Consumer preferences for mail, email and online advertising vary according to the type of message being sent.
Mail still a Communication Winner
In an examination of consumer preferences, Open Mind Research Group has recently discovered that 45% of respondents preferred the traditional postal service, indicating that mail made them feel more valued by the sending company, is more likely to grab their attention, and is overall more inviting to read. The survey unveiled a distinct preference for receiving detailed information such as magazines and brochures via mail. They reported that the consumer is more likely to pay attention to, read and retain information received through the mail as opposed to online correspondence.
In addition, the survey found mail to be the preferred choice of communication regardless of age. Even younger age groups revealed a significant preference to postal communications, rating mail highly as the medium that has a more personal approach.
Widely regarded as more professional, mail gives a better impression of a company and most respondents indicated that they are more likely to act upon information that is sent in the post rather than via email, confirming once again the superiority of the classic method of sending information.
Email is Effective
However, while most respondents were distinct about their preference to receive mail, email still proved to be an effective means of contact. Seen as the easiest method to use in response to business communications, email effectively clarifies or supports mail and is a good secondary means of communicating shorter messages such as booking confirmations.
Using Multiple Channels
Suggesting that the two methods complement each other, 37% of respondents would rather receive a combination of mail and email. An indication that when the two channels are combined they can provide more than either method could on its own. This is a potential benefit for both marketer and consumer after 77% reported that they are more likely to remember something that is communicated through both mail and online channels.
As with email, online advertising was found to be a good supporting role to mail. But 45% of people asked reported never clicking on online advertising banners. The consumer was only more likely to click on an online advert if they had already received some correspondence in the mail, further proof that mail is the primary means of contact and the one method consumers are more likely to spend time reading.
While mail remains the preferred method for advertising more sophisticated products and services in comparison to its digital counterparts, each of these communication processes are useful for delivering different types of information. Consumers see strengths in both mail and email and overall the survey revealed that consumers showed a preference for a multiple method approach that combines mail and email or online advertising.
A combination of all communication methods will inevitably enhance the effectiveness of the marketing message but good old fashioned mail can increase positive responses from your customer.