Will Slack and Chat Kill Email Marketing?

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Will Slack and Chat Kill Email Marketing?
Will Slack and Chat Kill Email Marketing?

The fastest company to reach billion-dollar-valuation status (aka the unicorn club) has its eyes on controlling intra-office communications. That is a big deal for email marketers who depend on eyeballs that focus on email inboxes.

To use Slack is to see both the potential of more efficient corporate communication while acknowledging the likelihood that we, as workers, will never let it reach its full potential.

The issue with email is only partially due to its design, which makes the process of receiving and responding to messages more arduous that it could be. Every message gets sent to the same location, regardless of sender or importance to the recipient. Throw in the fact that smart tools only get you so far – while you can filter messages by sender or keyword, it’s a never-ending battle to keep things up-to-date and keep track of how those filters work.

But the humans who send and receive the messages are just as much to blame for the drain on resources that comes with operating an email account. 

As IBM strategic marketing manager Dave Walters told me, “When you think about how much time you might have to spend on e-mail, it can get exhausting. But it’s more of a product of how [much and] often we work.” Walters believes though these tools provide value to enterprises, the strength of email is not in doubt and the marketing world will still have ample opportunities with that medium.

That is why Slack is both praised and reviled, often by the same person, in Medium posts months apart. The sleek interface and uniform messaging makes it easy to keep on top of subject-specific conversations. The search runs quicker because it’s not parsing individual emails. Intuitively, I feel Slack is the better way to communicate with a team. But yet, people are as likely to clog up Slack with unnecessary messages and expect immediate response for trivial matters, same as with email. 

And so, if more teams move their internal communications to chat platforms, logic dictates that less time will be spent on the corporate email, where a significant amount of email marketing occurs. That would be alarming if there weren’t some key factors. Email marketers, I contend, can rest easy… for now.

Email Is Permanent, Messages Are Ephemeral

People still are inclined to use email when they want to communicate information that needs to be reviewed and saved. There are no shortage of ways to communicate with parties, but email is the definitive platform to reach someone with an important message. As long as people are checking personal email, they will be opening marketing emails.

External B-to-B Email Hasn’t Gone Away

Even if many large companies have completely abolished intra-office emails (which is a big IF), those corporations still need to respond to the offices coming in externally, a point TKKTT made in a conversation we had recently. You still need external email as a way to communicate with clients and vendors

People Want Marketing Messages

Email Marketing works because it provides value. People are interested is receiving information and sales from companies. Even if (another huge, almost impossible IF) email went away, people would still opt-in to receive marketing messages from external companies. As long as companies adhere to the tenet of providing value, they will always have a place in the virtual inbox, wherever it is and in whatever shape it takes.

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