Inside a business is one of the most instructive places to view the evolution of human communication patterns, and some of the largest enterprises around the world are rapidly transitioning away from email as the primary mode of internal communication. Employees are opting for the ease, efficiency, and immediacy of instant messaging instead. The success of Slack and Facebook Messenger is a clear example of this trend – and if businesses are over email, everyone else was a time long ago. Now, email open rates are decreasing as the volume continues to increase in an attempt to make up for the loss of engagement. In the arena that governs person-to-person communication, email has surrendered its crown.
Instant messaging outperforms email in all communication arenas because it’s more powerful, more personal, and a more timely way to reach the people on the other end. Instant messaging is the ideal medium to drive intent and action – by showing up on a user’s home screen it commands attention and piques interest.
Unlike email, instant messages don’t end up obscured in tabbed folders or forgotten underneath mountains of junk. People are conditioned to react to instant messages in a more engaged and immediate fashion because it is the medium through which they communicate with family, friends, and colleagues. And for this reason messaging drives higher open rates, click-through rates, and a better, more familiar customer experience.
What Lies Ahead
Messaging as a format is evolving to become more actionable and intuitive, and it will one day replace the need to visit a website all together. Forward thinking brands who have included web push notifications into their engagement strategies are experiencing instant surges in traffic that a were unthinkable – and even unachievable – with email.
Solidifying a place for messaging in the mobile communication hierarchy is fact that it will only become more advanced – it will include a range of actionable buttons within the message (including a “purchase now” button), creating a compelling, irresistible consumer experience that propels us even more into the future. The inherent qualities of the medium can be summed up in three words: instantaneous, actionable engagement – the stuff of any good CMO’s dreams. Instant messaging is the medium of the future and the format of engagement in our digital, mobilized age.