Here's some interesting (yawn!) data (yawn!) on consumers' preferences (yawn!) for direct mail (yawn!, yawn!) over email (yaw …)

WAIT!

Did they really say consumers prefer to get direct mail over email?!

According to (not entirely disinterested) Pitney Bowes, the answer is YES!

Here are the stats from a recent PB-sponsored consumer survey:

  • 73% prefer mail for receiving new product news from companies they already do business with, versus 18% preferring email;
  • Mail was preferred by 70% of respondents for receiving unsolicited information on products and services from companies with whom they are not already doing business;
  • For confidential communications like bills and bank statements, 86% prefer mail; and,
  • 31% discard unsolicited mail, while 53% discard unsolicited emails.

This could simply reflect that consumers have come to more jealously “guard the gate” when it comes to spam and other unfamiliar or unsolicited email. So maybe they pay more attention to what does get through the door and into the e-mailbox. But the data doesn't go there.

So, for now, as vintage direct mailers, we'll celebrate this preference victory for paper.

And there's more data from the survey regarding the advantages of direct mail. Compared to unsolicited email and telephone calls, 45% of respondents found direct mail less intrusive (doesn't interrupt other activities), 40% consider mail more convenient (can be saved and considered at leisure), and 30% consider mail less pressured (lets you consider your decision). Minorities, but still a sizable cadre of mail devotees.

Any reason to believe these preferences would not apply to fundraising solicitations? None that we can think of.

Excuse us, we have to find our pens and stamps.

Roger & Tom

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