My take on the changing face of email

I'm not really a fan of RSS. But I do subscribe to 100's of websites for email updates/newsletters. Over the last year I've been studying my behaviour, email styles, impact and effectiveness on top of reading countless articles and opinion posts on the topic.

Email is vital, it's not slowing down or being replaced by Facebook messaging. Email is baked into your smartphone and is likely one of the first things you check when you look at your device along with calls, SMS and social.

Email is a social media. It's a direct way to connect, engage and prompt your community to read, watch or respond.

Key insights:

Overly designed HTML emails full of content looks cluttered, scary and time consuming. Immediately I think "this is going to take a while to digest, I'll leave it for now" and of course it usually ends up in the trash can or forgotten about.

Emails with short conversational subject lines that are simple standard text based style get immediate attention. You should be able to read it without scrolling whether on your PC, smartphone or ipad.

It's immediately digestible, the contain contains a short insight, recommendation or idea linking through to further content, video, blog post or news story on the web.

The kids these days are using email in a big way but they are certainly not going to sit reading through your beautifully designed monthly newsletter with side bars and endless sections.

You have to capture their interest, get to the point and drive them through to richer content online. If they don't click through they should still have grasped the guts of the message.

Building on the notion that 'many light weight interactions' fosters stronger relationships you should kill your monthly newsletters today.

Instead break down all that content in to many bite sized pieces. Publish the full stories to your blog and send easily digestible emails more frequently. Once or Twice a week is nice. You could retain your monthly schedule but keep to sharing one insight or piece of content that drives traffic through to your blog where you can tease people with everything else.