Instant messagingOld people – that is those aged over 19 – use email frequently. But teenagers hardly every use it; instead they are into instant messaging, big time. Although there is a marginal increase in email usage amongst teenagers, the vast majority still prefer instant messaging.

Indeed, a week or two ago I was at a meeting where a younger person (lots younger than me) said that “email was really old fashioned”. Wow! It’s only been around for 12 years or so and it’s already past it…!

However, for anyone running an online business this is of more than academic interest. Marketers often target younger people – they have much more disposable income than those of us with commitments such as mortgages and (even more costly) children. So, that means for many online businesses email marketing will cease to have any impact within a few years.

All those teenagers will, within the next few years, become the main “target” for many marketers. And that means reaching them will be difficult via email; they won’t be using it. Instead, you need to start thinking of new ways of getting to them – now. Otherwise, online business will gradually diminish. Just as record sales are being made online, along comes another change in the way people behave to stir things up again..!

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