Mobile this, mobile that, mobile here, mobile there seems to be the order of the day with a large amount of press and events centered on the mobile medium and more specifically mobile applications and traditional sms solutions.
There remains a medium from the past that has slowly but surely evolved with the times and still holds immense power for those who are looking for a channel that continues to offer unparalleled engagement with ensures. The adoption of email has never quite taken of in Africa, as we dealt with matters connectivity and made the big leap to mobile and were blown away by the ease of communication and the ubiquity of the channel. With improved connectivity and the recent surge in the use of mobile data, it is imperative that we take a second look at email and understand how to plug back in; as things have clearly changed from years past.
The justification is simple. As everyone is looking to mobile applications to reach their current and potential audience, services such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube have continued to grow user numbers in Africa at a staggering pace with one common element required in their user experience – an email address. Facebook, according to daily updated data from Social Bakers has just under 40 million users; with Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria and Algeria leading in numbers; Kenya in at number seven with just over 1.3 million users. This is an decent audience by any measure, accounting for the spillover effect on the different services and those who may have active email addresses but choose not to participate on these services. Email forms the spine of the social web, connecting the dots and making everything work.
So why should you look at email beyond the numbers that it currently boasts of ?
First, is the amount of information that you can transmit via email, which over the years has evolved and offers an excellent user experience on mobile.
The second is the level of personalization and aesthetic elements that improve the engagement experience.
Lastly, is the cost of interaction and return on engagement. Many businesses both large and small construe the cost of email as free but it is not – at least not the proper sending of it; and there a number of issues that must be taken into account in this regard. However the cost vs information throughput is currently unparalleled on any other medium not to mention the numerous ways that you can measure the interaction.
It may not be the latest technology on the block, but I think it’s time you gave it a second take.