The Future of E-Mail

Some want it dead! Others want it alive!

Several tech savvy bloggers have been predicting the “death of email.” Technology gurus have been questioning whether this tried and tested method of communication will hold up to social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Why send an email when a tweet would work just as well, get to the recipient quicker, and say it in fewer words?

Is the obituary for email being written too soon?

Even though the number of email users worldwide has increased to 2.2 billion (from 1.88 billion in 2010), yet oddly, the number of emails sent every day is down from 294 billion in 2010 to 144.8 billion in 2012.

Statistics point to the rise in popularity of Facebook feeds and Twitter to explain this decrease in emails. In 2012, 1 billion users were active on Facebook daily and 175 million tweets were sent every 24 hours.

Critics claim users are experiencing email exhaustion. If so, why do billions still use email?

Are the experts right in writing emails epitaph?

The experts are wrong and here’s why:

Email is still very vital to business. From SMB’s to Fortune 500’s, businesses still rely heavily on email to perform mission critical tasks.

Can you imagine a CEO or a project manager sending a very sensitive message through Twitter or Facebook? McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp found that workers spend 28% of their time in their inbox.

It has also been proven that email marketing outperforms all other types of media in terms of generating sales.

This is all very well for people in the business world but what about non-business users? What does the future of email hold for them?

A Look into the Future

To remain relevant email must evolve to meet the morphing demands of desktop and mobile users. The first steps of this evolution were seen in products like Fluent (now discontinued), a promising product that integrated with Gmail to give users a social media streaming experience in their Inbox. Fluent converted the typical Gmail message format into more of a social media feed like Facebook or Twitter giving it a more modern sense of fluidness and moving it away from the inbox concept.

Other companies like Inky, Other Inbox, Alto Mail, Inbox Pause, and the recently launched Slack are helping users with workflow integration, better analytics, dealing with inbox overload and more.

Mobile devices will also play an important role in the future of email. Nielson reports that checking email accounts for 45 percent of Internet use on mobile devices. With an approximated 5 billion mobile devices, including phones and tablets, that adds up to quite a bit of email. As this number is expected to rise by 50 to 60 percent in 2015, email must integrate easily with mobile devices.

Innovations like Rapportive, Boomerang, and Mailbox with a bit of tweaking, will soon succeed in overcoming many of the shortcomings of email. Advances in organization, fluidity, building unified repositories of communication, and efficient mobile communication will push email into the future, and not into the grave.

We at Diduce are focused on analyzing and organizing the treasure trove of information that resides in emails. More about this soon!

Take that, experts.