To email or not to email?

SmarterPostbox with Zimbra

Is the email inbox the next postal service? On June 24, 2020, Slack declared war on email. In Tom Warren’s The Verge report the heading read “Slack promised to kill email”. We’re all thinking it “Is the email inbox the next postal service?”

With the plethora of multiple tools that can facilitate communication available, does this make email irrelevant?

Start with the original purpose of the inbox. I recall emailing was our connection to everyone, anywhere in the world. Originally used as a fast, formal way to interact with colleagues for work, communicate with customers and later as it became more widely accessible it was to communicate with friends and family for sharing updates, photos and other attachments, replacing faxes.

Inboxes are filling with bank statements, accounts, bills and ticket bookings. Notifications on any changes in settings, or apps and ad-hoc requests reflect alerts on business accounts. Slowly as businesses build their apps with fewer notifications you may prefer your inbox. Used for authentication, for signing into accounts on 3rd party websites and for password resets for everything personal to business. 

Email or Message

The Radicati Group released its findings on Email Statistics Report, 2018-2022.

  • As of 2018, there are 6.69 billion email accounts, according to Radicati Group.
  • In 2018, there are 3.823 billion email users and this is expected to increase to 4.258 billion by 2022.
  • 281 billion emails were sent and received in 2018 and this number is likely to climb to 333.2 billion by 2022.
  • 72% of individuals in the EU used emails for communication in 2017 and this number was only 48% a decade ago.

These statistics clearly show that email is not dead and is not going to die anytime soon.

Email is still effective and essential for formal business means of communication when used correctly because:

  • It remains a fastsimpleefficient and accurate for communication.
  • It increases the speedflow, and access to information.
  • It helps facilitate the resolution of issues and speed decision-making.
  • It supports global collaboration, working across time-zones and the creation of virtual teams.

Is email agist?

I am mature enough to accept the term Troglodyte as a Gen X born between 1965 and 1980, or possibly a Babyboomer just before that. It would be offensive to be classed as a Luddite – technophobe or anti-technology because an email was the primary tool to communicate.

According to App Annie Generation Z and Millennials do not use email unless forced. Not only certain age groups but consumer behaviours are moving toward more convenient platforms and messaging tools. Three years prior, 13 to 24 years olds spent more than 3.5 times their time on these mobile apps.

Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, rarely use email except while at work. Consumers of all ages are moving away from email as their primary communication platform in favour of social messaging apps. It’s not breaking news – according to a three-year-old App Annie report, people between the ages of 13 to 24 spend more than 3.5 times overall usage time in messaging apps. 

Email Safety & Security 

Earlier in July 2020, Forbes acknowledged Gmail users struggled endlessly with widespread problems with its email filters could have had a direct impact on inboxes with risky and risqué messages sent to inboxes. Today, criminals emails relentlessly targeted to exploit users data and information for financial fraud. Gone are the days of the regular pleas from a lawyer based in-country, you had to check for on Google Maps. These cyber offenders have moved on and evolved. Phishing, fraud and harassment emails will not end. Now emails are being used to spread terrorism and also being used by stalkers to send threats.

Gordon Kelly concluded “For the tech-savvy, a flurry of spam hitting your inbox is something which can be navigated. But everyday users are still caught out by some of the more sophisticated malware and exploitation strategies these emails can contain.”

As electronic communication is an everyday part of our lives it also remains a key element of e-discovery and forensic investigation, especially with the rise of cybercrime.

So we have two conflicting arguments, one that says emails are a thing of the past and a bunch of statistics that show email is growing. Which of the two is right?

The purpose and use of emails are changing. Today, it is one of the best marketing tools that give some of the highest returns on investment and for people who prefer to convey their thoughts in at least a couple of paragraphs.

The Email Evolution

No longer the No. 1 tool for communication. Email is said to turn into “i-mail,” or intelligent email, to fit the needs of future generations. It is combining workflow, instant messaging, analytics, and more to appeal to a generation that is growing up with social media and text messages instead of long emails. Join us for a SmarterPostbox.

by Angela Ho