Email is increasingly becoming a less efficient technology for human communication.
A few facts . . .
- There are an estimated 250 billion emails flowing through the internet everyday
- Click though rates on marketing emails are typically 3%
- Top reason people unsubscribe - “I get too many emails”
- Estimates of spam emails are between 50 & 60%
- Decreased productivity costs due to email/spam overload - who knows?
Just sending more and more stuff is drowning us in data. Our productivity falls as we try and keep up with our never ending tidal wave of rubbish arriving in our inbox.
How many emails - a reality check?
So we have a global infrastructure that takes a whole heap of technology and resources. There are vast data centres spanning our planet with a web of cables and satellite communication gadgets that shove all those emails around the ether.
STOP - can you really imagine how much kit is required to move all these emails around the world each day?
They transmit over 100 billion emails destined for the spam folder on a daily basis. I bet this concept wasn’t on the drawing board of whoever invented email.
Now I know that’s a lot of numbers and the mechanics of electronic communication is invisible to most. So let us relate the scale of the problem to the paper-based office. If each email was one A4 sheet of paper that would be 500,000 tons of paper that would fill 5 million, 4 drawer filing cabinets per day. Is this really a wonderful heart warming communication tool that we want to be apart of?
Spam, Spam, Spam
The fundamental problem is that it’s a non permission based system. Anyone can send an email to your email account, whether you want it or not. OK, yes there are laws about sending spam. Do they apply to all countries, do you know what they are, have you got the time to prosecute everyone who sends you spam. No, you just hit the delete button and move on. And for the opt-in mailing lists, you have no say in how often you’ll receive stuff in your inbox, other than unsubscribing when it gets too much.
Over the past few years I have found I communicate far less by email. It just drains the life blood out of me. Some mornings I stare at my inbox, post spam filtering and see miracle cures for hair loss, weight loss and a whole plethora of health issues I don’t have. I like my hair loss, it’s me and I’m sticking with it. I get offers to invest in the next big thing that will make me millions. Do I need a realistic flight simulator in my life, but hey wait, 16,000 shed plans - how could a shed-loving guy resist. Delete, delete, delete.
I “feel” the cost of all the global technology and human resource that is employed to convey that junk to my trash can - what a waste. It doesn’t feel good.
A better way?
There must be a better way. Pop over to my social media permission based communication inbox and life get’s a whole lot better. There are people that I know, that I have spoken to or met in person have sent me a warm greeting and quick question on Instagram private messenger. Another sent me a Twitter DM to ask me if I got the email they sent - I love the irony. And then there’s the short video message on Facebook messenger.
I’d love to know how you prefer to connect with other people on our planet that keeps the positivity and human connections alive.