Survey: Canadians Prefer Regular Mail Over E-Mail

Most Canadians prefer receiving information and documents by regular mail and consider it far more secure and reliable than e-mail, according to a study released yesterday by research company BrandTrust for Pitney Bowes.

According to the Canada 2005 Household Mail Preference Study, 58 percent of Canadian households with access to e-mail favor getting documents, letters and messages by mail while 30 percent prefer the electronic version. Also, 81 percent think regular mail is more secure than e-mail.

The degree of confidence in the security of regular mail also translates into Canadians' preference to receive sensitive information such as bills, bank statements and other financial information. Eighty-five percent of respondents with e-mail access choose to get financial data in hardcopy format compared to only 11 percent who prefer receiving it electronically.

This preference for regular mail is prevalent for communicating other information such as new products and services, with two-thirds of households preferring to receive regular mail from businesses compared to around 20 percent who like to be informed by e-mail.

Though regular mail seemed to be the favorite business communication channel, telemarketing fell at the other end of the spectrum. Three-quarters of Canadian households said that if Canada had a do-not-call registry, they would want to be on it.

Other findings:

· Canadians are more likely to discard unopened unsolicited e-mail than regular mail (69 percent vs. 26 percent).

· 61 percent spend less than 15 minutes reading and responding to incoming mail, which puts more pressure on direct mail marketers to communicate quickly.

· 79 percent find unsolicited phone calls more intrusive than mail (14 percent).

· 76 percent said regular mail was most convenient while 45 percent found it most persuasive.

BrandTrust interviewed more than 250 households.

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