Sunday, 24 June 2007

Mail is Still the Best Way to Reach Consumers!

A recent survey completed by International Communications Research (ICR) revealed that even in today's digital world, consumers clearly prefer mail over other communications vehicles such as e-mail for receiving new product information and offerings as well as confidential business communications, such as bank statements and financial reports.

The study, commissioned by Pitney Bowes found that
  • The majority of consumers (73 percent) prefer mail for receiving new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, as compared to 18 percent for e-mail.
  • Mail was also preferred by 70 percent of respondents for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with which they are not currently doing business.
  • For confidential communications such as bills, bank statements and financial reports, respondents overwhelmingly preferred mail (86 percent) as their channel of choice, as compared with 10 percent for e-mail.
  • The survey also found that consumers are less likely to discard unopened mail (31 percent) – including new product brochures, catalogs or other advertising materials – than they are to discard unsolicited e-mails about new products (53.2 percent).

Compared with other communications channels, including e-mail and telephone, survey respondents found mail to be:

  • Less intrusive — doesn’t interrupt other activities (45.3 percent);
  • More convenient — can be saved and considered at leisure (40.2 percent);
  • Less high-pressured — lets you consider your decision (30.2 percent);
  • More descriptive — lets you picture the offer (22.7 percent); and
  • More persuasive — encourages you to respond (12 percent).

Hmmm... but then again Pitney Bowes are trying to sell you using the mail service (ie theirs!)

But, ask yourself:

  • Do you know the most effective way for you to communicate with your customers?
  • What things do you do that really irritate your 'ideal'/target customers?
  • Do you know how your 'ideal' customers prefer to be communicated with? Have you asked them?
  • How could you improve the way that you communicate with your ideal customers? List three thing that you could do tomorrow.
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