Email, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Email Marketing Advice, Facebook, Social Media Marketing

Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings

email twitter Twitterati Says Email Isnt Dead Yet   6 FindingsEvery conference I’ve been at, and at least 10 blog posts I’ve read this year have proclaimed the death of email.

Social network messaging, and its 1:1 relevancy and real-time immediacy will inexorably make email the Edsel of digital communication, goes the theory.

It’s not true. Firstly, this isn’t a zero sum game. The notion that social network messaging and email are somehow squared off like UFC combatants, throwing kicks and applying choke holds, is ridiculous. As my friend Jeff Rohrs points out, you have to have an email address to sign UP for a social network.

Further, most of my social network alerts (new followers, Linkedin messages, Facebook requests) are delivered by email. Thus, the relationship is much more symbiotic than adversarial – for now.

It seems that the email industry has done a lot more to work cooperatively with the social media industry than the other way around. Most major email service providers have some form of social sharing capabilities baked into their email, and my friends at ExactTarget are publishing meaningful research on this convergence. (See this excellent, free Webinar from ExactTarget and Forrester Research on email and social media). (Disclosure: I provide social media strategy counsel to ExactTarget).

The Cool Kids Still Love Their Email

I believe social media and email are inherently similar, and that email isn’t going anywhere. But, to make sure I wasn’t off the rails in my belief in email’s preeminence, I asked some friends.

In an incredibly unscientific fashion, I put out simple question on Twitter. “Which do you check first in the morning: Twitter, email, voicemail?”

Within a few minutes, I had 83 replies (thanks to all), providing a fascinating data set.

Overall, 63 respondents (76%) still check email first – and this was a Twitter-only survey. Twitter was checked first by 16 respondents, with only 4 for voicemail.

Findings that I (and hopefully you) found interesting:

  • It’s not really an industry, but if it were I’d be selling my voicemail stock. 4 out of 83? Not good. Plus, several earnestly snarky comments in the “Voicemail, what’s that?” and “I just delete all my voicemails” category.
  • Also, several people mentioned that they have their voicemails transcribed and emailed to them, which eliminates an “inbox.” I have been doing this for about 18 months, using Callwave. Results are generally satisfactory, although fast-talkers and voicemails left in noisy places can trip up the transcribers, with some confusing/hilarious results.
  • Among the small group that supported voicemail, the point was made that if someone leaves a voicemail, it’s perhaps urgent and important. I find this getting more and more accurate every day. My voicemail volume has consistently waned over time, and now I get very few voicemails each day. When I do receive them they are either important, unimportant but from people that aren’t very digital, or from people that don’t actually know me. My voicemail spam – messages left from random sales reps and such – goes up as the messages I care about goes down. Will voicemail become the new spam problem?
  • Even though it wasn’t posited as an option, 17 respondents said they checked Facebook second or third each morning. (Nobody checks it first). Considering it was essentially a write in candidate, for Facebook to be mentioned by more than 20% of respondents speaks to its relevancy and impact.
  • Among the Twitter-first crowd, several respondents mentioned that they check Twitter first because it comes up faster on their mobile device. This is always an interesting trend – people checking their messages on their phone before they boot up their computer. I certainly check messages on my iphone before I open the computer, but that’s certainly something that started fairly recently with the advent of better smartphones.

Several other interesting and humorous answers to the “Which do you check in the morning?” question. Favorites included:

  • My pulse
  • My kids’ bedroom (just a good Mom, or possible sneak-out skullduggery?)
  • Text messages (2 respondents)
  • Linkedin (2 respondents)
  • RSS feeds
  • Coffee pot
  • Google Analytics
  • Affiliate commissions
  • Authority Labs (a great search engine rankings service that I use too)

My answer to my question:

1. Email 2. Twitter 3. Comments on the Convince & Convert blog

Speaking of which, what do you think about the state of messaging?

(photo by ateofiel)

Related
  • Anonymous

    It follows that a social network will always need email to survive. Although, someone recently postulated Twitter as an OS. Interesting concept. As for the state of messaging, I’m going to say, I use Twitter as a global chatroom (which is what it is at its base), and if someone wishes to reach me privately, they know how to do so.

