Tired of waiting for someone to return your email?
Tired of wondering how long you should wait to send it again?
John Genovese has the solution you're looking for.
Genovese is the co-founder of PolitePersistence, a Middletown-based startup that aims to vastly simplify email distribution by enabling users to automate follow-ups when original messages aren't answered.
Here's how it works: The user clicks on the extension and drafts a certain number of follow-up messages, to be released at chosen time intervals, if the recipient does not answer. If the recipient replies, subsequent reminders are deactivated to avoid nagging repeats.
"You can customize for each individual email," Genovese said. "Essentially you're writing your follow-up emails in one shot."
The product is initially targeted for Gmail accounts and potentially for Outlook and other services. The business aims to have the product on the market by December, available on Chrome and Firefox browsers. After two free messages, users can pay $3.99 a month for a year of unlimited service, or $4.99 on a month-to-month basis.
PolitePersistence, founded earlier this year by Genovese and his wife Paula, is targeting three groups who frequently send emails and rely on persistence for answers:
Genovese acknowledges that follow-ups can be perceived as annoying, especially among recipients used to being bombarded with daily emails. He says his business aims at individually tailored messages, not to encourage blasts, which are already limited by Gmail and other providers.
"PolitePersistence was built with the one-on-one relationship in mind," he said.
"It's not made for email marketing, and its not made to send the same email to hundreds of people."
If someone attempts to use PolitePersistence, whose name is not attached to emails users send, as a spam engine, Genovese said they are risking their own reputation.
"We can't control the messages that people send," he said. "PolitePersistence is simply an improved vessel to get your message to your recipient in a way that makes it easy for you to stay on that contact's radar."
Personal experience inspired Genovese to pursue this path.
When volunteering for a nonprofit organization whose job was to help other startup nonprofits get off the ground, Genovese found himself composing up to 300 emails a month intended for potential donors, corporate sponsors and media outlets.
The process became unwieldy.
"The problem was I didn't want to pay for email tech I didn't need with the email marketing guys, nor did I want to set 300 follow-up reminders since I would ultimately have to manually follow up again anyway," Genovese said.
"Hence, PolitePersistence was born."
The business set a goal this year of raising $15,000 in seed capital to fund technical support, which Genovese said it has mostly realized through family, friends and investors.
The company hasn't mapped out long-term revenue projections but hopes to turn a profit in 2014.
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