It’s not yet clear what this means for marketers, but email is viewed as the “least authentic” means of communication, according to an article in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The Wall Street Journal quotes the author, Andrew Brodsky, as saying, “It’s seen as lower effort. If something is easy to fake, we don’t trust it. And email has a base rate of being the most inauthentic.”
Brodsky, an assistant professor of management at the University of Texas, conducted three studies with an aggregate total of over 1,500 participants.
The conclusion is that email is not the best channel for expressing genuine emotions.
“If you have nothing to hide, the richest medium is best — a face-to-face meeting if possible, a video chat when it’s not,” Brodsky told the Journal.
Brodsky’s sad conclusion is that “if you have to fake it, you’d choose email.” He adds that there is "less emotional leakage.”
This may not be true in a marketing context — consumers have trusted brands that send them promotional and transactional messages. And the ability to place logos in subject lines via BIMI adds to that feeling of security.
Spam emails, of course, fall into the least-trusted category.
“The associated hardships during these times have highlighted the importance of being emotionally authentic, despite the potential difficulties of doing so at a distance,” Brodsky writes in an intro in Journal of Applied Psychology.
Brodsky adds, “Even in normal times, a common requirement of workers is that they are expected to display certain emotions to customers, teammates, and supervisors, regardless of how they are actually feeling (e.g., “service with a smile”).
Gosh! I am so pleased to receive this quite challenging report ... via email.