Email is Alive and Well

Everyone loves to pontificate about the death of email. It’s been dead or dying now for the past 15 years, with some other shiny object ready to takes its place as the de facto global communications medium. Not only has email not died, it continues to gain momentum. All one needs to do is read the trade press and, almost daily, you are bound to see news about email. Email, in fact, is so important that in the last 6 months two companies (Oracle & Salesforce.com) have spent $4B buying email companies…FAR from dead, I’d say. The other problem with the seemingly endless number of pundits declaring email dead is their lack of any real world data. Let’s take Bill Carmody’s Bloomberg Businessweek article for the Management Blog as a perfect example; these are Bill’s claims:

  1.  Millennials consider e-mail passé and do everything they can to avoid it. As the influence of this next generation of decision-makers grows, the value of e-mail communication will decline.
  2. The average corporate user spends more than two hours a day reading and responding to an average of 114 e-mails. It’s clear that our inboxes are becoming bloated, inefficient, and unmanageable.
  3. E-mail is neither social nor collaborative. The rise of social media has made it painfully obvious just how inefficient e-mail can be when trying to share information or collaborate with colleagues.

Let’s spend some time dissecting each one:

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  1.  This is simply not true. 95% of Millennials check their email when bored according to AOL Research. Research shows that for EVERY single age group, email preferred way to connect with brands.
  2. Why is that clear? We get lots of email because that is the way we communicate in today’s world. Simply delete what you do not want to read. People do that every single day and the world still turns and people still turn to email to get their jobs done. I cannot imagine a workplace without the use of email, I can’t even imagine you’d be able to get a job without an email address.
  3. Email is more social than social. Is not only bigger than every single social channel combined. New research shows that 70% of ALL content sharing happens via email. People communicate and share with each other via email, not social. 
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