Physical Mail Still Preferred by Many

The consumers surveyed for the study indicated a broad preference for physical mail, with 66% of respondents saying they prefer to receive catalogs by physical mail, 61% preferring to receive bills and invoices by physical mail and 59% preferring to receive financial/bank statements by physical mail.

You might think in these days of speedy electronic bill paying and online shopping, that most people prefer email marketing over the physical variety. Not true, Doc discovered, according to a recent survey by Pitney Bowes, the postage-meter folks. According to Chantal Tode over at the blog Marketing Powers Activate, many consumers prefer physical mail for bills, invoices, financial statements, and catalogs.

Pitney Bowes commissioned Leflein Associates to survey approximately 1,500 US adults and examine their preferences, attitudes, and behavior toward mail, both physical and e-mail. The study also investigated which factors influence when and whether recipients open their mail and read it at home.

The consumers surveyed for the study indicated a broad preference for physical mail, with 66% of respondents saying they prefer to receive catalogs by physical mail, 61% preferring to receive bills and invoices by physical mail and 59% preferring to receive financial/bank statements by physical mail.

Rather than reflecting the superiority of one method of communication over another, these findings indicate the need for companies to communicate with customers via their preferred channel of delivery.

Matching customers with the right method of communication can have a positive effect on mailings. “If you can tailor the message to the preferred method of communication for the customer, they will react in a quicker manner,” said Karen D’Andrea, director of product marketing, US mailing for Pitney Bowes. D’Andrea pointed to a couple of findings from the study in support of this statement: 83% of respondents said they would open and read bills right away and 73% said they would open and read financial/bank statements right away.

You can read more here. Doc says it’s very interesting that we still trust physical communications more than the electronic kind. He’ll also bet that response rates to physical mail are also higher than the electronic variety.

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