    Matches Malone’s last blog post..Watchmaker Update

  • http://getstimulustoday.com Matches Malone

    It follows that a social network will always need email to survive. Although, someone recently postulated Twitter as an OS. Interesting concept. As for the state of messaging, I’m going to say, I use Twitter as a global chatroom (which is what it is at its base), and if someone wishes to reach me privately, they know how to do so.

    Matches Malone’s last blog post..Watchmaker Update

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  • ACP

    A missed call is the new voicemail.

    Interesting survey though, very much appreciated. The pic of the kid with blood all over her,… not so much.

  • ACP

    A missed call is the new voicemail.

    Interesting survey though, very much appreciated. The pic of the kid with blood all over her,… not so much.

  • http://YourWebsite ACP

    A missed call is the new voicemail.

    Interesting survey though, very much appreciated. The pic of the kid with blood all over her,… not so much.

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  • http://www.balancemedia.com/ Andrea Bell

    Thanks Jay – interesting results! As one of the four people who admitted to checking VM first, I’m amazed at people’s general attitudes about old-school “talkie” messages. With all the tools out there that make it easy to avoid live conversation (Twitter, email, FB, etc), if a client or peer cares enough about something to call me, it’s got to be important!

    I’d be interested to know, among the people who replied with snarky comments about VM, how many are small business owners.

  • http://www.balancemedia.com Andrea Bell

    Thanks Jay – interesting results! As one of the four people who admitted to checking VM first, I’m amazed at people’s general attitudes about old-school “talkie” messages. With all the tools out there that make it easy to avoid live conversation (Twitter, email, FB, etc), if a client or peer cares enough about something to call me, it’s got to be important!

    I’d be interested to know, among the people who replied with snarky comments about VM, how many are small business owners.

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  • http://twitter.com/jaybaer/status/2077651249 Jay Baer

    Twitterati says email isn’t dead – 6 findings. http://bit.ly/3iAcV

  • http://twitter.com/narciso17/status/2077713078 Narciso17

    Very Interesting Stuff From @jaybaer > Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead – 6 Findings http://bit.ly/3iAcV

  • Narciso17

    Very Interesting Stuff From @jaybaer > Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead – 6 Findings http://bit.ly/3iAcV

  • http://twitter.com/jaykeith/status/2077733577 jaykeith

    RT @Narciso17: Very Interesting Stuff From @jaybaer > Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead – 6 Findings http://bit.ly/3iAcV

  • http://twitter.com/jacaldwell/status/2077754794 John Caldwell

    RT @jaybaer: Twitterati says email isn’t dead – 6 findings. http://bit.ly/3iAcV (jac: who’d have thought? email is the proto social media!)

  • http://twitter.com/steelytrip/status/2077758250 Vaughn Allen

    Very Interesting Stuff From @jaybaer > Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead – 6 Findings http://bit.ly/3iAcV (via @Narciso17)

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  • http://twitter.com/nickandersen/status/2081888407 nick andersen

    very interesting results no matter small sample size. RT @jaybaer: Is email dead? Twitterati Says "No." http://bit.ly/18V0aS

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  • http://twitter.com/jofig/status/2085828453 Jo Figueiredo

    RT Email Isn’t Dead Yet http://bit.ly/16OqpT (via @SocialMedia411)

  • http://twitter.com/thinkingdigital/status/2086582068 ThinkingDigital Conf

    Katie p’haps email is bit like Labour Pty. Neither dead but both need improvement?.. RT @katiemoffat: email not dead.. http://bit.ly/6trAw

  • http://twitter.com/komal_helyer/status/2086892605 Komal Helyer

    Rt @katiemoffat email not dead after all apparently http://bit.ly/6trAw #email #marketing

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  • http://twitter.com/jasonlarke/status/2087423049 Jason Larke

    # Interesting article from Twitterati re ‘Email Isn’t Dead Yet…’ http://bit.ly/ohN1z

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpinto/status/2088910835 Jason Pinto

    Thank you to Convince and Convert.. Really enjoyed this article – http://bit.ly/1Jo6Y

  • http://twitter.com/bronto/status/2089992723 Bronto Software

    Email isn’t dead (phew!)…at least that’s what @jaybaer’s admittedly unscientific twitter survey says: http://idek.net/EBS

  • http://twitter.com/mbagrrl/status/2090046431 allison n

    RT @Bronto Email isn’t dead (phew!)…at least that’s what @jaybaer’s admittedly unscientific twitter survey says: http://idek.net/EBS

  • http://twitter.com/bnash972/status/2091124383 Brad Nash

    Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings http://short.to/et70

  • http://mamabirdsblog.com/ Chris Bird

    Not surprised Facebook made an appearance as it has been called the “new internet” for many. Most surfing is now confined to Facebook to a large degree for many users.

