I was at SuperFastBusiness Live here in Sydney today and one of the speakers was Ed Dale. If you’ve been around marketing online for any length of time you’ll know who Ed is and you’ll know that he has a pretty uncanny knack of picking trends.
Ed also for a while worked very closely with the late, great Gary Halbert and Ed’s talk today was all about sharing what he’d learned working with the great man.
If you’re interested in copywriting, sales psychology or even understanding people better, I highly recommend you go get Halbert’s “Boron Letters”. Gary’s sons Bond and Kevin have made the entire collection available free online and they genuinely offer a world-class education in marketing.
Got off track slightly, long and short is, Ed did a great job and he made one prediction about some short form of messaging being a replacement for email in the not too distant future that got my attention.
Death Of Email?
I’ve heard about the death of email for over a decade. For the most part I dismiss it out of hand as someone grandstanding, but I didn’t quite dismiss Ed’s point immediately as I thought about it.
Let me just say that email isn’t going anywhere and the conversion rates on email dwarf any other marketing channel – seriously, it’s not even close. I read somewhere the other day that email beats Facebook ads 40-to-1 in terms of converting to sales.
A Disruption Is Coming
However, I do think there is a slight disruption coming.
I sat there today and watched about 70 people out of a room of 120, collectively go through a brief lesson by Jen Sheahan on how to use Snapchat. I didn’t bother playing along, I think Snapchat is ridiculous.
When the “What’s New Gurus” tell everyone they should be using Instagram, I tune out and focus on something else. Instagram is simply littered with self-promotional quotes from people trying to be inspiring or trying to appear smarter than even they know they are. Not a fan of Instagram.
I just think those kind of things are fads. I get that they have new features and some of it is quite handy, but for the most part, none of those things are really disruptive enough to be anything more than niche players irrespective of how many users subscribe.
A number of people I spoke to today just shook their heads and said how distracting and noisy it all is. In fact, I watched three people at the bar after the event delete Snapchat off their phones.
Again though, there is a disruption coming and it may already be here.
The Third Wave Of Instant Messaging
I think the disruption to email will be Instant Messaging. I predict that over the next twelve to eighteen months, we’re going to see a great deal of innovation in things like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and these sort of tools.
These apps already have MASSIVE uptake and incredibly heavy usage. I think the next innovation will come when they get commerce enabled and the platforms start implementing a better broadcast model.
Imagine a scenario where you “Like” the Casual Marketer page (I don’t have one, so don’t look for it) and as part of that as the page owner, I can get you to allow me to send updates to your FB Messenger app. For example, when I publish the daily email, you get a notification with a link or if you’re a subscriber, I send you a message telling you your next issue is on its way.
The Future Of Anywhere eCommerce
Now, let’s take that a step further. What if I send you a link with a special offer in your Messenger client with a buy button built right in? I have a hunch that’s where Facebook and others are going to go.
Let me say it again, I don’t think email is going anywhere, but I do think we’ll see some form of disruption in the messaging space over the next year or so.
I like making predictions and one thing I can predict is that if you join the Casual Marketer Monthly Newsletter, you’ll really enjoy it and learn something every single month! That was a really lame segue, but sometimes that’s just the best you’re going to get. Go ahead, click the button below to sign up for the newsletter, you’ll be glad you did.