Among the misguided opinions that require an answer (apart from those in politics) is this one from John Brandon, who writes in Inc. that email is dead — and that Gen Z killed it.
That might be news to email vendors that are now being acquired for billions.
Brandon partly bases this theory on the fact that a student he was mentoring never responded to an email he sent.
In fairness, he is addressing email in the workplace, where it might well be less popular than other forms of communication.
Gen Z is typically thought to include those born between 1996 and 2010. The former have not entered the workforce yet, so it would be hard to describe their preferences. And the older ones — the 22-year-olds?
Brandon claims that "if you work with young employees, you will notice how much they despise email and don't take it seriously. It's a distant memory."
Maybe so — although we bet they answer emails from their boss. But here is a more disturbing claim:
"Usually, the people who get the most upset about any predictions about the death of email are the email marketers, the ones still relying on this form of communication to reach young people," Brandon writes. "They know the entire field is dying, that a 20-year-old is about as likely to buy a luxury car tomorrow or dine at a supper club as read an email from a stranger filled with promotional content."
Wait a minute — that is an imaginative leap based on zero information.
One person who might argue with it is Len Shneyder, VP of industry relations at SendGrid. He predicts that Gen Zers will use email more as they move through life as “a kind of rite of passage.”
Unlike Brandon, Shneyder at least has some stats to back up his claim.
Of the Gen Z members polled for a SendGrid study, 85% have an overwhelming preference for email communications.
At the same time, 48% expect their email use to increase in the next five years, compared with 36% of millennials and 23% Gen Xers. Granted, these stats are from late 2017, but we haven’t seen anything to disprove them.
As for other channels, only 41% of Gen Zers prefer live chat for solving customer service issues — way behind Gen Xers and millennials. But at 36%, they outrank everyone in their preference for social media for dealing with simple problems and 29% for handling more complex ones.
Still, email ranks up there and cannot be written off. Brands will determine the truth through their own tests.