A free startup idea – EMAIL DAILY DIGEST

I get a lot of email. Perhaps 200 messages in a day to my work email address and another 50 or so to my personal. No doubt many of you think that isn’t much compared to your own situation which only further highlights how ridiculous email overload is. So here is a Naked and Famous doing “Girls Like You” followed by a free business idea I’ll call “Email Daily Digest”.

– There are messages I want to receive. (Jokes, articles, purchase orders)

– There are messages I need to receive. (Bills, Work action items, etc.)

– There are messages I neither want nor need. (Spam).

– And there are messages that I might want or might need but that do not require any urgency whatsoever.

There is an opportunity in the final type of message on the list. Here’s why…

On most mornings I wake up to approximately 25 emails. These are emails that have been sent between the time I went to bed and the time I woke up so they are either critically urgent business emails (1 or 2), musings/articles/jokes from friends and family (2 or 3), or auto-emails from services I signed up for once upon a time. Site’s like Groupon and Woot and Living Social and OneKingsLane send out their daily offering email overnight. Yelp and Expedia and AMerican Airlines and LinkedIn send messages throughout the day.

These are messages I might be interested in. But one of the problems is that they reach me at odd times. If I wake up to a Groupon offer I like but I haven’t even gotten dressed and made coffee yet, then I am tasked with remembering to buy the offer later in the day when I reach my computer. If I get something from Yelp or Expedia – which is much more passive in selling me something – then I might not read it at all.

The problem is not the content of the messages but rather the context with which they reach me. I don’t care to learn what Yelpers think is the best steakhouse in Austin when it’s 11am on a Tuesday and I’m stuck in a meeting. I don’t have any need for Travelocity’s “Cancun Getaway!” promotion when it’s 9am on a Saturday and my daughter wants to have a tea party. While some might say, “just ignore the message until a more convenient time!” I would offer that most people who check their email on mobile devices (which is a rapidly growing segment of the population) check messages almost immediately as they come in and decide right then what to do with the message. If I’m at dinner and here my iPhone *ding* there is a good chance that I will check the messages within the hour. And there is a 100% chance that I will answer or delete the message right then.

So here is the idea:

Most email services allow users to tag or label messages. Most email services allow users to forward or filter messages as well. So all of the Groupon messages can be sent to a specific folder called “Daily Deals” already. Why not take this powerful feature a step forward and allow a user to not only filter the messages but also aggregate them and schedule their delivery. In other words, send me one email a day at a time I select that reads like a bullet-pointed list of all the messages I might want to see but rarely read.

I imagine getting a single email at 5:30pm (after my workday but when I’m still likely around a computer in case I need to respond or buy something). The subject line could be “Daily Email Digest for MM/DD/YYYY”. I’d open it and have a list like this…

    Groupon – 50% off Pizza at Mangia
    Living Social – $10 off a Car Wash at Genie Car Wash
    Woot – HP Pavilion Desktop for $320

Social and Groups

    Linked In – Austin Tech Group
    Linked In – Semiconductor Sales Group
    WorkFeeds – Technology News Group
    Yelp! – Austin’s Best Sushi!


    American Airlines Supersaver rates this week
    Care.com – New message from Care.com
    Caring Bridge – Update


Make each line a link and if I click on it, it takes me to the message. Let me pick what time I get the message. Let the message send all the “stuff” I have it controlling from the previous 24 hours. The market opportunity is vast, and over time even more controls and notifications can be added. The charge would have to be nominal, but I imagine a thirty day free trial would show enough value for a person to pay $10/year for the service.

There are companies trying to completely redefine the email inbox. There are companies trying to solve email overload by making filtering and forwarding much easier and more efficient. But to my knowledge, no one is working on making DELIVERY more efficient.

So, there you go…


One Response

  1. I had the similar idea and actually create a web site: http://www.pencilmail.com. if you don’t mind, you can give it a try. It’s still in it’s early stage and wondering how to make it bigger and profitable. any comment is appreciated.

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