University Web Developers

University Web Developers

So one of the most discussed topics at eduWEB 2008 was the topic of email being dead. Let's here people's opinion. I'll chime in with my deeper thoughts soon (once I get through this backlog of stuff), but in the mean time here are some links to get the conversation going.

* The video stream including Mark's Keynote Address that Kicked off the Debate

* My Presentation on Email Marketing at eduWEB 2008

Finally in Mark's Blog Post wrap-up he states:
"For the record, I don’t believe e-mail is dead. I do believe that e-mail is broken. I’ll be writing about this more in the coming weeks. My goal is to think strategically about how e-mail fits into the myriad of communication channels now at our disposal."

Let the discussion begin!

Views: 276

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Email is too useful, despite it's obvious flaws, to die.

Email is:

-Available any time you want, almost anywhere you want
-Waits for you when you ignore it
-Stores everything you send or receive - it archives all your conversations
-Sortable, searchable

It allows conversations happen over time scales that are convenient for all parties. They can be fast or slow. It's waiting for me when I get to work in the morning. It forgets nothing. I can access it from anything with an Internet connection.

Yes, it keeps telling me that I need to enhance my maleness, send money to Nigeria, buy stocks and drugs, and watch Brittany Spears do unnatural things.

But I couldn't live without it.

Fact: 75% of the business that I conduct for my photography business happens entirely via email, including delivery of work. Zero phone calls. Zero in-person meetings. Zero tweets.
My question would be "Dead to Who" (or is it "whom")? If we're talking about professionals, then obviously no, it's not (as others have said, I get enough legitimate email to call it dead). My question is more toward students, prospective and current. I don't think it's dead, I think they choose to read and use email to talk to us - adults or "old people" (as one study called us), but not necessarily their friends.
One piece of research I've read is from PEW called Teens and Social Media. It was published in December 2007.

Here is an excerpt from page IV:

Email continues to lose its luster among teens as texting, instant messaging, and social networking sites facilitate more frequent contact with friends.

Despite the power that email holds among adults as a major mode of personal and professional communication, it is not a particularly important part of the communication arsenal of today’s teens. Only 14% of all teens report sending emails to their friends every day, making it the least popular form of daily social communication on the list we queried. Even among multi-channel teens, who are more likely to take advantage of any communication channel they have access to, just 22% say they send email to their friends daily.

My question for the discussion is will this impact teens using e-mail for communication with colleges down the road? If they are using other channels to communicate with their friends, will they start using less e-mail in general?
Mark I think using this report skews things a bit because you're talking about looking at teens social media habits - not their email habits. We've known since the 2005 Pew report that they were moving to different mediums to communicate with their friends, and it makes sense. I rarely email my friends and its usually just if I'm trying to reach a big group of people at once. Usually its IM or text or :::gasp::: calling them on my phone. As Brian points out (and I think this is from the 2005 report...), teens are still very much using email to communicate with old people and institutions - anyone they consider "business" contacts. Like I posted on your blog, I have empirical stats to show that when I worked in admissions, 33% of the class who enrolled in 2007 applied as a direct result of an email I sent them. Would they have applied anyway? Maybe, maybe not.

Additionally, it depends on what you consider success when it comes to email. What are you trying to achieve? Most colleges have shotty email plans at best....they use email because everyone else is and most of the time its for bloody newsletters. Very few really take it to the next level in terms of segmenting messages to appeal to a specific audience. If you do that, teens ABSOLUTELY respond. Try emailing them after they've deposited to attend your school and your rates will be unreal. I use to do "accept triggers" which were sent to each student within a week of them receiving acceptance letters - 80% open rates and 60% click through rates. That's UNHEARD of, especially for a dead medium. On the other hand, if you're emailing to seniors who haven't applied to your school in the spring of their senior year, of course your rates are going to suck because they aren't interested anymore. It's all about context.

OK, I'm going to stop ranting now :-)
I sometimes wish email was dead, but frankly, I don't think it'll be going anywhere anytime soon. Email is just another resource in our communications toolbox. I think other tools such as instant messaging, blogging, wikis, and forums have their place, but no one tool can completely trump email in most situations.
Imagine working without many instant message windows, voice mail notifications, and forums would you have to sift through in order to get your job done?
Besides, how else would your boss be able to send the entire university a picture of her cat with a hat on?
You had to start it didn't you....

Here is my blog on the subject:

I thought your first slide was brilliant. After attending Mark's keynote on Monday, and knowing I was planning on attending your presentation the following day, I was curious as to how/if you would broach the subject.

In this case, I think both of you are correct. E-mail is obviously not the preferred choice of communication amongst the traditional prospective students today, and chances are it will stay that way. However, as long as we have "old people" returning to complete their education, "old people" working in the profession, and "old people" as our other constituents (alums, donors, etc), e-mail still has a viable place at institutions of higher learning.

