Results of a survey released by Pitney Bowes show that direct mail - the old-fashioned kind of mail that you can touch and read when it suits you - is still the most effective means of building customer relationships.
Preferred means of contact among consumers are:
- Direct mail - preferred by 34 percent
- Print advertising - preferred by 30 percent
- Television advertising - preferred by 25 percent
- Radio advertising - preferred by 5 percent
- E-Mail - preferred by 4 percent
- Telemarketing - preferred by 0 percent
The survey also learned the reasons why direct mail is preferred by consumers:
- 95 percent prefer direct mail because it is familiar
- 94 percent prefer direct mail because it is convenient
- 93 percent prefer direct mail because it is interactive
- 93 percent prefer direct mail because it is universal
- 87 percent prefer direct mail because it is private
- 84 percent prefer direct mail because it is personalized
The survey found that consumers value direct mail now more than ever because they appreciate the fact that companies make the effort to communicate and build a relationship with them through the mail. The number of people who feel this way has increased by 10 percent in the past three years.
"This research shows that direct mail does the best job of providing consumers with the information they want, when they want it, and how they want to receive it," said Kevin Weiss, president, customer marketing, Pitney Bowles Global Mailing Systems.
The survey, which was conducted by Peppers and Rogers Group, a management consulting firm specializing in customer-focused business strategies, was based on telephone calls with more than 350 U.S. households with annual incomes greater than $35,000.