“Email is not a messaging protocol. It’s a todo list. Or rather, my inbox is a todo list, and Email is the way things get onto it.”

Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas” – Paul Graham

Emails are tasks. Either you ignore them or act on them. Because chat beats Email, we don’t use emails as a communication channel anymore.

What is Emails’ place in 2020? It falls under three categories:

  1. Ledger: where 2 or more people need to communicate a formal decision, share a legal document, or pass an invoice.
  2. Newsfeed: where you get reports or alerts from applications and websites.
  3. Library: where you receive blog posts that you care about and are easier to read in the mobile mail app than a website.

How do you create an effective ad email then? First of all, it needs to be part of the above three categories.

It has to be part of a low-effort and urgent task. If the user doesn’t do it now, the opportunity cost of deleting the email, or postponing acting on it, should be greater than clicking on the email.

An unsolicited / spam email with 100 links won’t work. A single click to “download” a free 2020 marketing trends report that expire in 24hs, will work better.


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Leo Celis