Snail Mail Suits Most Consumers Just Fine

June 12, 2007

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Even in a digital world, consumers prefer mail to other communications vehicles for receiving new product information, offers and confidential communications such as bank statements and financial reports, according to a recent survey.

The study, conducted by International Communications Research (ICR), is the fourth mail-preference survey commissioned by Pitney Bowes since March 1999.

Findings from the study:

  • Most consumers (73%) prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, compared with 18% for email.
  • 70% of respondents prefer mail for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with which they are not currently doing business.
  • For confidential communications such as bills, bank statements and financial reports, 86% of respondents prefer mail, compared with 10% for email.
  • Consumers are less likely to discard unopened mail (31%) – including new product brochures, catalogs or other advertising materials – than unsolicited emails about new products (53.2%).

The survey also probed consumers’ views on the advantages they perceive in mail versus unsolicited email and telephone calls:

  • Less intrusive: doesn’t interrupt other activities (45.3%)
  • More convenient: can be saved and considered at leisure (40.2%)
  • Less high-pressured: lets you consider your decision (30.2%)
  • More descriptive: lets you picture the offer (22.7%)
  • More persuasive: encourages you to respond (12%)

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