Study Ranks How Consumers Open Mail

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A proper address and spelling of the recipient's name is the most important factor to get an envelope opened, says a study of business and advertising mail "openability" commissioned by Pitney Bowes and conducted by National Family Opinion Research.

Type of postage is the second most important determinant and presence of a return address third in a study of 420 consumers who rated 21 different envelopes on a five-point scale. The study also measured the effect of addressing techniques, enticers or special messaging and envelope size. Among the findings:

* A generic recipient title, address labels and permit postage are the leading deterrents to getting mail opened.

* A misspelled name is more likely to be opened than a generically addressed envelope.

* Metered mail using lower cost Standard-A mail postage is more likely to be opened than First-Class permit mail.

* Standard No. 10 envelopes are the most likely size to be opened.

Based on its findings, Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT, has determined a combination of features that would result in the most openable mail. For further information on the study, contact Scott Tangney at 212/684-6300.

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