Is Email the New Instant Messenger?
One of the reasons people speculate that email will soon be dead is because it simply can't deliver as well as other applications on the need for instant gratification. Instant messaging, texting and smartphone apps all provide people with information they request more expediently than email.
But not so fast!
Emails triggered by consumer actions provide incredibly fast access to relevant content, including a company's best up-to-the-minute offers. Information can arrive faster than search engines can deliver, faster than product intelligence sites and faster than cell phone connections. More importantly, the information is intuitively on target.
Click on a travel banner ad and flight information appears instantly in your inbox. Visit a specific website and the best offers involving products on that site appear in your inbox, or you might receive more in-depth information about the products along with great offers. But why is that important if I can just click on the web page and get all the information I need?
The answer is that while consumers are looking for instant information, they're probably not looking to make instant buying decisions. They get information from brand websites, product review sites, daily-deal and auction sites. They may visit five to 10 of these kinds of websites simply reviewing information and pricing. Consumers frequently travel from one website to the next doing research. In the process, they often forget which website provided the most valuable information.
The winner in this situation is the company that sent the instant information to the consumer's inbox. That company wins because it wasn't only there during the research process, it was right there when the consumer was ready to pull the trigger.
And the consumer never asked for a single thing. The company figured out what content to send by paying attention to what the consumer was doing on the website — which pages were visited, which links were clicked on, time spent on specific pages, which pages were visited multiple times and so on.