Photo credit: KaMa Photography —

Why Slack & email are finally getting married

Yes that’s right. You’ve read it correctly. Not only are Slack and email getting married, but this marriage which may seem to be against nature will even be a happy one. Here is the story which will change your day-to-day work life, by the instigator of this union, MailClark.

Slack, the unwitting email killer?

Things however got off to a very bad start between them. Slack, this fine-looking young lad who was so popular, seemed to be the opposite of email, this old lady of the Internet. Worst of all, many saw in Slack the long-awaited killer of email, tool of the past blamed for evils such as information overload or “workplace insanity”. Branded again, again and again as email killer, whilst the press claimed that Slack had murderous intents, its CEO Stewart Butterfield had a much more tempered speech:

“I don’t have a problem with email in general. Email is a great tool and has the advantage of being the most common denominator and very easily able to cross organizational boundaries.”

It was no good, the misunderstanding still prevailed. When Stewart Butterfield stated that email is “the cockroach of the Internet”, the old lady felt insulted when in fact the founder of Slack meant that email will still be used in thirty years.

Let’s be honest. Slack is an email killer, or to be more precise, an internal email killer.

According to a study by Slack, internal emails have fallen by 48.6%. We are forced to recognize that email is no longer tailored for internal communication. Too many junk emails, too much clutter, too many CCs, too much power given to the sender over the recipients, too much scattering and too many emails, period. Enough already, death to email!

The forgotten virtues of email

Not so fast. Have a good look at the old lady and you will see that email is sexy. I know it sounds odd like when someone says your mum is sexy. “She’s old!” you sometimes answer. Admittedly, but the passage of time does not erase all the virtues of youth. Yet email has always been an open and universal tool which today still makes it a fantastic tool for external communication.

Have you tried getting a business card without an email address? A customer service that you cannot contact via Team work that involves various players without any communication possible by email?

The result is always the same. Get rid of email and it comes running back.

The fuddy-duddies and those who resist change are to blame, is the explanation. An archaism soon swept away by the generations who got their first like before their first kiss when they will enter the workforce.
This is a very black and white view. No, email is not an old hat’s tool. Legions of power users have made of Gmail and it many extensions a personal productivity tool. Numerous startups are constantly reinventing email thanks to new mailers or services.

And above all, email is timeless because it is universal. It is everywhere, on your old computer as on your latest connected watch, and everyone knows how to use it. Is this not what we are looking for to communicate with the outside world? A tool which does not require any explanation. An open tool.

MailClark, the matchmaker

“An open tool” also defines Slack very well. This is how the relationship between the young wolf and the old lady started. Whilst everyone wanted them to fight each other, in reality they share a major quality, openness.

At MailClark, we are proud to have been amongst the first to see this similarity. Created in 2014, our startup was launched with a mailing lists service. 2014 is also the beginning of the Slack tsunami that we have experienced at first hand.

With all the buzz around the “email killer”, we had classified Slack in the category of the competitors — or even opponents! But in the same way that we must not be prejudiced against email, it is worth taking the time to look at Slack closely. Which we did in summer 2015.

What a surprise it was to discover a real platform, an ideal playground for innovators. This is when we decided to pivot, we wanted to work with Slack. Our mission: marry Slack and email obviously! After an initial experimentation with, it’s MailClark, the email bot, which acts as the matchmaker.

The backronym of Slack is “Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge”. Email clearly fits in this framework, especially when it is collective.

Take for instance a team inbox, i.e. the collective management of an email address such as Slack is the ideal place for this team work enabling easy collaboration and in real time, powerful search function, quick access to other team resources. Thanks to an email clerk, the incoming and outgoing emails are managed via Slack. The gap is bridged between internal and external communication.

A happy marriage

One of the secrets of a lasting relationship is synergy and Slack and email complete each other perfectly. This spells the end of information overload since with MailClark the emails come in channels that each one chooses or not to follow. And only emails that concern the team reach Slack. This also marks the end of juggling with different tools.

Now that Slack is married to email, it has completely become the place of “all communication and knowledge”.

Thanks to this new couple, uniting the energy and spirit of the young wolf with the experience of the old lady, the promise of a bright future also lies ahead for your day-to-day work life.

Anthony Bleton-Martin, MailClark CEO & Antoine Lefeuvre, CXO
Thanks to
Sujyotee Kretz-Neewoor

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