Pitney Bowes: People Prefer Snail Mail

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Despite an increase during the past two years in the number of households with access to e-mail, many people still prefer to receive traditional mail rather than e-mail, according to a study released yesterday by Pitney Bowes.


The study found that while e-mail access had increased to 53 percent of households in February from 34 percent in March last year, 93 percent of the 1,009 households surveyed preferred to receive financial documents and information via traditional mail. Further, 73 percent of the households preferred receiving product announcements and promotional mailings by traditional mail, according to the study.


The study found that 76 percent of the respondents said traditional mail is more secure than e-mail, compared with 11 percent who said e-mail was more secure.


Respondents also believed that traditional mail was less time-consuming than e-mail, with 62 percent saying that opening traditional mail is faster than logging on and retrieving e-mail, the study found.


"There's a messaging revolution going on in the United States," said Tim Bates, vice president of marketing at Pitney Bowes Mailing System, Stamford, CT. "Message volumes keep climbing, and when compared to e-mail, regular mail is winning the vote of American households.


"Mail is universal," he added. "It does not require special training or hardware, it is secure and personal, and it is easiest and [the] most effective marketing tool that businesses can use when communicating with consumers."


The study also found that 66 percent of the responding households would discard unsolicited e-mail unopened, compared with only 26 percent who said they would discard unsolicited traditional mail.


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