Think email is dead? Think again.

February 1, 2010

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with our inboxes, but we still spend a substantial amount of time reviewing and replying to e-mail. There are plenty of techies who love to declare that email is extinct, but it still refuses to die. I’m guessing that it won’t for a long, long time.

Will Facebook, Twitter, Google Wave or something else replace email? Maybe, but not anytime soon. Even social media sites understand that we live in our inboxes: They send reminder emails from our profiles that we should come back to visit. You can’t even sign up for most social media sites without an email address.

Ask Peter Shankman, who’s headed here to Nashville this week, whether email is on the wane. His daily Help-A-Reporter-Out email newsletter won’t win any style competitions, but it’s amassed more than 150,000 subscribers in less than three years. It’s also frequently heralded as a prime example of effective social media use, even though it relies on a technology that most of us have loved to hate since Seinfeld was still broadcasting new episodes.

So the real question isn’t what method you should use–whether it’s social media, traditional media, direct mail or e-mail–to reach people. It’s do you have anything interesting to say? If your underlying message isn’t convincing and compelling, it doesn’t matter how or where you send it.


2 Responses to “Think email is dead? Think again.”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    I was just viewing an interesting presentation by Hubspot that categorizes blogs as ‘permissive’ because the reader can *choose* to subscribe to the content via e-mail/RSS. In this respect, e-mail takes on the form of inbound marketing to people who are interested in the blog’s topic/industry.

    Also, Greg Cangialosi of Blue Sky Factory agreed that e-mail is certainly not dead as it is still the #1 way that people share information with each other and also provides strong ROI data compared to social media sites.

  2. Rob Robinson Says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth. Very good point about ROI. Email tracks better than social media and direct mail in terms of response rate. That doesn’t mean email is perfect, but it does mean that it shouldn’t be ruled out as irrelevant.

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