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The Future of Email: Four Questions and Answers for 2018

by Eric Wanta  |  
January 12, 2018

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?

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Eric Wanta is CMO at Kiwi for Gmail, a platform that takes Gmail and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides and separates them from the browser so they exist on their own, as an independent desktop application.

LinkedIn: Eric Wanta

Twitter: @ericwanta

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  • by Michael Shoff Fri Jan 12, 2018 via web

    The following sentence needs to have one word corrected:

    Some people may have their sound turned off so you're carefully-crafted video production becomes a silent movie.

    In this situation, you should use 'your', implying something that you own or have created, instead of 'you're', which implies 'you are' or 'you were'.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Fri Jan 12, 2018 via web

    Michael Shoff. Thank you for pointing that out. It looks we neglected to edit that entire paragraph! Oversight now corrected.

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