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Is email knocking on heaven’s door?

Posted January 4th, 2016 by inCase Web Team

I’ve got a theory that email is dying a slow death as an effective form of communication. According to Wikipedia, email has been around since 1993 but I doubt many were using it. I recall emails being introduced in a law firm I previously worked for around year 2000/1 – really for internal purposes as we were still very happy to send letters to our clients and third parties by ‘snail-mail’ (aka – the post).

So with email having only been in use for 15 or so years, I’d forgive you for thinking that my theory is premature. Email is now established as a primary source of communication, acting as a unique identifier for login to online platforms.

However, how many email addresses does the average Joe have? I’ve got 4 that I use…regularly. One in particular is for signing up for free stuff, like my Pizza Express voucher codes. Two for work and one other personal one.

Leaving to one side my business email addresses, I only really need my personal ones to sign up to online platforms. Mostly I need an email to a password as then I can log into their portal system and do what I need to do. The email address becomes redundant for me…other than receiving confirmation emails.

I accept that emails have a big part to play in business and that is unlikely to change in the near future. My theory is based on consumers. Do they really need their email address? They are spammed, constantly to the point at which anything important is really hard to find in and amongst all the junk.

Law firms are right to communicate with their clients by email today, especially if that is what their clients are asking for. Yet with security around emails being under a microscope as well as ‘safe harbour’ issues, I believe my theory could become reality soon.

So what are the alternatives? You could revert back to snail-mail. Post is effective but for firms that have invested in technology to reduce the demand on postal facilities, this will require further investment. Suitable franking machines and personnel may be necessary. There will certainly be an escalation in ongoing costs with stationary, print and postage.

Online portal systems where clients can log in to see letters and take action could be developed. Yet you need some way to tell your clients that there is something to check – typically email but then we encounter the same challenge that clients struggle to see the important emails amongst all the spam.

This is where a mobile app is genuinely a viable replacement for email. Mobile apps are secure and can be developed to a high level – just look at how many banking apps are now available. They are efficient – using PUSH technology, clients can be alerted to any updates with sounds and notifications. They are convenient – a client can have access to an app on several devices, most importantly their smartphone, meaning they can act whilst on the go.

Effective and efficient communication is a challenge for all businesses, not just law firms. Yet it can be overcome with a simple solution using a mobile app which considers user experience. To find out how we can help, contact us for an informal chat today.

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