Random Thoughts on Life and Work

October 10, 2006

Email is Dead!

Filed under: Charities,Charity,Marketing,Marketing Communications,Non-Profit,nptech,Strategy — Darren Mullenix @ 8:39 am

Or at least dying.  Seems like a strange thing for me to be saying here but there are studies showing the dying use of e-mail, especially among teens.  And what does that mean for those of us in the development world?

All along I have been promoting the use of e-mail technology for reaching your donors.  But if you have paid careful attention to my posts you will hopefully have picked up on a recurring theme.  It is not so much the use of a particular piece of technology as it is the use of new technologies.  Reaching constituents where they are at.

A recent articleI read pointed to the decreasing use of e-mail by teens.  While teens are (for most of us) not our demographic today – they will be tomorrow.  And monitoring the trends of potential new donors will keep you on the front of the wave of tomorrow, not drowning in today’s old technologies.  87% of teenagers in the US now use the internet and most of them prefer instant messaging to e-mail.  To quote the Chronicle of Higher Education, “teenagers preferred new technology like instant messaging or text messaging for talking to friends and use e-mail to communicate with ‘old people.'”

The question that this poses for non-profits is one of future planning.  What does this mean for our organization 10 years from now?  5 years from now?  Internet technologies have a way of filtering up.  That is, early adoption is often by younger people with older people following.  That means you can’t plan on current technologies still being relevant next year.  Do they go away?  No.  But what new technology is opening new doors?  And how are you going to take advantage of it.

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