This post is based on a conversation I had with Tyler Crowley from Mahalo and Open Angel Fourm. Bio is below:
Tyler Crowley is the Director of Corporate Strategy at Mahalo and Producer of Open Angel Forum (OAF). OAF is a high quality private investor pitch forum for founders to meet quality Angels. They are looking for operational startups only, but there is no fee of any kind to pitch or apply. He can be reached @steepdecline.
I’ll start with the conclusion: Email is far from dead.
How could this be? We’ve all read articles, reports, and blog posts telling us email is dead. The truth is though that not only is email not dead, it’s growing fast along with the social media channels that are supposedly replacing it as a communications channel.
Many people believe that Twitter is the biggest threat to email. It’s a very efficient communications channel, it’s easily mobile, you only get Direct Messages from people you want, and the messages are short. But at the same time, Twitter is also a very limited communications channel. It’s very hard to efficiently schedule meetings, make introductions, and send long form content.
Our own StartupDigest newsletter is tangible evidence that email is not getting replaced by social channels. It has grown from just 22 subscribers to over 60,000 in just 6 months. Our subscribers are the most technologically savvy people in the world (developers + founders creating new technology) and yet still love getting StartupDigest weekly in their inbox. Being the early adopters they are, they subject themselves to the most amount of noise through new social channels but enjoy StartupDigest as a rare break from the clutter and noise every other channel is producing.
And email is only getting more powerful. There are companies like Rapportive that give you social context to emails, Mingly that is becoming the social CRM for personal relationships, SailThru that allows your newsletters to have behavioral targeting, RapLeaf that gives you social data based on email addresses, and MailChimp’s Social Pro that gives you real demographic analysis on your email list.
Watch out for an email renaissance coming to your inbox and new startups that extend your inbox to a socially powerful communications tool.