If you're thinking, "I prefer email to snail mail," you aren't alone. The very name "snail mail" illustrates one of the major advantages of email over postal mail, whereas the advantages of snail mail are decreasing. If you're considering whether email really is better, or can't think of reasons for its superiority, a simple comparison between the two reveals the many potential benefits of the electronic approach.
Speed: Email and Snail Mail
The most obvious advantage of email is the speed at which it's delivered, which is instantly, taking a few minutes at most. By comparison, snail mail takes days to reach its intended recipient. Even worse, this delivery time can be much longer depending on how far away the recipient is. With email, distance makes little difference.
Email is Cheaper
You have to pay for stamps to get snail mail anywhere. Email, on the other hand, is so cheap that it's essentially free. You may have to pay for your internet connection or your mobile data plan, but if you worked out a "per email" cost, it would be drastically cheaper than snail mail. Email also doesn't use paper or ink, which is another small saving that becomes more significant if you send a lot of mail.
Emails Deliver Anytime
Snail mail comes when the postal worker reaches your address, with breaks for major holidays and likely only one delivery per day. Email is delivered any time of day, any day of the year and pretty much as soon as it's sent. If you need to get an urgent message to somebody, email is vastly superior to snail mail.
You Can Email Multiple People
If you want to send traditional mail to more than one person, you need to make more than one copy of the message, put it in more than one envelope and attach a stamp to each. To send an email to multiple people, you can just add an email address into the address bar. Emailing 100 people costs basically the same as emailing one, but sending traditional mail to 100 people is 100 times more expensive than sending it to one. This offers huge benefits for businesses looking to send marketing messages to customers.
Adding Attachments is Easy
Adding an attachment to an email is simple. You compose your message, click the little paper clip icon and choose any type of file to attach and send. You can send pictures, PDFs, text documents and even media files this way. For snail mail, by comparison, you would have to print out most documents and stuff them into the envelope (likely increasing postage cost for big documents). You would be much more limited in your ability to send audio clips or other media, unless you included a storage device in the envelope.
Email is Easier to Receive
Email and snail mail aren't even equal when you consider the receiver. To get a piece of snail mail, you need to be at your physical address. To get an email, all you need is a smart phone or laptop and an internet connection. No matter where you are, if someone sends you an email, you can receive it.