I just read a fascinating article that argued convincingly that email is quickly losing its lead as a preferred means of communication.
How can something so new, so easy and so cost-efficient lose its dominance so fast, you ask? Simple.
Think about how the younger generations communicate. They moved from email to instant messaging long ago. That’s been replaced by texting and now the even more efficient Facebook and Twitter. By posting comments on social networks, they can communicate with all their friends simultaneously. And since only friends can see messages on a social network site, spam is eliminated.
Fast, free, efficient, plenty of bells and whistles, and no spam. What’s not to like? Indeed, Facebook users have increased 116% from September 2007 to September 2008, and Twitter is up 343% in the same time – pretty impressive compared to email’s meager growth rate. Many of these new social network users are not youngsters, but the very adults who we’re marketing to now.
Like all things technological, just when you thought you had everything mastered, they change again. Email isn’t likely to vanish completely. But it could well become marginalized, just like network television. Don’t discount social media as a novelty for the young and hip. You’re likely to find it will play a vital marketing role in the years to come.