The Art of the Effective Email Subject Line

The Art of the Effective Email Subject Line (1)


We’ve all seen email subject line horror — “Fw: Fw: Fw: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Requesting Information.” In fact, you might even have been guilty of it yourself. In our ongoing quest to make email more productive, we’re here to help. When it comes to email subject lines, there’s a better way. Here’s the SaneBox Scoop on writing much better email subject lines.

Email Reply Templates to Save You Time at Work

Email Reply Templates to Save You Time at Work


Do you love sending email? Do you adore spending time writing out very similar messages time and time again? No, neither do we. Here at SaneBox, we’re all about making email more efficient and effective. Together with our friends over at, we believe there’s one big change you can make right now that will save you tons of time, effort, and finger-fatigue — business email templates.


Here’s the SaneBox Scoop on how to set up and use email templates to create and reply to messages quickly and with minimum fuss.

The Benefits of Going Paperless — Tips for Reducing Your Paper Footprint

The Benefits of Going Paperless — Tips for Reducing Your Paper Footprint

We’ve all seen the requests at the bottom of emails, “please consider the environment before printing this email.” It’s a worthy thing, too — paper use has been increasing rapidly over the last twenty years. Here at Sanebox, we think it’s important to treat the environment with respect and minimize how we use natural resources. That’s why we put together this handy guide on minimizing your paper footprint.


Here are some practical steps you can take right now to reduce the amount of paper you’re using.

Email Reminders — Your Secret Weapon to Get Things Done

Email Reminders and March Madness — Your Secret Weapon to Get Things Done (1)


Imagine the situation — sport is your life, your passion. You spend every weekend at local games, in the evenings you voraciously consume games on ESPN. You want to take part in the company sports league. Then, something happens. Maybe you get a promotion at work, or one of your kids is sick. Perhaps you’re planning for a vacation or applying for a job, life gets in the way.

How to Write the Cover Letter Email that Lands You the Interview



The days of spending our working lives in one company are behind us. Technology advances,  competitive business, and expanding consumer choice means if you want the perfect career, you’ll need to move between organizations. With the right education, experience, and expertise, you can often find big improvements in salary, benefits, and job satisfaction.

Death to Freemium


By Dmitri Leonov – @dmitri

There’s a psychological barrier to paying online, and it needs to stop.

We pay for things in real life every day.  We don’t hesitate to drop a fifty for a tank of gas, or $4 for a cup of coffee.  But when it comes to paying for $5 for an online service that actually delivers significant value – it’s a no-no.  I’ve been guilty of this for years myself, and now that I’m sitting on the other side of Paypal,  I see the light, and have started to pay for web services that I value.

Why is this happening? Why is there a perception that everything online should be free?

Is it Google’s fault? Yes.  Google is offering a ton of services for free because it has become an incubator – it’s incubating and releasing a ton of best-in-class products, knowing that Adwords will pay for everything.  As a result, no service that Google offers will ever be able to charge money (except in France: Other internet  giants are guilty of this as well.

Is it the fault of VCs? Yes.  For venture backed companies the key to success is a large user base.  Monetization of that user base is a secondary priority. And if all else fails, you can get acquired for $1 billion.

The VC model is based on 1 home run. They don’t care if 99 of their portfolio companies fail, but as long as 1 gets sold for $1 billion, they are happy.  A decent double-digit-millions exit is not exciting to them. So when faced with a fork in the road: a) build a sustainable business with a real business model, or b) give the product away for free to grow as fast as possible, thus treating your free users as a marketing cost – the incentive is to go for option b.  Go big or go home. Or don’t raise money.

Is it your fault?  Yes.  Stop being cheap. Just because something is “virtual”, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.  Ask yourself: “Is this more valuable than a vanilla latte?”

Freemium is bad for business

In the last couple of years I’ve heard a ton of startups (myself included) answer the “How do you make money” question with “Freemium, duh!”  There are a many shiny examples of widely successful freemium companies that killed it.  But they are exceptions, and unfortunately they set a bad example.

As a business, you can’t pray that enough of free users will convert to paying customers.  The decision to go premium should be based not on philosophy, but on math.  You have to model everything out. Say without freemium you get 100 leads and convert 10% to paying customers.  You think by going freemium you could grow your number of leads by a factor of X.  But of the original 10% paying users converts, 9% would now choose the free option, and only 1% would pay.  In this case you have to be damn sure that X>10 in order for this to not destroy your business.  This is why it’s hard to make money with freemium:

Freemium is bad for the users

I’m a happy user of my friend’s service.  The service is free, although I would happily pay for it.  Earlier this week I found out that my friend is killing the product because there’s no viable business model. I was pissed.  Here’s a product that’s valuable to me, but I can’t use it.  If only these guys just charged their users, there would be no problem. (I realize I may be an exception, and there’s no actual market for this service, but that’s not the point).

The only real way for founders/investors to get ROI on free services is to sell the business. When a free(mium) service gets acquired for it’s technology, user base or talent, the users get an excited email from the CEO saying something like “We’re proud to become a part of the <insert large company name here> family!  Rest assured that our service will continue as is.”  This is the last time they hear from the CEO, who no longer gives a shit about the users.  So you get the same outcome as with my friend’s service which shut down.

Death to Freemium

This perception that stuff online should be free makes it harder and harder for new businesses to charge money for value.  If a freemium paywall happened in the real world as frequently as it does online, stuff would break pretty quickly:

“You can get 10 gallons of gas for free, but if you want more, you have to pay”

“Get a Big Mac and fries for free, but if you want a soda, you have to pay”

All these problems go away when we realize that it’s ok to pay for stuff we like. We need to apply the normal real world economics to online pricing.  Then companies can build products and charge a price commensurate with value.

PS: As I’m writing this, I’ve heard the same stupid ad on Spotify 5 times (seriously every 2 songs).  Time to drink the koolaid and pay for a premium subscription.

By Dmitri Leonov

(All opinions in this post are mine, and don’t necessarily reflect the position of SaneBox on this issue)