Question 1: Email is always evolving. What major change or innovation will alter how we email in 2018?
Better ways to deal with email chaos.
Email is here to stay, and so is the way most people use it. Unfortunately, the average white-collar employee checks email about once every six minutes, and attention-switching resulting from email interruptions is a productivity killer.
A study by the Danwood Group found that it takes on average 64 seconds to recover from an email interruption (regardless of the email’s importance) and to return to the same productivity level. Plus, when you add interruptions from real-time communications platforms like Slack and others, people often feel overwhelmed and can stressed out by the sheer number of incoming notifications and messages.
The biggest change in email will come from recognizing the fact that people are bad at managing their emails, and that trying to get them to change behavior won’t solve the problem. For example, people aspire to achieve “Inbox Zero,” but few have the discipline or time to do what’s required to get there—yet alone stay there.
The key is helping people simplify and focus without making them drastically change behavior. Innovative providers will make the entire email experience more intuitive and less demanding while seamlessly dealing with increasing volume and complexity.
Integrating better search and more advance AI functionality are steps in the right direction. As are smarter and more easily customizable notifications that allow you to filter out noise to focus on what’s important, overlaying more order on what can seem like a never-ending sea of chaos.
Question 2: In relation to email, what will go away or become less relevant?
OK, maybe it won’t disappear entirely, and we’re not there yet. But as more and more functionality gets pushed into emails and people’s inboxes, you won’t need to click through to a separate page to perform many tasks or consume additional content.
From embedded videos to surveys and beyond, functionality that once required people to click through to landing pages can be achieved within a person’s inbox. This development may have unintended consequences for marketers, who must then balance the value of getting people to more easily engage against removing the incentive for customers to visit their websites.
Question 3: What role will video play in email?
The video email trend been rumored for some time, but it’s a trend whose time has finally come.
Apple’s renewed commitment to video support underscores that fact, and it means this huge segment of users will continue to have videos play directly from email. However, just because you can include video in emails doesn’t mean you always should—and that goes double for the ability to make an embedded video play automatically.
Although video content has proven to be engaging, and auto-playing it even more so, the realities of how people check email…