Is Email ‘Digital’?

OK guys… I am obsessed with figuring this out now. Maybe I have been drinking the email Kool-Aid for way to long—heck, I even brew it in my basement these days. But I need your help to figure out the answer to this question:

Should email be considered one of the services we speak about when we talk about “digital”?

Why am I asking? Because there seems to be two camps:

1- The group who claims email is not innovative, not digital, and not even considered digital in the minds of the consumers.

2- The group that feels that email is a digital application and is very much a digital platform.

If anyone cares to provide thoughts or arguments in either direction I would love to hear them.

—Jeanniey Mullen

One thought on “Is Email ‘Digital’?

  1. OK, Jeanniey, I can’t help but chime in: You and I have had numerous exchanges about this, we might as well share them with the crowd, right?

    The struggle over whether email is or isn’t digital reveals the challenge many of us are facing: the value proposition for email as a marketing platform isn’t as clear as it used to be – or needs to be. Shame on us e-marketers for that.

    If you pass by any business or consumer computer with at least three applications open, it’s likely that email is one of them, along with a web browser and Microsoft Office (would love to see stats on this). It’s used all day every day by virtually every business user at a computer. It’s ubiquity is itself a huge statement of it’s power as a marketing platform. How did we find ourselves with such a pervasive platform and still struggling to stay in the "digital" conversation? Remember when an email address was all but destined to be your single online identity? But my chat goes to my AIM address, text messages go to my phone number…. sigh.

    The makeover we need with email, imho, isn’t to brand it digital, but to brand it innovative – at least within the marketing community. Right now email is the paper boy of the marketing mix; you couldn’t read the daily news without it but you only notice if if it fails.

    When we can talk about email and innovative, consumer (or business) -facing experiences in one breath, we’ll be on the road back. Because it’s those experiences which most people think of when you say "digital", I suspect.

Comments are closed.