Email will last forever

1. Email is the most powerful communication channel

To understand how powerful email is, let’s go back to the basics. Email is a protocol that was invented 45 years ago and that can be described as the communication layer of the Internet. Like Internet itself, a defining feature of email is its interoperability: two persons can use different systems and still exchange emails. If you send an email from Hotmail, someone using Gmail will be able to open it, read it, and reply to it.

  • There are over 2.4 billion email users and 3.9 billion email accounts today
  • People spend on average 2.5 hours per day on their emails
  • Workers check their emails an average of 74 times a day

2. Email is very flexible

The email protocol is simple and flexible. If you want to start building your own email service, you’ll be able to choose whatever feature you want and whatever interface you like. So when people complain about email and say it’s outdated, they are wrong: it’s not email’s fault, it’s the fault of email interfaces.

  • Email is overwhelming? Make smarter interfaces. Even though the technology is decades old, people have always found ways of fixing problems as they appeared: from Gmail spam filters to smart inboxes, to services like unroll.me, which lets you unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters in a click.
  • Email is not adapted to the enterprise world? Make it more collaborative. Here atFront, we introduce productivity and collaborative features in a standard email client and let companies work as a team on all their incoming emails.
  • Email is not sexy? Design beautiful interfaces. Mailbox has managed to make email light, fast, and mobile-friendly. Sparrow was creating the most intuitive and pleasurable mailing experience etc.

3. Email will remain in the professional world

I’m not saying that email will always be the most suited tool for the professional world as long as you add better interfaces, far from it. Email began as a simple communication tool and is now used to coordinate schedules, collaborate on projects, store files, manage and track tasks — business activities that email programs alone are not designed to manage. As time passes and a business grows, email is more and more ill-suited for those task and some other tools do a pretty good job at replacing it:

  • For team collaboration: Asana, Yammer, Basecamp
  • For customers interactions: Intercom, Customer.io
  • For team internal communication: Slack, Hipchat
  • For file storage and collaboration: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive

Conclusion

Yes, email is being replaced for some types of communication (personal and professional). It’s nothing to be worried about. We have more choices for how to communicate today, and can cherry-pick the best tool for every situation . It doesn’t mean email is dying. It simply means that the communication ecosystem has expanded.

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LEGO builder. Co-founder & CEO @ Front (frontapp.com)

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