Have to say this was my first trip to edu Web, and really the first time I became aware of a lot of things on this side of the fence (spent the last 10 plus in athletics), and it was the most useful Conference I have attended in quite some time. Kudos to all involved in running the event and presenting the topics.
*grabs popcorn and takes a seat in the front row*
Not anything you haven't heard before but my 2 cents. My experience (having lived through 3 teenagers) ..high school age doesn't use email at all, they send files through AIM and communicate with their cellphones, facebook, text and IM. Once they get into college they are forced to use email for classes but they rarely use it to communicate with friends. Once graduated from college email is a primary tool for job searches so they are constantly using it. Seems to me it's a waste of time to use it for marketing for undergrad recruitment but makes a lot of sense for grad school or the adult student.
I would be very interested to see actual stats from email marketing campaigns to high school students that show it as being a waste....
It seems that teens use all forms of social media, texting, IMing, tweets, etc. with their friends because when they want to communicate with friends, they want to communicate with them NOW, in real time. As mentioned before, email allows a conversation to take place at each party's convenience.

In working with college students with my previous employer (also happened to be my Alma Mater) it seemed that email was an acceptable form of communication, because we were "doing business". I also taught a course, and my students preferred to communicate with me via email and, yes, the PHONE! They even preferred to email assignments rather than print and turn in...fine with me! Saved lots of paper. Although, they did not like to use the school-issued email account; I think they just wanted me to have to email them at ....
I think it's worth noting that some of the "new" forms of social media communications are essentially email, repackaged. A lot of teens would say that they don't use email anymore, but they do write on each other's Facebook "walls" or send Facebook "messages."

Using Tony's list of email selling points, Facebook (or other social network) messages are:
-Available any time you want, almost anywhere you want
-Waits for you when you ignore it
-Stores everything you send or receive - it archives all your conversations
-Sortable, searchable (okay, this one is a stretch)

The medium of email isn't dead, it's just gone underground to a point where it's more difficult for marketers and spammers to get to it. It's the same system rebuilt inside a walled garden where it's easier to manage who contacts you.

So the question becomes: How do we get inside this closed system, and do we really want to?



Latest Activity

Profile IconTracey Vellidis and Mikey Greenland joined University Web Developers
Jan 14
Sara Kisseberth posted a discussion

Archived magazine stories

Greetings,What are you all doing online with "old" magazine stories? Do you delete issues after so  many years? 5 years? 10? I'm torn between keeping all on for historical purposes or keeping just a few years online to simplify the site (ala Gerry McGovern.) Curious as to what you see best practices being.ThanksSara KisseberthBluffton Universitywww.bluffton.eduSee More
Jun 10, 2020
Erin Jorgensen posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Accessibility Summit

The HighEdWeb 2020 Accessibility Summit is a one-day, online conference about digital accessibility in higher education happening June 25, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT.Join in to learn best practices, share stories and connect with your higher ed peers on topics including social media accessibility, web development, user experience and more. Sessions are designed to boost knowledge at every level, from accessibility beginners to technical experts. Conference registration is $25, with…See More
May 29, 2020
Erin Jorgensen is now a member of University Web Developers
May 29, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference - ONLINE

October 19-20, 2020     Join us ONLINE for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. In 2020, the Conference will be held completely online, offering multiple tracks of streamed presentations, live…See More
May 3, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Throughout April, we're hosting webcasts exploring how colleges and universities across North America are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the series today!"
Apr 13, 2020
Christelle Lachapelle is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 6, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Download our latest white paper to learn how the demographics of today’s higher ed learners are shifting, and how schools can adapt to meet the needs of these new learners."
Mar 31, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Amrit Ahluwalia from The EvoLLLution to learn about the new "modern learner" in higher education."
Mar 30, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"As we ride out the latest developments and impact of the coronavirus, there's no better time than now to learn the three Bs of crisis planning."
Mar 16, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Is your college or university prepared to meet the challenges that come with disasters and emergencies like the coronavirus? Learn how your CMS can help."
Mar 12, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Can’t afford the time and money to launch a comprehensive guided pathways model? Register for our FREE webcast to learn tricks for simulating a digital guided pathways experience."
Feb 21, 2020
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"With college enrollment decreasing for the 8th year in a row, boosting your college or university marketing efforts is more important than ever. Here's how to get started."
Feb 20, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference

October 18-21, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA     Join us for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. With 100+ diverse sessions, an outstanding keynote presentation, intensive workshops, and engaging networking events,…See More
Feb 19, 2020
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Call for Proposals is Open!

The 2020 Annual Conference of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association (HighEdWeb) will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, this October 18-21 — and the call for proposals is now open! As a digital professional in higher education, we know you have great ideas and experiences to share. From developers, marketers and programmers to managers, designers, writers and all team members in-between, HighEdWeb provides valuable professional development for all who want to explore the unique…See More
Feb 14, 2020
Christine Boehler shared Sara Clark's discussion on Facebook
Feb 14, 2020
Christine Boehler is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 14, 2020
Brian Bell joined Kevin Daum's group
Feb 14, 2020
Brian Bell joined Mark Greenfield's group
Feb 14, 2020
Kenneth George is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 13, 2020

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic


© 2021   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service