Snail Mail Preferred by E-Mail Users

More than 90 percent of the US households with email said they prefer regular, postal mail to email when receiving bills, bank statements, or other financial reports at home, according to a recent survey

The study, commissioned by Pitney Bowes and conducted by International Communications Research (ICR) in March of 1999, found that 80.3 percent of those surveyed consider regular mail more secure than email. Eight percent felt there was no difference, and only 10 percent felt email was more secure.

The consumer preference for hard copy mail is not limited to financial documents, the survey found. When asked how they like to receive new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with, more than three-quarters (76.5 percent) of US consumers reported that regular mail was again their method of choice, while only 19 percent preferred email. Interestingly, the survey found this trend increases with household income.

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In addition, 69 percent of respondents reflected the desire to receive letters, messages, and other documents by hard-copy mail. Only 21.6 percent of the households preferred email for such messages, and 8.4 percent had no preference. Once again, higher income households were more inclined to prefer regular mail.

“There’s a messaging revolution going on in America,” said Ken Weiss, VP of Marketing for Pitney Bowes Mailing Systems. “Message volumes keep climbing; and when compared to email, regular mail is winning the vote of American households. Mail is universal, it does not require special training or hardware, it is private and personal, and it is the easiest and most effective marketing tool that businesses can use when communicating with consumers.”

The survey was conducted among 1,013 random US households, 34 percent of which had email access.

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