AI-based email reply Chrome extensions are now available to assist with writing email replies. This is a logical early step in the journey to make AI accessible to everyone, as it is a writing-based problem. Replying to email is often a tiresome task with little to show for it, and many replies do not require complex writing, making it a suitable task for machines. After testing a range of such extensions, it is recommended that they be used to reduce the time spent on email replies and help reach inbox zero.
I evaluated AI/ChatGPT email reply tools based on four criteria:
- Time savings: The tool should save time as promised and not require extensive prompts or editing. I look for efficiency, ease of integration into my workflow, and accurate output.
- Writing quality: The AI's writing should be of good quality and reflect well on me. It should avoid sounding like an inexperienced high school student.
- User interface and experience: The tool should have a smooth and intuitive interface, requiring minimal clicks to get the response.
- Cost: I consider the pricing model and whether it's reasonable. If it's a paid tool, it should not force me to add branding to my emails.
In my evaluation, I used each tool to write a reply to a cold email inquiry to reject it politely but firmly. Here are the five best AI and ChatGPT email reply Chrome extensions currently available.
I checked out Ellie - it's a handy tool for your Gmail that makes writing emails a breeze. You get three buttons for tone, "interested"/"not interested" options, and a dropdown for adding more context to your reply. I tried it out and selected "casual" and "not interested" - the output was pretty spot on and felt like it was written by a human. Plus, you can even revise sentences in the email by highlighting and clicking the "revise" button.
The downside is the cost - it's one of the pricier options out there. The free plan only gives you 2 emails a day, and 10 emails per day will cost you $16/month. Want 100 emails per day? That'll set you back $29/month. And keep in mind, revisions also count against your daily quota. So if you revise an email 5 times, that's 6 emails gone. It could get a bit stressful trying to keep track of your quota if you're using Ellie regularly.
Compose AI is a Y Combinator startup that's got some investment and a pretty decent user base, with over 50k downloads on the Chrome store.
It does more than just giving you one-click email replies (although it does that too), it can also write new emails from prompts, add autocomplete suggestions on most websites, and even change the way you write or its own writing.
For the purposes of this comparison, let's focus on the reply feature.
Compose AI adds three options at the bottom of an email to give you one-click replies.
Here's the result. They've got that blue dot with way too much shadow to access their menu.
And if you highlight text, you get options to change the tone, rephrase, lengthen, or shorten it.
Compose AI's writing quality wasn't outstanding, but it gives you plenty of options to tweak it. Although, if you're spending a lot of time fixing it, it's not really saving you time, right? The interface could use some work, but a little design effort could make it look better in no time.
The best part? It's completely free...for now. The company is funded by investors, so someone will have to pay eventually. We have no clue what the business model will be, but there will be one at some point.
Email Triager - A Different Approach to Watch in Future
Email Triager is taking a unique approach to save your time with AI-powered email replies, which makes it worth keeping an eye on. Currently, it's in a closed beta and I haven't received an invite yet after applying two and a half weeks ago. But from what I've seen in the demo, I'm eager to try it out.
With Email Triager, you can set up automations ahead of time. For example, you can tell it to automatically respond with a "no" if someone asks to buy a link on your website. Or, like they show in their demo, you can set up an automation to handle coffee invitations.
Then, Email Triager keeps an eye on your inbox and when it sees an email that matches your criteria, it automatically writes a draft reply. This way, when you check your email, even on mobile, many of your emails will already have AI-written replies ready to go.
This could be a real time-saver if it works as promised. All you need to do is spend 10 minutes setting up a few automations, and Email Triager will take care of the rest.
ChatGPT Writer: An Option to Integrate ChatGPT into Gmail (with Limitations)
ChatGPT Writer is an extension that allows you to bring the power of ChatGPT directly into Gmail. To use this extension, you need to have a ChatGPT account. With this extension, you can input an entire email and give it a prompt for a reply. The output is generated by ChatGPT and can be inserted into the Gmail reply window with a click of a button.
One advantage of ChatGPT Writer is that it allows for longer responses compared to other AI reply tools. This extension is currently free, as long as ChatGPT remains free.
However, there are some limitations to keep in mind. The biggest one being that you can only interact with ChatGPT once. The best way to get the desired output from ChatGPT is to have a back-and-forth conversation, refining the results. This is not possible with this extension, which only generates brand new independent drafts.
For example, if you generate a list of five reasons, you won't have the option to say "replace number 5 with a different reason." You would have to generate five new reasons from scratch.
Another limitation is ChatGPT's capacity limitation. There may be times when you are unable to use this extension due to capacity issues.
Remail: The Solution for Quick One-Line Responses
Remail is the best tool for saving time when it comes to quick one-line responses. It adds three buttons to Gmail - Positive, Negative, or Custom Response (where you can type a short prompt). This tool is the fastest way to generate many possible responses.
Remail provides three possible replies, which can be easily refreshed for more options. The quality of the writing is good and the responses are short, making it ideal for quick yes or no replies.
Remail offers a free plan with 50 emails and limited features, which includes branding in the emails. There are also low-cost plans starting at $5/month for 100 emails, a pro plan for $19/month for 500 emails, and a pro plus plan for $49/month with unlimited emails. The pro-level plans also come with features such as scheduling, tone selection, and auto-drafting of replies without the need for manual intervention.
The pricing of Remail is similar to Ellie's, but the option for an unlimited plan at $49/month is an advantage for high-volume emailers who need to speed up their workflow. This eliminates any worries about quotas and makes the tool more cost-effective.