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Direct Mail—Top Channel to Influence Consumer Purchases

In examining the success of traditional and online media channels in driving purchases, ExactTarget’s “2009 Channel Preference Study” finds that, for young and old, direct mail directly influenced the purchase of an item or a service more than any other channel.

Additional findings from the second annual study conducted by Forrester Research for the e-mail communications software company are:

• Three of four Internet users surveyed said they were directly influenced to purchase an item or a service thanks to a direct mail piece (76 percent); TV came in second at 67 percent and e-mail third at 58 percent.

• Three-quarters (75 percent) of 25- to 34-year-olds have made a purchase resulting from direct mail. An almost identical number have been directly influenced by a TV commercial.

• Sixty-two percent of young adults (ages 18 to 24 years) are influenced by direct mail, with older consumers even more likely to have made a purchase because of receiving direct mail. The only exception is for teens, where direct mail-influenced purchases (55 percent) are second to television commercials (62 percent).

• Across every age group, e-mail is third on the list of channels evaluated (in terms of percentage of consumers who have made a purchase as the direct result of a marketing message), behind direct mail and television commercials. Teens are least likely to have made online purchases through e-mail (36 percent).

To read this Print in the Mix Fast Fact and additional print market research studies, go to Print in the Mix is a free and easily accessible clearinghouse of research on print media effectiveness, published by the Printing Industry Center at RIT and made possible by a grant from The Print Council (

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