Email – More Than Just a Digital Envelope


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Email has traditionally been linked with its paper counterpart. It is actually one of the oldest recognizable features of internet communication (the use of the “@” symbol dates all the way back to 1972!) and from the start was a way for people to message inter-personally across an organization or across the world. Many have predicted that with the rise of text messages and the rise of social media email would start to go the way of snail-mail. However, the trends show that this is not the case. What is to explain this? Here are several reasons.

  1. Email as an “IPC”
    Email is a very mature platform with many well-know automation tools. As organizations have grown and enterprise software has come to make up a large part of IT development, email has taken on a sort of role analogous to an important computing concept – inter-process communication. More specifically, most operating systems have mechanisms that allow programs to signal each other or share information via message queues. As organizations streamline and automate processes, email has become a reliable higher-level version of this concept. It is likely that most business email is not actually sent manually by a person.
  2. Social Media
    Social media is supposed to be a factor in the decline of email, but it is actually very email intensive. The big social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) are tending towards user bases larger than the populations of most countries. They also communicate with their users via email (verifications, policy changes, emails about notifications.) Just as businesses and other large organizations still depend on email to keep their operations running, the huge social networks similarly use email for their daily operations with their user base.
  3. Email Marketing
    Believe it or not, Email remains one of the most important tools for online marketing. According to one recent survey 66% of Americans report making a purchase from an email, 63% reported preferring email for sharing content, and overall 90% report using email at least once a week.

No matter how much the online world has changed since its inception, email has remained crucial for business. This is where SendGrid comes into play. Learn more about how we can provide scalable email delivery and analytics for your business.


Danny Randa has been working in digital marketing since the launch of Nickelodeon's virtual world Nicktropolis in 2006. After three years of managing interactive marketing campaigns for Nickelodeon's game, he completed an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the Leeds School of Business in Boulder, CO. He now works at SendGrid helping developers solve their email infrastructure challenges.

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4 thoughts on “Email – More Than Just a Digital Envelope

  1. The key to email being a useful marketing tool is to make sure to trigger enough curiosity in those receiving it so the message isn't labeled as spam and consequently ignored. While this is a lot easier said than done, getting it right rewards you with a direct connection to a potential client.

  2. Number 3 is definitely something grossly underestimated these days. The email doesn't even have to be opened. Just seeing the brand name in the title is effective enough at times.

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