Naysayers are always signalling that the death of email is on the horizon. It’s all about social media and instant messaging now! Email as a medium has had it’s reputations severely tarnished over the years through scandals and the stream of spam we all receive every day. However, we’d argue that most of the complaints levelled at email are about how it is used rather than what it is, which is a system of communicating online.
What does email do? Simply put, it sends electronic messages of varying length and complexity to various recipients, with or without media attached, quickly and easily. Instant messaging and text messages don’t let you do this. Plus. think about how often you have to follow up a phone call with an email.
So, what actually is out there that replaces email? Cloud-based storage like Dropbox? This is great for sending large files, but you still need to send an email to someone giving them access. Then, there are project management applications that supposedly are designed to replace email in the workplace such as Asana and Basecamp. However, these platforms are pretty much the same as a traditional email system and actually are more complicated to use. Email, in comparison, is remarkably simple to use.
What about social media networks, you say? Well, before you can even use one, you need an email address to actually sign in. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn….no email address means no access.
Email as a communication tool has not really changed over the years. It’s still all about results, actions to take, receiving responses and getting the job done with an easy-to-use electronic method. The only major difference is that email has turned into a significant marketing channel. No matter what type of marketing campaign you carry out, you can pretty much guarantee that email will play some part.
What is the future going to be like for email? Programs will change, but the core reason for using it will remain the same. We use email too much for it to suddenly disappear and other methods of online communication simply aren’t there yet. So, don’t expect email to disappear any time soon.