Direct Mail Beats the Internet and Email?

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We spend a lot of time on this site tracking the changes happening in local marketing which mostly revolves around documenting how consumers have moved to new media.  Every once in awhile we find something that runs contrary to what other studies are indicating.  Here is one such study that claims consumers prefer direct mail over the internet and email when it comes to receiving information about a brand.

You can read more about this study at but here is a good summary,

Looking first at the general sample, the survey finds that across 18 different categories, postal mail is preferred in 15. The biggest gap is for sensitive health information: 42% would want to receive such information via postal mail, compared to 11% over the internet and 8% via email. Privacy concerns no doubt play a role. Similar gaps emerge for information from financial services, mail order shopping, insurance, and food products, although the gaps are narrower. The only 3 categories where postal mail is not favored are: hobbies or interest (26% choosing the internet, 24% postal mail); travel (32% choosing the internet; 22% mail); and online sites to shop at (32% the internet; 19% email; and 12% direct mail).

They further go on to tell us why,

When respondents were asked why they prefer postal mail to email or online information, the ability to read the information when convenient was the leading reason given, by 73%. (One wonders why that same ability isn’t present for online and email, too.) The next-most popular reason was the ability to refer back to the information when needed, cited by 61% of respondents.

Maybe the biggest takeaway from such a study is that as much as we can document consumers moving to new media, old media is still very viable and shouldn’t be completely left out of our plans.

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