Email is everywhere, so it must be a commodity, right? Maybe in the broader consumer market, but as far as the SMB channel is concerned, treating email as a commodity is a huge mistake, with real consequences.
What do the numbers tell us about email use today?
- According the February, 2015 study by the Radicati Group, there are roughly 2.5 billion email users in the world, and roughly 4.4 billion email addresses. That is roughly one in every three people on the planet.
- In North American, the percentage of email users jumps from roughly 33% to 78.6%.
- There are some 144 billion emails sent each day, and…
- …almost 70% of those are spam.
- According to Fast Company, 35 million spam emails per day equate to 28 sales, but those 28 sales are equivalent to 3.4 million dollars of revenue, and it isn’t all that expensive to build.
- Finally, email is still growing (projected at 2.9 billion users by 2019), and spammers are continuing to improve their ability to get their spam into your inbox.
There are some interesting opportunities living inside of those numbers, as well as some significant threats. Layered over the top of all of this is the perception that email provision and email itself is becoming a commodity, something to buy and sell with little margin and very little distinction between products.
While the debate rages as to whether or not email is a commodity, email is certainly a ubiquity, defined as “the state or capacity of being everywhere, especially at the same time.” As a ubiquity, it lends itself to being managed by effective process and procedure across a large number of disparate customers, which is what successful MSPs do well.
Delivering email more effectively than others is a true competitive advantage. In short, it is the single most prevalent thing you provide to all of your customers every day, so doing it well should be at the top of your to-do list.
In addition to delivering best in class email services, you should also be looking for additional capabilities that you can deliver to your customers via email. What does that mean? According to Mashable, we should be on the lookout for these innovations over the next few years:
- The opportunity to integrate with third party applications.
- Smarter input, history and management.
- Personalized design, and
- A broader base of mobile users.
Email is not dead… it’s not even sick
It is potentially the most important service you provide to your customers on a daily basis. If you question this, shut down any of your customer’s email and see how long it takes for them to call you. Yeah, bad idea, but I think you get the point.
A host of social products are driving innovation in communication that will be appearing in email solutions in the near future, so pay attention. Look for opportunities to make your offerings and experience better than average — it will drive a closer bond with your customer base and improve your industry and community reputation.