Despite declining mail volume over the last few years, consumers have indicated that they still like to get things in their mailboxes. That is the conclusion Pitney Bowes’s most recent mail preference survey came to in 2007.
The study found that mail is overwhelmingly preferred for confidential information, such as bank statements, with 86 percent of respondents saying mail suited them best, versus 10 percent who favored e-mail. What’s even more impressive is that the percentage of people who preferred mail is unchanged from the previous survey, performed in 2004.
The good news for direct mail marketers is that respondents were more likely to open unsolicited commercial mail than unsolicited commercial e-mail by a very large margain. Perhaps that shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, you don’t have to worry about your computer downloading a virus when you open a piece of mail.
In another survey performed by DMNews and Pitney Bowes in 2008, respondents weighed in on their preferences regarding promotional offers. Seventy-eight percent of those taking the survey said that mail was the best way to send them coupons. This study also found that people under the age of 30 were actually a little bit more likely to check their mail regularly than those over 30. Direct mail seems to be just as effective on the Internet generation as it has always been on their parents and grandparents.
So why did respondents to these surveys like mail? Participants said that mail was less intrusive than some media, such as telemarketing, and they appreciate that it is not a high-pressure sales tactic. They also like that mail can be dealt with at the time of their own choosing, and allows them whatever time they need to make a decision on something.
Though there are several channels for getting your message across, mail still has a lot to offer. The results of these surveys show that customers recognize that. Consumers want mail.