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Email preferred by US consumers over direct mail

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April 10, 2012

Email preferred by consumers direct messaging over other communications 

Email is by far the most popular channel among US online consumers for receiving permission-based promotional messages, according to an ExactTarget survey (January 2012) whose results were released in April 2012. 77% of respondents chose email, with direct mail (letter, catalogs, postcards, etc. - 9%), text messaging (SMS) on a cell phone (5%), Facebook (4%), and phone (2%) trailing distantly. Email's primacy is constant across all age groups but it is most popular among 35-44-year-olds and 55-64-year-olds (both at 81%).

Email's dominance is also increasing by 7% from 2008 to 72% in 2012. Respondents nominated sending an email (63%), ahead of posting it on Facebook (33%) and calling them on the phone (29%), for sharing content with friends and family. Teenagers (15-17) are much more likely than even slightly older respondents (18-24) to prefer receiving marketing messages via Twitter (4% vs. 1%) and to share via Twitter (17% vs. 5%).

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