On this edition of out to Lunch, Peter Ricchiuti and Christiaan Mader discuss the daily ritual of deleting email, but not dog dating email.

Email You Don’t Want to Delete

Opening this segment of Out to Lunch, Peter says, “I’m always wary of hosts of shows like this who start off a story with, “If you’re like me…”  But I’m willing to go for it right now, because I bet there is one thing we have in common. If you’re like me, you checked your email today, and went down the list going delete, delete, delete, delete. The email from Amazon trying to sell you something you bought last week. The email from some company you can’t remember – maybe they were the people you bought those flip flops from… It’s like this every day, right?”

Now picture this. A marketing email from a company that sends you information about something you’re actually interested in. Maybe it’s the flip flop company, but they’re not sending you information about flip flops, they’re telling you about an advance in Alzheimer’s research, which you actually are interested in. Or a recipe for chocolate cake, which, strangely enough, you were just thinking about baking.

This would brighten your whole email experience. And on the other side of the equation, if you’re the company sending the email, your clients will actually open the email, read it, and appreciate you. That’s how the A.I-driven email marketing company RASA.io works.

If you’re thinking, “Well, that’s a great idea,” it’s way past the idea stage. Rasa.io has 20 employees and they send out 15 million emails a month.

Jared Loftus - email you won't delete

Jared Loftus – email you won’t delete

Jared Loftus is Chief Operations Officer at Rasa.io. The secret to the success of these A.I-generated emails is their personalization. Peter says, “Suppose Christiaan and I bought the same flip flops, but I’m interested in brass bands and the oil business, and Christiaan is interested in progressive jazz and football. We both get email from the same flip flop company, but the emails we get are tailored to our specific interests.”

The obvious question is, “How does a flip flop company know all this about me?” Where is this information coming from that allows a company to target clients so specifically? It’s a fascinating concept and a fascinating company. Almost as fascinating as dog dating.

Dog Dating

We’re still feeling the effects of the lockdown. There are two segments of the population that the lockdown had a big effect on: dogs, and single people who like to go on dates. If you’re a dog, the lockdown was awesome – you had company 24 hours a day. If you’re human, single, and looking for somebody to date, well, the lockdown was challenging.

Leigh d'Angelo - creator of the dog lover's dating app (now for cat lovers too!)

Leigh d’Angelo – creator of the dog lover’s dating app (now for cat lovers too!)

In the Venn Diagram of those two populations, dogs and daters, you can add Leigh Isaacson D’Angelo. Leigh is neither a dog, nor dating – she’s a married human, with a business called DIG.

DIG is a dating app for dog owners. The concept is, if you love your dog, and dogs in general, it’s good to weed out – at the very beginning of the dating process – potential partners who don’t like dogs. And DIG is big. It’s on the ground in 15 cities across the country. The biggest DIG communities are in New York and Los Angeles, and they’re about to break into Europe.

And breaking news! DIG is expanding into animal loving world, with Tabby, the cat person’s dating app!

Dog dating and A.I. generated email on Out to Lunch

Peter Ricchiuti, Christiaan Mader, Jared Loftus, Leigh d’Angelo

Photos by Jill Lafleur. For more conversations about dogs, check out this classic conversation about nutria dog treats, pampered pets, and prosthetics for pets.