Monday, June 8, 2009

Adding Avatars to Email Increases Response Rates

Social web design aficionado Joshua Porter reports that Rypple, a client of his that manages enterprise idea feedback systems to increase workplace creativity and productivity, noticed a 15-20% increase in email response rate when users personalized their messages by including basic avatars representing themselves.

Joshua commented: That’s some food for thought…there aren’t many ways to increase response rates that much that easily…this also adds another data point to the importance of avatars in social design.

Combine this data point with Seriosity's finding that basic email token systems can dramatically increase the rate of email consumption and it becomes clear that 1) there is still great room for improvement in our email systems, which bodes well for new forms of messaging like the potentially breakthrough Google Wave, and 2) much of that innovation will occur through systems that can most quickly provide the email consumer with a rich snapshot of data (micro-topsight) that convinces them to invest their time in consuming and/or replying to a message.

The recent spurt of email innovations is a necessary systemic response to the explosion of messaging, feeds and general information directed at every web-using human, a welcome development that will increase the quality of our communication in the face of growing volume. By adding more structure to our micro-communications we will triumph over data overload.

At the same time, the new interfaces and protocols that we adopt to communicate more quickly and effectively will change our culture in ways that most hard-tech focused futurists have not yet explored.

Even as human entrepreneurs move onto new systems and innovation phase space, the global brain continues to evolve its most basic mechanisms.

About Alvis Brigis

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Alvis Brigis is a media specialist and futurist residing in California. Most recently, he was Story Producer on History Channel’s Invention USA and Executive Producer for The Future of Facebook, the first Open Foresight project to be funded and released to the public. He’s produced and written for TV networks including NBC, VH1, THC and Sundance Channel. Brigis co-founded Future Scanner (a prediction harvesting tool), Swarmado (a mobile content-sharing app for events) and has developed a variety of forward-looking startups. He serves on the advisory board of Acceleration Studies Foundation and blogs about the social side of accelerating change at Social Node. He’s also an avid sci-fi, comedy and quest adventure writer + co-creator of animated silicon valley satire Steve Ice.