Consumer Survey Results Reveal Direct Mail Still Preferred

DALLAS—Dec. 1, 2011—Epsilon Targeting, a leading provider of consumer information for targeted marketing solutions, released the “2011 Channel Preference Study,” which shows that direct mail continues to deliver as consumers’ preferred means of receiving marketing messages even through the economic turmoil, technology advances and channel proliferation.

The 2011 research shows that despite direct mail’s reputation for being “old school” or expensive, it is the top choice of U.S. and Canadian consumers for the receipt of brand communications in almost every category, ranging from health to household products, to household services, insurance and financial services, including credit card offers. The preference for direct mail also extends to the 18-34 year old demographic.

Key findings from the study include:

  • 36 percent of U.S. consumers and 40 percent of Canadians said direct mail is the preferred channel to receive financial services information;
  • 26 percent of U.S. consumers and 30 percent of Canadians said direct mail is more trustworthy than e-mail;
  • 50 percent of U.S. consumers and 48 percent of Canadians said they pay more attention to postal mail than e-mail;
  • 60 percent of U.S. consumers and 64 percent of Canadians said they enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail, highlighting an emotional connection;
  • 30 percent of U.S. consumers said they’re receiving more mail that interests them compared to a year ago, and just 50 percent (down from 63 percent in 2010) said more information is sent to them in the mail—indicating marketers are improving targeting efforts; and
  • the perception that reading e-mail is faster declined among U.S. e-mail account holders to 45 percent in 2011 (from 47 percent in 2010), suggesting clogged inboxes are draining time.

Epsilon Targeting’s channel preference study also reveals 66 percent growth in U.S. consumers’ use of Facebook in the past year to research and review consumer product information. In response to an annual Epsilon Targeting survey of consumer channel preferences, 10 percent of U.S. respondents said they used Facebook for consumer product information, a jump from 6 percent in 2010.

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