Over the past decade, many media outlets have declared, at different times, that email is dead.

The logic goes that there are plenty of new social media options for communicating, and as younger generations, in particular, eschew the systems and processes of the past, quicker, newer forms of communication are now taking precedence.

Fortunately for email, the numbers don’t support this hypothesis. The fact is that some 90% of Americans still use email to communicate, and that figure transcends generations.

Email is far from dead, and ignoring it could lead to problems with a business.

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Email Is Surprisingly Popular

Members of every age group use email, including 86% of people over 65, 90% of people aged 45-64, 93% of people aged 25-44, and 91% of people aged 15-24. Those numbers paint a picture – every age group uses email at almost the same rate. 

By 2022, 126.7 trillion emails will be sent every year. 58% of people check their email first thing in the morning, and 58% of the youngest generation report that they are checking their emails multiple times a day.

Email Responsiveness Is Crucial

Of all emails received, 35% require a response, and 23% require immediate action. What’s more, 33% of GenX and Baby Boomers expect an email response in less than one hour.

Responsiveness is a nonverbal cue to clients about how motivated and trustworthy you are. Responding to emails in a timely manner builds trust, and clients that trust you are more likely to bring you repeat business. In fact, companies that respond to emails within an hour are 7x more successful than companies that take just two hours – and they are 60x more successful than those companies that take 24 hours or more to respond.

Improving Response Times

In order to improve email response times within your business, you need to ensure that your employees are trained on the importance of email response times. Setting expectations with clients is also crucial – even if you don’t have an immediate answer, a quick response to let them know that you’re working on it can go a long way.

Whenever email responses fall behind – whether it’s an oversight or because of an unexpected delay – be sure to apologize.

Learn more about the importance of email response times in the infographic below.