Now, before I start, I should clarify that Simms is one of the foremost email experts in the country, an all-around smart dude and someone that I have had a bit of fun debating with over the years on email vs. social. He recently hired @ryanptuttle, which only continues to prove to me that he knows what he’s doing. Plus he’s got a great book that you should read.
In the article, Simms is essentially taking Zuckerberg to task for his quote, “High school kids don’t use email, they use SMS a lot. People want lighter weight things like SMS and IM to message each other.” The point Simms is making is larger than just debating Zuckerberg’s quote though, as we’ve all heard (and many of us have said) that email is dying mainly because young people don’t use it, preferring social and mobile.
I’ll first start by saying, email isn’t dying. I don’t see a future any time soon where email isn’t a part of our lives.
BUT, fax machines also aren’t dying. Neither are the paper and pen. Sure, we will still use these things in the future, but that doesn’t mean their importance in our lives isn’t becoming more and more diminished over time. They are, and I believe email is as well.
Yes, as pointed out in the article, teenagers become adults and join the work force and get an email account. This doesn’t exactly prove the point that teenagers aren’t using email much anymore. And if you’re trying to market to teenagers today or anytime in the near future, email isn’t going to be a very effective channel for you. Especially if its mostly seen as a way you communicate…while you’re at work.
Another point in the article is to show tweets by others that make a comparison to email such as:
- Most teens don’t have kids, there will be no children in the future #e-mailisdeadanalogy - @mostew
- Kids don’t drive. Therefore, cars will soon cease to exist. #e-mailisdeadanalogy - @MartinLieberman
Uh, right. But the point is, don’t try to sell diapers or cars to teens and kids.
Where I think I’ll agree with Simms (though I don’t want to put words into his mouth), is that email is still one of, if not still, the most efficient and effective marketing mediums. It just is. Will people use less email going forward? I think the answer is obviously yes. Is that because of social media and mobile (sms)? Has to be a contributing factor. However…
I could make the argument that this is going to be the best thing to happen to email since CAN-SPAM. Think about it, why do most people hate not love email? Spam. Spam is so widely spread because its so cheap for the spammers. Barely costs anything. Oh, but wait, what’s cheaper than sending an email? How about posting a tweet or a Facebook post.
Yup, suddenly spammers are going to have an even cheaper way to annoy people. And they can reach more people through social media. And there are dumber younger people using social more than email. People that are more likely to fall for their spammer tricks.
So is social killing email? Nah. But its still fun to mess with Simms