So yes this is a shocking headline, but amazingly enough after googling, (yes that is a word), “Is Email Dead” there were several articles, blogs and even research papers stating both that yes email is dead and no, when used in a certain manner, it is not dead. So why the headline “Email is DEAD”?
Well lately I have been seeing several emails from email marketers stating why email is better than social media. There was a recent tweet by Chris Brogan that stated “Email marketing is the #1 conversion and revenue tool for my business. I have 10x the followers and blog subs, but I get 10x MORE sales via my smallest channel, my newsletter. Email is FAR more responded to than just tweets. He also stated in a tweet…”When people tell me kids don’t read email, first, bullshit. That’s how FB tells them they were tagged in whatever…” Now I am a big fan of Chris. I met him right after he came out with his co authored book ‘Trust Agent’. And I do value what he has to say.
But based on my own research and working with Universities email is changing. There is still a place for it but it is changing. A few stats for supporting the theory that email is changing.
Many students don’t even want a college e-mail address these days because they already have well-established digital identities before they arrive on campus. That’s the conclusion that officials at Boston College came to in a recent review of their online services. So the college recently decided to stop offering full e-mail accounts to incoming students starting next fall.
EDUCAUSE’s annual survey of 930 higher-education institutions showed that about 10 percent of respondents are considering getting rid of student eMail accounts. For doctoral institutions, the number is 25 percent.
So you might ask yourself where are the student’s getting their information? They are still checking their current emails like gmail, hotmail and others but on mobile devices. Universities are allowing them to move university emails to one of these services or getting rid of emails all together and creating text messaging for important notices. The point is they are not trying to change their behavior they are trying to reach the students where they are already spending time. This is on platforms like FB, Twitter, Bebo and yes folks, MySpace is coming back. So whether it is a text, a post on one of these platforms or an email account forwarded to another service the message is clear that our email world is changing.
So why are email marketers and others promoting email? Well it is my belief that corporate america changes slowly. I’m not disagreeing with Chris and others that email is still a valid marketing tool, but that the climate is changing. I sat next to a gentleman that works for one of the email providers at a conference not too long ago and this topic came up. His response was that email will always be around, I’m not so sure. But his argument was that once Gen Y get’s into the workforce they will be forced to work on email. Guess what folks…he’s wrong. Gen Y will choose where they work and what they do based on their current behaviors not the behaviors of corporate america. If you don’t believe me ask Readers Digest why they are going bankrupt; well it is because they did not adapt to the new marketplace and the new consumer. Email companies are trying to adapt and change. But I hold to the belief that Email is not Social Media…Period. No matter how loud these companies keep yelling and saying that it is.
I’ve put off writing this blog because I know it will ruffle some feathers but those feathers are due to be ruffled. The bottom line is that behavior’s have changed and corporate america must change with these new behaviors. The status-quo is no more and email is just a small piece of how the new customer, employee and vendor is changing the way they want to be communicated with by companies. Think about how much of your email you don’t read because you consider it spam. Now think about the last few texts, notifications and posts you’ve actually read from platforms you are already on.
Just something to think about…
Les Adkins is the CEO of Orange SMS Consulting and an International Social Business Strategist, speaker, consultant and author. Bringing strategy and whole brain thinking to creative campaigns and social media through his work. Please follow @mysylbert and connect on LinkedIn Join us on FB and Google+ as well.