of time using tools as an assistant to my email (yes, I still do it all by hand), I imagine the relief I’d feel on a daily basis knowing that all my email follow-up is already set.
PolitePersistence launches a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo beginning September 23 to raise funds for development and technical costs, and Genovese hopes to get the finalized PolitePersistence app into the hands of users by December of this year.
I hope PolitePersistence manages to reach their funding goal because I’m ready to hand off those email follow-ups to someone else.
Rachael Genson is an Account Executive at INK Public Relations in Austin, Texas. Tweet her at @rmgenson.