Love it or hate it, email continues to be one of the most (over) used applications for the “always on generation” – the “connected” 24/7, always on generation. Young and old, these are the people who can’t make it more than 30 minutes without checking their phone for something…anything. We’re addicted to the serotonin drip triggered by information and entertainment.
With the proliferation of mobile computing and social media, there are a 100 different ways to message someone today. So why is email still the primary app for one-to-one and group conversation?
- Price – For consumers and personal use, it’s “free”. Notably, Outlook.com (Microsoft), Gmail.com (Google), and Yahoo MAIL (Yahoo) are the Big 3, providing free email services without any subscription or hardware purchase requirements. And for $5/user per month any startup or small business can purchase enterprise grade (ad free, spam protected, calendar integration, and guaranteed uptime) business class email. In comparison, you may spend $50/user per month or more on an enterprise application which provides social engagement, collaboration, and document management.
- Integration – It works. We’ve had 40+ years to iron it out. The concept was spawned shortly after the inception of networked computers, when ARPANET came online in the early 70’s. Since then, many standards and protocols have been developed AND broadly adopted for email message and file transfer. Anyone with an email address can easily send a message or file to anyone else on ANY email service.
Have you ever messaged someone @twitter via Facebook messenger?
Your email address is a digital address that allows you to connect with anyone no matter what company or platform you’re with. Many people have multiple email accounts, but we all have our one Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.com account where we route all our personal notifications and subscriptions. I personally receive 20+ automated emails per day from social media, CRM, and collaboration systems – not to mention the 100+ other emails generated by employees, friends, and associates.
Overuse of email is such a problem, Google introduced a feature that filters personal, promotional, and social emails automatically. Prior, there were hundreds of apps like Sanebox and ActiveInbox whose sole focus is to help you organize your inbox.
- Conversations & Attachments: Email is the quickest, easiest way to transport small files to someone or a group, have a conversation, schedule a meeting, and search. Are there better applications? Sure. Do they require you to login to another system and grant access or licenses to a collaborator? Yep!
Do they seamlessly integrate with email, collaboration and messaging systems? Nope!
- Corporate Culture: If you’ve recently joined a new company, your email address was most likely set up before you even set foot at work. Like social media, every enterprise application we use today leverages email for notifications, report distribution, etc. Ironically, or maybe expectedly, most companies use email as if it were social media or a short messaging service. After all, SMTP (one of the original email protocols) stands for simple mail transfer protocol.
Some, most days… we all wish we weren’t enslaved to corporate email 24/7… Will we ever move on from email?
For me, it’s this reason (corporate culture and software) that keeps email ingrained in our day to day lives. Corporate culture and software, rely so heavily on email for signup and distributed notifications, it’s relatively impossible for a “David” to come along and slay “Goliath”. When we look at technology adoption curves, email is one of – if not, the most widely adopted apps worldwide. For example, Facebook has approximately 1.3 Billion users alone. There are approximately 3x as many active email accounts in the world than there are both Facebook and Twitter combined. There are 4x more emails sent each day than there are web page views – in the entire world!
At CMA, we realize email is a problem that cannot be solved in 2014 and more a problem that must be managed. Understanding email should be put in its place, we build enterprise applications to help companies capture and manage email more efficiently. http://www.integratedcma.com/email-manager/
CEO – CMA