Email is dead. Right. Along with Blogging, Podcasting and everything else. But how true is that statement when it comes to getting business done?
Do teens email as much as they text? Probably not. Teens have not been culturally stewed in the ways of going to an office and working on a computer. Most teens start down their technology road with a mobile device. It's also not mission critical for teens to manage, store and evaluate text messages or tweets from the day, week or month before. But, make no mistake about it, email still matters. And, it would matter to the younger generation if they actually had to manage and organize the text content they are creating.
Business is a long way away from dropping email.
Sure, there is a real need for email to modernize even more (check out Google Wave for what email could/will look like going forward), but for my money, email is still a vital lifeline. As much as Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook and Skype provide powerful (and great) new ways to communicate, email is still a primary way to communicate and also get information. For years, Internet Marketing focused on Email Marketing, and while talking about email marketing may seem as exciting as talking about Second Life at this point, there are still millions of people - specifically those in business, with education and money to spend - that rely on email as their primary lifeline. And, for those who can make it personalized and relevant, Email Marketing still delivers great ROI.
I rely on email. Do you?
For one, email is private (for the most part). The content of that email is not owned (or ownable) by a third party (like Facebook, Twitter, etc...). It's fascinating to see many businesses or independent consultants using these public online social networks for business. Sure, they're great to connect, but any interfacing between clients, private communications, company-specific content (like your intellectual property) is now a part of their system too. Not to be paranoid, or make you paranoid, but they do have the right to review that content and do with it what they will (like sell it to your competitors). Now, let's not get too paranoid, but the content is, essentially, available to the highest bidder.
Pushing beyond the paranoia.
Whether it's for e-newsletters, Google Alerts or quick notes from key business people or new business opportunities, nothing beats email. Beyond the hundred of RSS feeds and people that I am following on Twitter or keywords being tracked using TweetDeck, email still inspires everything from articles to read and Blogs to check out, to the latest news items to review and businesses opportunities to attack. On top of that, because it's not "live" and streaming in a "river of news" type of flow, it does seem somewhat more manageable. That being said, my inbox is still more like a game of Tetris than anything else. As soon as I read, delete and move emails over to folders, more keep pounding down, making the stack higher and higher. Still, I'd take email over voicemail any day.
How important is email to you and your business? Has something replaced it?