This is the third time I’ve written about the death of email- and anyone who blogs in this space is all too familiar with the claims (oddly by those not in the know). Basically: email is about as dead as your social security number, your physical address, or HTML. WSJ, never quite hip to stuff tech, is scared and from their vantage, I can see that it’s a wild world of web2.0, nay 3.0 marketing out there, it’s confusing and bewildering. But have no fear, email will always be used, until something more dependable and better comes along, and, more importantly, is trusted by an evergrowing base of users.
I agree that the usage of email is shifting. More and more people are using email as a notification service, not as a message carrier. “Oh I got a note on Facebook.” or, “Oh I should visit my bill pay site.” Could other technical tools do this? Sure. But it’s not about what’s technically available to the consumer, but what they trust. More and more demographics- beyond the early adopters- are getting onto email. As many email marketers know, focusing on early adopters (as WSJ is trying to do, 3 years too late) only opens up that segment. If you are Apple or Threadless, that’s great. But if you’re selling mutual funds and radial tires, you probably don’t care about the 30-35 geeky male nerd who cycles to work and spends his money as he earns it.
I’ve noticed during the recession, that more businesses have started focusing on their email vendors, departments and employees skilled in these areas, because it is a measurable, dependable marketing channel. Is it the future of tech? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not intrinsically enmeshed in the future.
Mark Brownlow’s Three Years And Still Going Strong; his comments at the end are great and very useful.
Kristin Gregory over at Bronto does a round-up: Best of the Blogosphere: Embedded Video and the Slow Death of Email
Bob Frady, “Never Trust Anyone Under 30″, I agree in that it says more about the East Coast constantly focusing on high tech as a youth industry (and thus I blame the dot-com bomb on them) but that’s another post.