    Email has become my catchall, as I can see if I have comments to respond to on my blog or Facebook, new connection requests through LinkedIn, and new Twitter followers or DM’s by going there first. Why not check email first rather than each of those separately? It is also where I do 95% of my communication with clients. Because it is multi-purpose, I can’t imagine it going away any time soon.

    Text messaging is such a time-saver! Don’t know how I survived without it. Although, when time allows, I much prefer a real conversation to a 140-character limited one.

    Chris Bird’s last blog post..Do They Make a 3-day Diaper?

  • http://mamabirdsblog.com Chris Bird

    Not surprised Facebook made an appearance as it has been called the “new internet” for many. Most surfing is now confined to Facebook to a large degree for many users.

    Email has become my catchall, as I can see if I have comments to respond to on my blog or Facebook, new connection requests through LinkedIn, and new Twitter followers or DM’s by going there first. Why not check email first rather than each of those separately? It is also where I do 95% of my communication with clients. Because it is multi-purpose, I can’t imagine it going away any time soon.

    Text messaging is such a time-saver! Don’t know how I survived without it. Although, when time allows, I much prefer a real conversation to a 140-character limited one.

    Chris Bird’s last blog post..Do They Make a 3-day Diaper?

  • http://twitter.com/jeffhurt/status/2093907483 Jeff Hurt

    Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings by @jaybaer [Agree or Disagree?] http://ow.ly/d5Xe

  • http://twitter.com/moocow1118/status/2094270880 Bonnie Crane

    Agree. I check email 1st RT: @JeffHurt Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings by @jaybaer [Agree or Disagree?] http://ow.ly/d5Xe

  • http://twitter.com/pennapowers/status/2096492601 PPBH

    The end of email? While some think so, this article says no. http://bit.ly/6trAw

  • http://twitter.com/primoassistance/status/2102277243 Diane Cominotti

    Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings http://bit.ly/6trAw – I still check my email first. How about you?

  • http://twitter.com/billgeist/status/2160363650 billgeist

    RT @tweetmeme Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings… http://bit.ly/ohN1z

  • http://twitter.com/hopejohnstone/status/2161869950 John Hope-Johnstone

    RT @billgeist: RT @tweetmeme Twitterati Says Email Isn’t Dead Yet – 6 Findings… http://bit.ly/ohN1z

  • http://www.baileygardiner.com/ Jason

    +1 for email-first checkers.

    140 characters is fine for news, sharing links, etc. but I’d argue you can’t build a customer relationship from scratch that way. Email done well is direct enough to capture and hold short attention spans, as well as long-form enough to provide useful content. The vast majority of good tweets are simply springboards to useful/funny/interesting things – as standalone content, they’re not that valuable.

    Oh, and until Twitter hugely upgrades its servers, Email can contain images and text side-by-side.

  • http://www.baileygardiner.com Jason

    +1 for email-first checkers.

    140 characters is fine for news, sharing links, etc. but I’d argue you can’t build a customer relationship from scratch that way. Email done well is direct enough to capture and hold short attention spans, as well as long-form enough to provide useful content. The vast majority of good tweets are simply springboards to useful/funny/interesting things – as standalone content, they’re not that valuable.

    Oh, and until Twitter hugely upgrades its servers, Email can contain images and text side-by-side.

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  • WilliamRyall

    Haha, I also check my rankings daily. I’ve used several different trackers and found authority labs to be the best.

    http://www.rankcheckerreviews.com/authoritylabs/

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    I just found a great company that builds websites for info products. To keep your costs low, they’ll mentor you on how to create your site, design a marketing funnel (one of the guys works in Hollywood and makes really slick videos), and the other guy programmed Myspace. If you’re looking to have professional web design for your small business and not waste any time or money then check their site out. Check them out: http://www.mikelmurphy.com/easy-info-product-site-system/