Pitney Bowes Survey Indicates Consumers Are Open to Mail
A recent survey commissioned by Stamford, Connecticut-based Pitney Bowes—a mailstream technology company—and conducted by International Communications Research (ICR), revealed even in today’s digital world, consumers still prefer mail to other communications vehicles for receiving product information, offers and confidential business communications.
This is the fourth mail preference survey commissioned by Pitney Bowes since March 1999. The study found 73 percent of respondents prefer mail for receiving new product announcements and offers from companies they currently do business with, while only 18 percent prefer e-mail. Mail is also preferred by 70 percent of respondents for receiving unsolicited information regarding products and services from companies they are not currently doing business with. For confidential communications such as bills, bank statements and financial reports, 86 percent said they prefer mail as their channel of choice, while only 10 percent favor e-mail. This response is virtually identical to responses in the 2004 survey.
The survey also found that consumers are less likely to discard unopened mail (31 percent)—including new product brochures, catalogs and other advertising materials—than they are to discard unsolicited e-mails about new products (53.2 percent).
In addition, the survey probed consumers on specific advantages they see in mail versus unsolicited e-mail and telephone calls. Compared with other communications channels, including e-mail and telephone, survey respondents found mail to be: less intrusive — doesn’t interrupt other activities (45.3 percent); more convenient — can be saved and considered at leisure (40.2 percent); less high-pressured — lets you consider your decision (30.2 percent); more descriptive — lets you picture the offer (22.7 percent); and more persuasive — encourages you to respond (12 percent).
“In an environment crowded with marketing messages, it’s important for marketers to utilize the most effective mail stream tools available,” said Jeff Marshall, vice president of customer marketing for Pitney Bowes Global Mailstream Solutions. “While mail is the preferred vehicle for reaching consumers, businesses and organizations need to remember that it is critical to target consumers with relevant messages at appropriate times to get a meaningful return-on-investment.”