Hundreds of millions of emails are sent every single day, and that form of communication is probably the most popular among businesses and people throughout the world.
Email addresses are also used to activate different account types, verify identities, promote products and services in B2C or B2B markets and so much more.
If you are researching the various communication types available, then you are probably wondering what some of the pros and cons of email technology as a communications tool are.
Here is a quick look at 15 of the advantages and disadvantages of email communication that everyone should be aware of.
Advantages of Email Communication
1. Platform Independence
While it might be tempting to use a mobile app or another similar platform as your primary form of communication, those tools often have a few distinct restrictions.
That includes the ability to communicate with other people across multiple platforms.
With an email address, you will be able to send and receive information across almost every device and operating system that is currently being used.
You won’t have to worry about what type of smartphone the receiver is using or which operating system or computer they prefer.
Email can be accessed via hundreds of email client options, including web-based platforms such as Gmail etc.
Technology can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean that your communication platform should break the bank.
The vast majority of email providers that are being used today are completely free (especially the ones focused on personal email use), and that means you won’t have to worry about hidden fees.
You also won’t be required to input your banking information, and that will greatly reduce your risk of becoming the victim of an online scam.
Once your email address has been set up, you are going to enjoy a wide range of features and tools that will most likely continue to be free for many years to come.
3. Convenient and User-Friendly Form of Communication
Some forms of communication have a relatively steep learning curve (especially for non-tech-savvy people), and figuring out how to use new software can be a frustrating experience.
If you want to avoid that unnecessary stress, then you should consider email. An account can be set up in a matter of minutes, and you will be able to send and receive emails before you know it.
With a little bit of practice and patience, you are also going to have all of the basic tools and features mastered relatively quickly.
4. Communicate With Multiple People at Once
Even with modern technology and apps, communicating with large groups of people at once can be difficult.
One of the primary benefits of email is the ability to quickly interact with one or more people through a single platform.
You also have the ability to add and remove additional parties by forwarding old emails to new recipients or removing individuals from groups.
All of those features make group interactions much easier to deal with for everyone involved.
5. Ability to Send Attachments
Sending files is more important than ever, and you might be on the lookout for a quick and easy way to send data to your friends, family, and coworkers.
When you are composing an email, you will be able to upload one or more files so that all of the recipients receive your attachments.
While there are occasionally some restrictions on what types of files can be uploaded, the average individual should be able to send and receive documents, spreadsheets, videos, images, sound clips, and more.
6. Powerful Marketing Tool
For those who are looking for an efficient way to market their products or services, very few options are as cost-effective and profitable as email.
Even though you will need to build an email list, marketing through emails could have a huge impact on your organization’s success.
There are also many different tools that you can use to optimize your emails so that they are eye-catching and promote engagement with your reader.
As a bonus, scaling your email marketing campaign should be a straightforward and affordable process as your organization continues to grow.
7. Nearly Instantaneous Communication
You no longer need to wait hours or even days for important documents to arrive.
Every provider is slightly different, but most emails are going to make it to the recipient within a matter of seconds.
Even if you are sending large attachments to the other side of the world, the only major bottleneck is going to be the amount of time that it takes the systems at both ends of the email to process the communication.
Many email providers also give you the option of sending quick replies with just a few clicks of the mouse or taps of the screen.
8. Archive Sent and Received Emails for Later Use
Once a traditional letter has been sent, you aren’t going to have that information any longer unless you have saved a physical copy on your own.
In some cases, even mobile texting services will begin to delete older messages once you have hit a certain data threshold.
With email, you can rest assured that your sent and received emails will continue to be around for quite some time in your Inbox or Sent folders.
You also have the option of manually archiving emails that you think you might need at a later time, and that is a great option for any data that you want to keep a record of.
9. Ability to Clarify Thoughts
Composing an email can take as long as you would like, and that means you will be able to spend some time figuring out exactly what you want to say and express your thoughts with more clarity.
Even after you have written the first draft, you can save a copy of the draft and then revisit it at a later point to proofread it or alter some of the information.
That makes email one of the leading options for those who want to communicate in a thoughtful and deliberate manner without being misinterpreted, compared to direct face-to-face communication.
Disadvantages of Email Communication
1. Your Will Receive Unsolicited/Spam Emails
No matter what steps you take to protect your email communication, you are sure to receive quite a few spam emails over time.
Many email platforms have robust spam blockers, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see any unsolicited emails that pass through the spam filters.
Luckily, identifying spam should become easier as you get more comfortable with the platform, and that means you will remain relatively safe as long as you are diligent about what you open and which parties you give your email address to.
2. Risk of Viruses in Attachments
While many spam emails are going to be nothing more than unsolicited ads that are attempting to draw you into a purchase, others can be more harmful.
Whenever there is an attachment to an email, you must be absolutely sure of what the file is.
Even if you know exactly who sent the attachment, there is a risk that their email account was hijacked and a third party is using them as a platform for injecting malware into other computers.
As long as you remain vigilant, however, you should be able to avoid most email-based viruses.
3. Risk of Emails Not Being Delivered (Spam Blockers)
A comprehensive spam blocker is a vital tool for ESPs (Email Service Providers) who are processing millions of emails, but that layer of security isn’t always completely accurate.
In some situations, the provider could intercept an email if the spam blocker detects any unusual keywords, phrases, or attachments.
If you ever notice that a recipient has not received a sent email, then that individual should check their spam folder.
Your email provider should have a spam folder that holds potentially harmful emails for 30 days or longer.
4. Risk of Phishing Emails
Phishing emails are a type of malicious communication that is attempting to trick the recipient.
Unlike viruses in attachments or unwanted ads, a phishing email will typically pose as a legitimate party attempting to extract some type of information from the individual.
That information may be as basic as the individual’s full name or as potentially harmful as their banking password and username.
Before you reply to any email requesting information, you should always ensure that it is from a legitimate source.
Almost always, banks and other businesses will not ask you for sensitive information (passwords etc) through an email.
5. Emails Aren’t Always as Personal
There are quite a few situations in which it is vital that you are able to communicate on a highly personal level.
In those scenarios, you might find that an email doesn’t add the inflections or personality that you are hoping for.
While perfecting your writing skills will mitigate those issues, you might find yourself needing to communicate in person or through a phone call when it comes to sensitive or important subjects.
6. Email Communication Isn’t Always as Secure
Email encryption systems are more powerful than ever, but there will never be any completely risk-free system.
A dedicated party attempting to read your emails might be able to bypass the security measures and collect your information if you aren’t careful.
That is why you should always work with a reputable email provider that offers a wide array of security features and utilizes multiple layers of protection.
With that type of security, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming the victim of identity theft, identity fraud, and other similar crimes.