We’ve all heard the inflammatory phrase “email is dead” and I’m sure you don’t need me to refute this absurd claim, but I still see posts surmising that social media, group collaboration software and other alternatives will lead to a significant decrease in the volume of emails sent over the next couple of years. On the contrary, email is more important than ever. If for some reason there is any doubt in your mind, let’s have a look at the following statistics and then quickly move on.
122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour. We will have 5.2 billions email accounts by 2018. 66% of consumers bought online as a direct action based on a promotional email.
Gmail’s tab-based system and their new app “Inbox” is just the beginning of a recent revolution in how emails are displayed. For years we were stuck with a list view of all our emails, the “full view”, and sometimes a preview box where we could see the top part of the email. Now emails get auto-organized into folders by a learning algorithm, so we no longer have to create manual rules. This way of “auto-organizing” will be common practice in a few years for every widely used email app with evolved functionality. By then, it will be even easier for us to follow email conversations and teach the system how to filter emails, most likely via hand gestures.
By 2025, typical methods to access our email will be in our car or in our bedroom using our “home computer system”. Not everyone will own a self-driving car by then and have both hands free, but those who do will prefer to get their emails vocalised by their favourite computer voice, which in 10 years will actually sound lovely. At home you will not always carry your mobile device even if it is light as a feather, but you will interact with your computer via voice. This interaction will work extremely well because of the content extraction previously mentioned, so only the important information will be read to us, and whatever system we will be using will come up with recommendations towards the next best action. This could include purchasing a long favoured item mentioned in a promotional email, booking a table at the Italian restaurant to meet Kate who just wrote that she will return from her business trip, and so on.
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