A recent consumer study released by Epsilon Targeting shows direct mail is still important to us. As a method to advertise goods and services, direct mail plays a major role in many consumer decisions — especially among young adults.

The market research firm conducted a survey of adults in more than 4,700 U.S. and Canadian households, looking at their preferences among the traditional and new media channels for obtaining information. The survey confirmed findings from 2008, which noted that consumers are using a larger number of media, with their choices influenced by factor, such as convenience, trust, depth of content, and the “green factor.”

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The survey indicated younger consumers not only found direct mail to be more trustworthy than other channels, including online, but also found that it was the preferred channel for obtaining information. In the 14 consumer categories covered in the survey, American respondents in the 18-34 year age bracket preferred mail as an information source by a wide margin in almost every category, except travel.

Although there’s little doubt e-mail and social networking have found a way into the marketing mix, the findings of this study show that direct mail and other “offline” media still play a role with consumers across every age.

Does direct mail still play a role in your shopping choices? Let us know!

This topic is hosted by the OIG’s Risk Analysis Research Center (RARC).

Comments (8)

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  • anon

    Interesting study, will pass this along to my friends

    Dec 05, 2010
  • anon

    I still enjoy browsing the contents of my mailbox as well. And I also think first class mail is a great national resource and a bargain.

    Nov 01, 2010
  • anon

    I always enjoy the printed copy. I receive magazines I could read online. But have you ever been reading an article and the website goes down or the server goes down? I know the internet has taken a toll on the printed matter. But I prefer to have a HARD COPY in front of me.

    Oct 31, 2010
  • anon

    I agree that mailing method to advertise goods and services still plays a major role in many consumer decision for most adults.

    Oct 31, 2010
  • anon

    in our area the union-tribune paper delivers some ads by the same person who delivers the paper, problem is the ads go to every third house and sometimes the hole block misses them. direct mail is the only guaranteed way to get the message delivered!

    Oct 27, 2010
  • anon

    I like looking through a catalog rather than navigating all over a computer looking for something. In browsing a hardcopy catalog, I may see something that catches my eye that I hadn't thought of or wanted to order until seeing it in the catalog. Likewise with newspapers; I like the hardcopy and not trying to read everything on the computer. With the real thing, you are able to see all articles available as opposed to trying to pick & choose on the net.

    Oct 26, 2010
  • anon

    If I know of a crime, within the Postal Service, involving Fraud, Waste, or Abuse, since the OIG has become a semi-independent diversionary auditing and paperwork shuffling department of the USPS, who do I call??? Are there any Federal Cops for the Postal Service anymore???

    Oct 25, 2010
  • anon

    Contrary to what the Postal Service management in Washington DC would like the public to believe, the mail and direct mailings are still vital to us. We enjoy the task of checking our mailboxes after work, looking at the ads and catalogs at our leisure and we share are findings with other family members and friends. As internet users also, we do not pay much attention to banner ads. In fact, the ads are an annoyance. Using up valuable bandwidth and slowing down our websurfing. A service which we pay for, unlike the free mail delivery we love to receive.

    Oct 25, 2010

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