Death of Email Meme: Do the Kids Get Email?

Posted by George Bilbrey on

The death of email hypothesis goes something like this:

  • Younger generations use other methods to communicate than email.  They text to communicate. They IM to communicate. They use social networks to communicate.  The only time they use email is to talk to old folks.
  • When the younger generations make it into the workforce, email will be supplanted by other media.

I love the data that the Pew Center for Internet research produces (good AND free).  Recently they released their “Generations Online in 2009” study about how different age groups use the internet.  So what can we glean from the study?

Major findings:

  1. Teens and Generation Y find entertainment and social networks online
  2. Older generations use the internet as a tool for research, shopping and banking

So that’s not too surprising, right?  When you’re young you have more of a social life (or at least that’s true for me).  More free time = more time spent on entertainment.

As you get older, your life can get more complex and time is more scarce.  You use the tools you have to provide as much of that glorious free time you remember from when you were younger.

So what about email?

I think this chart says it best.  Email and search are the core activities of every online segment.  I would say that email’s days are not yet numbered.


Popular this Month

 Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in email is nothing new. Marketers have been using some form of video...

Read More

 [New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

[New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

Reaching the inbox is not as simple as hitting send. Once a message is...

Read More

 What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

Over the last 16 years, I’ve worked as a product manager, run product...

Read More

Author Image

About George Bilbrey

George Bilbrey is the founder of the industry’s first deliverability service provider, Assurance Systems, which merged with Return Path in 2003. He is a recognized expert on the subjects of email reputation and deliverability and is active in many industry organizations, including the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) and the Online Trust Alliance (OTA). In his role as president of Return Path George is the driving force behind the ongoing innovation of our products and services. Prior to Return Path, George served as Director of Product Management at Worldprints.com and as a partner in the telecommunications group at Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. in economics from Duke University, and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina.

Author Archive

Stay up to date

Enter your name and email address below to subscribe to our mailing list.

Your browser is out of date.
For a better Return Path experience, click a link below to get the latest version.