Postal Study: Mail More Personal Than Internet

Two-thirds of the 1,500 respondents to a national study released yesterday by the U.S. Postal Service report that mail is more personal than communicating via the Internet.

The Mail Moment study, conducted in fall 2004 on behalf of the USPS, shows that mail offers marketers a rare chance to capture a consumer's undivided attention. Results were announced yesterday at the National Postal Forum in Nashville, TN.

Included in the findings are that messages are noticed and the offer is considered by a target audience for longer than the often-assumed 30 seconds. The study also found that:

· 98 percent of consumers bring in their mail the day it's delivered, and of these, 72 percent bring it in as soon as possible. Also, 77 percent of consumers sort through their mail immediately.

· Consumers spend an average of 30 minutes reading their mail on any occasion; 45 minutes with magazines; 30 minutes with catalogs; and 25 minutes with direct mail.

· Ninety percent of household mail sorters determine which mail is kept for review; 81 percent of sorters review financial documents; 84 percent are the principal grocery shoppers.

· Consumers are more likely to read mail if it helps them perform one of three household job functions: browsing for new purchases; managing the home; overseeing finances.

· In addition to 67 percent of those surveyed stating that mail is more personal than the Internet, 56 percent say receiving mail is a real pleasure and 55 percent look forward to discovering the mail they receive.

· Consumers who receive a company's catalog account for 22 percent of a company's Web site traffic and 37 percent of the company's e-commerce dollars.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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