Has your business planned for the death of email?


Once hailed as the killer app, email is dying. Are you ready for instant messaging?

How many of you still use email? Okay, chances are more than a few. However, the reality is that email as a vital business tool is fast becoming outdated. In the age of instant messaging, social network chats, and artificial intelligence bots, the way executives are communicating and being communicated to is changing.

According to Ross Sibbald, executive head at Striata Marketing Solutions (pictured), the connected world in which we live has resulted in mass emails and the traditional ‘spray and pray’ approach of marketers becoming all but obsolete.

He says: 

“Unfortunately, some more traditionally focused businesses have not yet heard the death knell and are continuing blindly with these formats. However, they will quickly lose relevance from and resonance with customers."

Even so, Statista expects global email users to grow to 4.3 billion by 2022 (up from 3.7 billion at the end of last year). That’s clearly a lot of electronic communication still doing the rounds. 

But what about alternative options?

The next level
Marco Broccardo, CEO of Colony HQ, believes that instant messaging will be the new communications hotspot for the foreseeable future. He says:

“Platforms like Telegram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have become entrenched in the hearts and minds of consumers. Because they are freely available, they provide a very effective entry point for a brand to have a presence. Indeed, with just one point of entry, brands can build a strong presence in multiple markets.”

When one considers that Statista forecasts the number of mobile phone messaging app users worldwide to grow from 1.58 billion in 2016 to 2.48 billion by 2021, he might have a point.

Instant messaging has become a part of all our connected lives. It is difficult to imagine a time without WhatsApp or the like. This is also impacting how we expect businesses to communicate with us. In many respects, email has become too slow for the real-time digital environment today.

Executives (being consumers themselves) are starting to understand this as well. The productivity benefits of having staff accessible at any time means the organisation can create a culture of remote work. Employees can therefore spend time watching the kids play soccer in the afternoon while still being reachable for work from next to the field. Additionally, the rise of chat bots can empower customers to resolve many queries themselves without having to go through the traditional call centre route.

All told, the way we communicate with each other and businesses have changed. It is now up to executives to drive change and embrace this new way of engagement.

Related articles

CFO Innocent Gumbochuma: A strategic revival

South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) CFO Innocent Gumbochuma shares how he is shaping the financial trajectory of the organisation and has ambitions of setting it on a path of innovation, resilience, and diversified revenue streams.