Email was the first universal communication tool of the internet age, and free for most. But now it has run its course, superseded by far more efficient and effective ways of communicating, collaborating, and engaging communities – customers and employees alike.
In the early days, we had to draft our emails, then connect to the internet and sync our mailboxes, and download new mail, for reading at our leisure. But that was the beauty of email – it was asynchronous, unlike phone calls, which assumed the other party was available, and awake, to take your call.
With email, it was possible to ignore time zones and geography, and still communicate efficiently. It didn’t matter if the person you were mailing was on another continent, or asleep, and compared to ordinary mail, it was fast, free and didn’t waste paper.
Now we have messaging apps and platforms, both for individuals and companies, which make it simple to communicate and collaborate, privately or in teams, with documents, pictures and videos included. Who needs email?
Email is still one of the easiest ways to deliver formal documents like invoices, certificates and contracts to individuals; but these can easily be hosted online by the issuer, and accessed on demand; on your phone. An email address is also a unique identifier, and useful for authenticating accounts and recovering passwords; again, your phone can do that. Perhaps the reason we choose to keep email is simple habit – the morning ritual of checking your inbox on a daily basis, for trusted and important info.
But the critical point is this: If you are relying on email to engage and excite your customers and staff, then you’re living in the past. Like the fax machine, email is dead, and it’s time to move on.