Will this make text messaging less needy?

By Daniel Lemky / May 17, 2021

I came across this new service called texts.com over the weekend that looks promising. If it does what it says, I may not have to hate text messaging anymore.

Text Messaging is such a needy piece of software. I don’t mean the people sending the messages. I mean the actual messaging apps. Stupid notifications that pop up irrespective of what you’re doing. No way to star messages or mark them for a response later, which feeds that underlying demand for an immediate response lest you read the message now and forget to respond altogether.

Text messaging apps literally want all of your attention and they want it right now. So needy.

Hopefully, this new service texts.com can help. They’re building an all-in-one inbox for various messaging apps (text messaging, iMessage, Signal, etc.), and also including features that I’ve been wanting for a long time in a messaging app.

I’ve always thought it’s crazy that there hasn’t been a way to mark a message as “Unread” or “Reply Later”. Who knows how many messages I’ve forgotten to reply to over the years because I’ll read a message and then don’t remember to get back to it… 🤦‍♂️.

I also love the fact that their 2nd listed feature is…

“Privacy first.”
“Messages never touch our servers. They’re sent directly to the platforms preserving end-to-end encryption. We make money by charging you a monthly subscription.”

Awesome.

Features include the ability to Archive, Snooze, and Mark messages as unread. Although, I think they need to directly address the Reply later situation and add in a “Reply Later” button. They’re probably just including the more common email-type functionality but I can’t be the only one who doesn’t want to respond to messages as soon as they come in so I think a dedicated Reply Later button would get a lot of use.

I use a service called HEY Email for my personal and work email and I like how they implemented their Reply Later feature. It’s not perfect but it’s better than the alternative, which is the hacky-type solution of marking a message as Unread (or Starring it). The problem with marking a message as unread in that situation is that the message is not unread like you’re marking it, because you literally just read it. What you’re really wanting to do is flag the message in a way that you’ll know and remember that you need to reply to it later. So a dedicated Reply Later button seems to make a lot of sense.

Anyway, I haven’t had the chance to try it out yet because it’s in an invite-only beta, but I signed up for an invite so I’m looking forward to when that comes. Let’s hope it can solve my text messaging woes and I’ll gladly kick my current needy messaging apps to the curbs.

It’s none of my business if you opened my email

By Daniel Lemky / May 7, 2021

It’s none of my business if you opened my email. And it’s none of your business if I opened yours.

Email tracking software may enable us to snoop on each other, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay. Just because I may find the information useful, that doesn’t mean it’s my business.

It’s interesting how easy we can compromise on basic ideas when it all of a sudden becomes convenient or beneficial to us. Or when it becomes the normal way of doing business.

Technology has made it far too normal to track our colleagues, prospects, and customers.

If I send you an email from an email app that tracks opens and clicks, I can see if you’re really interested in what I have to say. The app will tell me how many times you open the email and it will tell me how many times you clicked on links that I included in my email. If you’re really interested in what I had to say and happen to open it and then return to it 4 or 5 times as you go throughout your day – I can be privy to all of this. I can even enable notifications when you read my email so that I can turn my stalking up to level 9 and email you while you’re reading my email.

I can also tell if you read my email and you’re just ignoring me.

How is that acceptable? What makes us think that because we sent the email that we’re somehow entitled to know what someone does with it?

Imagine saying to someone, “I bought you a new shirt for Christmas and I also included a tracking bug that tells me how many times you wear it so that I know if you actually liked it because it’s really important to me that you like it. I was the one who gave it to you so it’s my right to know if you liked it.”

Yeah, that’s insane.

So why is it okay to snoop on how many times someone opens my email just because I sent it to them?

Well, it’s not. But it’s normal. So businesses just do it.

You send an email to a client or a prospect and you see that they read it five times – would you want them to know that they read it five times? Not really. They would feel awkward if they knew their behaviour is being watched. And, unless you’ve already gotten used it yourself, there’s even a certain level of awkwardness being on the end of watching someone’s behaviour without them knowing it – particularly if they do something outside the norm. Those are the biggest giveaways that there is some sort of invisible line that is being crossed.

Can this type of tracking information be useful? Yeah sure, to a point. But are you really going to be that person that emails them again saying, “I know you read my email – why didn’t you respond?”

I mean, if it’s in you to do that, then maybe it’s good that your prospects and customers get to see that side of you so they can run for the hills.

Sure, tracking allows you to see whether subscribers to your mailing list are opening your emails and you can tweak your email subjects to try to improve open rates. But is Open Rate really the metric that matters? There are ways to track email effectiveness without personally identifying who did and who didn’t open our emails. Isn’t the goal for signups or conversions anyway?

Just because it’s the way something is done, does not mean it’s the way it ought to be done.

That’s why our team stopped using email trackers a while ago. If a service we use (like Help Scout or Mailchimp) provides tracking, we turn it off.

We weren’t always tracker-free. Nowadays most business email tools come with tracking built-in and enabled by default and it’s easy to just get used to it. But we realized that it just isn’t any of our business what our customers do with the emails we send them. We don’t want to be tracked, so why should we be tracking others?

And honestly, it hasn’t hurt our business. More than that, we’re respecting people’s privacy the way we want our privacy respected, and that’s more important to me than knowing if they opened my email.

May the fourth is a good day to start a blog

By Daniel Lemky / May 4, 2021

It’s been a long time coming now that I’ve wanted to have a dedicated company blog. For some reason, putting the blog on the company website just didn’t feel like the right place for it. Maybe because I innately wanted the blog to have the power to live on its own with the purity of just being a blog. A blog whose posts are written by members of our team rather than a company blog.

That sounds like a good thing to me and I prefer it this way. If you want to read the blog and are interested in the things we write – great! – visit the blog, comment, and subscribe. I’d love to have you be a part of this. And if things resonate with you and you’d like to do business with us – we’re here to help.


I have a pretty good idea of what I want this blog to be. At this point, it will just be me writing. But down the road, I would like to have some other members of our team begin writing, and maybe some other guests as well.

I also have a good idea of what I don’t want this blog to be. Maybe even a better idea than what I want it to be.

What this blog won’t be is a calculated SEO or marketing campaign. There’s a place for that, but I don’t want it here. I simply want a place where we can put our ideas out for others to see and for ourselves to see. There’s something about writing that causes you to think a bit differently. It seems to cause you to solidify ideas or organize them in a way where you can step back and understand the picture a bit better. Or at least to understand your thoughts about the picture a bit better. It slows things down, and in our day, that’s a good thing.

And so here we go. Launching was not planned for today, but considering it’s May the 4th, I’m alright with how this worked out.

May the Fourth be with you.