It seems to be part of modern human behavior that when something is considered old and passe that people put it into a museum to save it for posterity. And in that same vein, Intuit Mailchimp is set to host an exhibition in honor of email—however, it hopes that the opposite sentiment is true as it examines the future of the communications tool.
The marketing platform is set to exhibit “Email is
Dead” at the Design Museum in London from the end of September, as it aims to underline how critical emails continue to be to marketers and people all around the world.
According to research by technology market research firm The Radicati Group, which has been monitoring the growth in email use since 1993, the channel has seen continued to record “strong growth” among users and businesses. It forecasts that email use will grow to over 392 billion being sent and received by year-end 2026, when it also reaches over 4.7 billion users.
Is email dead?
Mailchimp’s chief marketing officer, Michelle Taite, revealed to Adweek that the exhibition will take “an absurdist” view of the future of email while addressing the question the business is most asked head-on—“Is email dead?”
Taking visitors on a trip through the history of email from its beginnings in the 1970s to predicting what it may look like in 2070, the free-to-attend immersive exhibition aims to relay the impact it has on work lives, relationships, cultures and economies while showcasing its role in the future of communications.
“It [email] is such a big part of our culture. It’s been around for 50 years, and we expect that it’s going to be around for a really long time. It’s transcended cultural trends and hardware and software trends,” said Taite.
The activations will act as part of Mailchimp’s brand-building strategy, focused on targeting U.K. marketing customers, which will help it fuel its own performance and its first-party data.
Taite described the interactive displays—some of which will be inflatable—as “colorful and playable” as they explore elements such as the impact of email through time with an email therapy machine will allow users to write an email they will receive in a year to reflect back on, personality tests and offering solutions to real-life issues, such as dealing with a pile of unanswered emails and the temptation to sending an email the author knows they shouldn’t.