Email may be more convenient than postal communications, but as a new survey of 451 adults by Avery shows, there are still occasions when a letter is best.
Nothing Beats a Birthday Card: A birthday card is the clear winner when it comes to how we like to receive birthday greetings, followed by a phone call and then a letter. A text message is preferred to an email, with a Facebook message or tweet being the least popular option.
First Choice for Formal Communications: Seven out of 10 people prefer to receive legal or banking information in the form of a letter. However, over a quarter of us would be happy to receive this information via email. Less than 1% like to receive it in a phone call and even less via text message.
Sales Success: Almost half of respondents say they prefer to receive sales information in a letter or brochure, with 42.8% favouring email. Less than 7% like to be sold to face-to-face. In an ideal world, 38.8% would prefer not to receive any form of sales information.
In the survey, Avery also asked what makes people want to open a letter. It found that a bright coloured envelope is most likely to be opened fist, cited by more than one third of respondents, followed by a white envelope and then a scented envelope, with brown envelopes and dark envelopes being the least popular options.
When people were asked to describe how receiving something in the post made them feel, the word used most often was ‘happy’, followed by ‘special’, ‘loved’ and ‘surprised’.
Mills urges businesses to consider what these findings might mean for their own communications. “It’s clear from both the statistics and the many comments we received in our survey that postal communications are received differently to emails. They tend to make the recipient feel more special and valued, and this is something that’s worth considering in business,” she said.
“If you’re sending something you want someone to give their full attention to, putting it in the post has the potential to make a big difference. This is particularly relevant for sales and marketing messages, as well as news and important announcements. Imagine if, as businesses, we spent some time trying to recreate the feelings associated with receiving a greetings card or letter in the post. How much more positively or differently would the message be received? ”