What are the advantages of email?email vs. snail mail

Expert Answers
parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The primary advantage is that it's quick. As soon as you send a message, it goes through, and if it doesn't, you are soon notified. (The downside, though, is that the receiver must open up his or her session to check for new mail to indeed receive it.) You can also send out a message automatically to a long list of receivers, and they get it as soon as you touch "send." This saves a lot of time and effort and assures automatically that everyone in a particular group (colleagues or teachers, for example, about a future meeting) has been notified.

Another advantage is that you can send documents by attachment, similar to a fax, as long as they are not "oversized."  This is a quick way to get detailed information in a hurry, particularly when "time is money." It's also a way to keep in touch more personally with contacts by sending family snapshots, "live" (animated) Christmas greeting cards, etc. to friends and relatives.

Email is also a handy tool to stock old correspondance or current address lists. There's no paper, no mess, and you always find it in the same place.

Another advantage on the receiving end is that you can check your mail when you want instead of being disturbed by phone calls. As long as you are a regular checker-upper, this arrangement ususally works out well. You can also check your box when on vacation instead of having a load of "snail mail" piled up for you to read when you get back home.

For some businesses, email means good business since it is another tool to widen one's potential market. More and more goods and services are bought on line, and Internet business has already a well-anchored place in competitive business. A well-planned site has high visibility and quick orders can be put through. Also potential receivers can be posted of updates upon request. This saves hours of "shopping around" time. The downside, of course, is the endless solicitation one gets by spam once one's email address gets circulated. Some spam filters at least help you deal with this problem by automatically deleting unwanted messages.

And, of course, another big plus about email is that it's free. No explanation needed for that!

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Speed becomes the most overwhelming advantage of email.  Part of the internet's mass appeal at its early stages was the ability to send and receive mail in a fractional amount of time over snail mail.  The ability to send and receive messages in such short amounts of time is a significant advantage to email as it cuts down on mailing costs and shipping documents costs.  With the ability to send attachments and files through an email system, additional advantages to email were also established.  The ability to not have "paperless" correspondence that can be sorted and stored on the computer is also environmentally sound.  Imagine if all of our email had actually been paper mail?  The amount of paper used would be fairly significant.   If there is one advantage that snail mail possess, it would be more on the refined level.  The advent of email has posed significant challenges to the time honored tradition of writing letters.  Emails and blogs seem to have usurped the notion of correspondence or writing journals.  While this is how reality is, I still feel that there is something special and unique about receiving a letter from someone that can physically and tangibly held, examined, cried over, laughed with, tears shed on it, folded edges, and all.  One can certainly possess the same level of emotional experience with email, but it seems that the physical nature of a personalized correspondence or journal is something unique and distinctive, and as it always has been, perhaps the proliferation of email and information technology has made this experience even more precious and distinctive.

gkumar1 | Student

Email has changed the way we do business. Sure, people complain about the amount of Email they receive. But when all is said and done, using Email has impacted business in a positive way and has the edge over other methods of communication.

ninja1 | Student

Email is instantaneous. You can send large amount of information in a matter of moments, across continents. It also saves paper. You can check your email at any time, at any place. Plus, you can save emails with hardly any chance of losing them, as opposed to storing papers, which are quite easy to lose. Also, with an email you can have accounts such as facebook (if you're into that type of thing) which is a giant social networiking tool. Hope this helps!

clintgrover | Student

Hi there,

Not only emails are useful for personal communication. Emails are now being utlized in business communication such as voicemail to email services.

vampiric | Student

Email is a quick way to talk to your freinds/family/and associates around the world as to mailing it and waiting for there responce 1 to 2 weeks later.

atyourservice | Student

Emails are way faster to send than letters. Emails can also be sent to multiple people at a time, while a letter would have to be rewritten if you are sedning it to another person.

udonbutterfly | Student

Emails offer a more speedy response. Also with an email it enables you to communicate with people all around the world without little no problems. As opposite to snail mail where you have to figure out the address to the person in another country and whether you should write in English or in the language of that country (mostly talking about countries with different writing systems). However with snail mail you get things delivered to you physically without taking a trip to the store.

melissa1106 | Student

The advantage of email versus regular mail are time and convenience. Email is also free so you do not have to pay for postage. you can receive an email within minutes while mail may take a day or more depending on location. Email can also be sent to multiple people while regular mail is usually to only one person.

The disadvantage of emails are that they may not feel as personal. 

Wiggin42 | Student

Email is quick and cost effective. Messages can be transmitted in a matter of seconds instead of days or weeks. Its also practically free. You do not need to pay to set up a mailbox or PO box. Email accounts are free. You only pay for internet connection but even that can be avoided with free wi-fi.

chrisyhsun | Student

As has been noted many times already, the primary benefit of email is the speed. Urgent news can now be transmitted as quickly as you can type and with the proper subject line, you can expect an equally fast response. Emails are also more eco-friendly since they don't require paper. In my opinion, this is especially  relevant for formal mail because it is relatively easy to deliver emails in a formal tone.

On the other hand, the traditional snail mail and handwritten letters are easier for delivering emotion. A common complaint of the internet is its impersonality, and heartfelt emotions are difficult to send through an email regardless of the sender.

bamaji | Student

Email has revolutionised the ways of communication. The modern times have witnessed the technology improve by leaps and bounds. Instant messaging and response is the order of the hour! This electronic mail is a powerful tool with immense capabilities apart from just correspondence. It comes with essential addons like address book, reminders, contacts & appointments manager, facility to send attachments in various formats, paperless communication, security of information & access, archiving, storage, search and retrieval functions. The dependability and availability of email is based on the internet/ wireless connectivity. The software used for email (client) and the service provider (free or paid) also add value to the service. It is a postal address on the web and it has become necessity to have and use an e-id! Email is the lifeline for commercial establishments such as banks, marketing, multinationals, education, medicine, science, engineering and many businesses to conduct their works. It has saved time, energy, money and is environ friendly saving paper & ink while bringing in more vigour, life and value to personal communication.