People have been saying it for years: AdWeek, PC World, Wired, Bloomberg Business Week. Everybody has a laundry list of reasons why Email is Dead or Dying. The reality is that, like every other medium, email is evolving…Email is alive and kicking. But email is not only alive and well, it is driving engagement and revenue in ways most of its would-be-usurpers could only dream about.
Here’s what they say:
- IM and Closed Systems like Facebook are supplanting email
- Millennials don’t do email
- Bloated inboxes diminish engagement
- Email is not collaborative
- Mobile is moving us away from email
- Email doesn’t convert
Here’s what’s actually happening:
It’s “email and” not “email or:” The arrival of new tools does not mean that the old ones are broken. Facebook, IM, etc are on the rise, but that just means more arrows in the marketing quiver. 94% of all online adults use email. Social media users are over 60% more likely to check email at least four times a day than those who don’t use social media (source), and email—not their own platforms—is the channel that social networks turn to to nurture and re-engage their users.
Millennials do do email (they just do it a little differently). 75% of all 12-17 year olds use email. 85.7 percent of Millennials use email on their mobile phone and, to date, more have made purchases directly from a mobile marketing email than any other generation.
Email can be smarter: sure, inboxes are unwieldy and bloated, but it’s foolish to think that that’s an unsolvable problem. We want always-on communication, and most people manage their inboxes more effectively than their social networks.
Email can be part of a many collaborative ecosystems. Many, if not most, collaboration and project management tools, such as Jira or Basecamp use email, especially if they need to connect different working groups (e.g. designers and developers). There are also a number of really smart platforms that specifically facilitate better collaboration via email (Grexit, Zimbra)
Mobile and email are best buds: 65 percent of marketing emails were opened on mobile devices during the last quarter of 2013.
Email has stronger ROI than social, and that trend doesn’t appear to be changing. Social Media is a fantastic engagement channel, but it’s not really in the same league when it comes to reach, usage, or flexibility.
Email is here to stay. Bad email is not. The onus is on marketers to make sure the medium continues to evolve. Email is alive and kicking.