You may have heard rumours that email is dead. That instant chat is the next big thing! With a million productivity tools and a list of tasks as long as your arm, you may also be looking for practical solutions that are ready for 21st century work. Solutions that are available today! So, a simple question, are the rumours true?
No! Well, maybe. And yes.
Email is very much alive, still growing and still our favorite way of staying in touch, however, chat is increasingly becoming the go-to method of communication. In our always on world, colleagues, clients, and customers want answers now! And email usability just seems that little bit too slow!
But don’t fret—it doesn’t have to be an “either/or” choice, but rather, a combination of solutions that combine the power, trust and practicalities of email with interfaces and tools suited to modern work and our fast paced personal lives. It should also work with your existing email, and here we tell you why!
Email – Old but Gold
People use email every day, they trust email and are familiar with it. It has been the number one way to communicate over distance for decades, and that isn’t slowing. In fact, “In 2019, the number of global email users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024” according to a 2020 study on statista. That’s a projected growth of almost 15% at a time when the haters are claiming that so-called email killers such as Slack are taking over.
What’s more, the same stats show that “In 2018, approximately 281 billion emails were sent and received every day worldwide. This figure is projected to increase to over 347 billion daily emails in 2023.”
Just let that sink in for a second. 347 billion emails a day. To put that in context, our entire galaxy contains fewer stars than there are emails sent in a single day. Pretty impressive for a protocol first developed in the 70s.
Some have predicted that the number of people using email is high now, but actually likely to fall as people from “Gen-Z” who use smartphones and social media move into the workplace. However, quite to the contrary Eurostat data shows that 73% of EU citizens between the ages of 16 and 74 used “the internet for sending/receiving emails” in 2019.
This represents an increase of 25% since 2007, meaning younger people entering the workplace are in fact using emails more rather than less. And this is no surprise considering email on its own is easily accessed on smartphones, and email-based apps are making it increasingly similar to other on-the-go messaging apps.
Another reason that email continues to be at the forefront of how we communicate is that many of the other communication methods that claim to be taking over actually still rely on email to communicate with you!
For example, if you need to reset a password on any social platform, business portal, or basically any online service, where does your password reset get sent? Yes, your email. Along with all communication about the company, changes to your account, billing… the list goes on. It remains the primary choice of communicating important information, not to mention the fact that most business messaging apps send notifications and updates via email.
Moreover, on a very basic level, email is a reliable protocol (SMTP, for those who are interested) which has stood the test of time (technologically speaking) whilst also not being owned by any single company. It is the industry standard, with numerous operators, which lends it some level of stability unlike proprietary communication options which last only as long as the company that created them. And if those new companies suddenly decide to stop trading? Well, there go your messages.
Many companies will promote alternative chat channels for the purpose of allowing multiple people to see a shared record of communication, which email does, but through long and often confusing threads which can break.
However, because of the aforementioned reliability, there’s a good chance that these records of communication will last a lot longer than more “modern” alternatives. The likelihood is, you will be able to log into your email right now and scroll back for years. Try and do the same with any of the other chat apps that have come and gone over the years.
So, by now we can probably all agree that email is absolutely still relevant. But, we can also probably agree that much of how we use email is clunky and outdated and it is one of an array of productivity tools that we actually use in a day as opposed to the only one.
The solution? A productivity toolbox for greater email usability. Say hello to Spike!
The Ping is Dead, Long Live the Ping – A Better Email Experience with Spike
So, we need a toolbox built around the core of email. Not only that, but built around your existing email. Many of the ‘hot’ new email solutions are moving away from the standard email experience by forcing you to get an entirely new email address.Nobody wants to create a whole new address and go through and change every single one of their logins just for modern email features.
The first thing to consider is how we interact with emails themselves, which is where we come back to the fact that many people’s communication is now based around “chat” rather than the outdated format of sender, receiver, subject line, greeting, content, arguments, questions, sign off, signature… you get the idea. It is clunky and confusing.
Spike throws out the traditional threads, delivering Conversational Email for a better experience. This acts just like the chat you would find on social media platforms, where you can talk to another person in real time, conversationally, rather than a formal back and forth. But, since it is all still structured around email, attachments are seamless, you can always expand messages for a more traditional view and you can communicate with anyone via their existing email address. Creating not another platform to migrate to, but a better email experience using your existing address.
Another common complaint about email is that spam and emails that distract rather than enhance your workflow are just par for the course. Sorting through them is a nightmare, but there is a solution!
The Spike Inbox can be split between Priority, for all your important messages, and Other, for everything else – like those newsletters you receive every day but don’t need to read right now. This allows you to focus on what’s important without the distraction of a traditional interface for great email usability that actually promotes focus.
And this is just one of many integrations, since Spike uses your existing email address, but adds all the productivity features that would normally require you to sign up to multiple platforms. This means that within the single platform, you can access your Calendar, To Do lists, Tasks, Notes, video calls and Groups.
Spike Groups is the answer to companies’ concerns about keeping shared records. Through the use of Groups with multiple members, which can be added with an existing email address and nothing else, a shared record can be created for later reference. Another example of utilizing the power and versatility of email, but bringing it into the 21st century for greater usability.
It’s clear that email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It has so many benefits and acts as the foundation of communication today, especially in the business sphere. What is needed is better email usability, and this is being achieved through the innovative use of existing email addresses and the integration of other important productivity tools.
For info on how you can up your email game even more, and a bunch of top tips on productivity in general, head over to the Spike Blog. And, we know there are lots of email-lovers out there, so drop us a line @SpikeNowHQ and let us know why you still use email (and how it could be better!).