Email overload cartoon

Colleagues of mine will no doubt attest my loathing of email messaging. One of my favourite hobby horses is to complain about days wasted just sending, replying and filing email messages.

The chaps at one of my clients now know just to strategically say “email” as a wind-up every now and then. The swines.

Whilst email is a necessary evilĀ – and badly used email (the rude, the overly-lengthy, the cc-ed to death, etc) is a particular pain when going about your daily business – we have been led to believe that messaging is the saviour of our sanity and business productivity.

Messenger apps to the rescue?

Now I’m all-in on most messaging types. It does get answers quickly, it’s more natural and sharing files and witty emoji makes for a better day. I’m always promoting Slack over email to my clients for example.

But therein lies the rub. It’s not just Slack.

Just today for example I’ve contacted people by 2x email accounts, Gmail, SMS, phone, Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, eBay messaging, Skype, Telegram, Instagram, Trello, Google Drive, LinkedIn and Instagram.

This is nuts. Or more correctly, it is sending me nuts.

Surely this multiple platform messaging situation can’t continue. It doesn’t feel sustainable for me the poor end user, but this is life in 2017. The technology that was meant to set us free is doing a pretty good job of enslaving this human.

OK, aggregation of messenger apps to the rescue?

When is some enterprising business going to come along and aggregate all of this?

Well with the competing factions that doesn’t seem likely. Everyone wants to own their audience on their platform. And my friends and business contacts who I talk to coalesce on these different platforms. Certain platforms are more appropriate for the business or social scenario or time of day, day of the week.

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Messenger

You can imagine Facebook, with its ambitions in business messaging are thinking how they can be the de facto platform. I didn’t even mention Snapchat in my list did I? Facebook are already doing a good job of seeing off that with Instagram.

But somehow I can’t see many on my list giving users the tools to aggregate on a Facebook-owned platform willingly.

So what does this mean for marketers?

Where does this leave us? Apart from with a bunch of messages to deal with…

Well, marketers need to think long and hard about platforms and context. But not only that, they need to think just how time poor people are. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to get through all of the personal messages, let alone marketing messages.

Crisp, clean, concise, visual and above all, simple is going to win the day in the current climate.

Live in fear of ‘TL;DR’ or ‘Too Long; Didn’t Read’. Your creative has got to stand out at a glance to people who are juggling a multitude of platforms. They haven’t got time to spend on content that isn’t snappy, entertaining or informative.

Right, that’s enough of that. I’ve got email to deal with…

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