When to eMail and when to Mail
Posted on 28th April 2017 at 10:35
Royal Mail researchers asked people what types of communications they wanted from companies they already have relationships with. Their feelings are clear: Email is perfect for eliciting an instant response, for confirmations and follow-ups.
For example, emails are good for acknowledging an order or enquiry or for informing people about deliveries. They’re also useful for asking customers if they’d like to be notified when new items become available. Email also scores highest for news and updates – messages that typically require a quick glance or messages about events that are happening soon. For catalogues, brochures and communications that require time to read they strongly prefer to receive printed versions in the mail. They can then consider the contents and keep the information around the home.
Mail is seen as a medium of authority, so people still prefer to get bills and statements in a physical form. Since mail makes people feel valued, it’s also the preferred medium for loyalty communications. Consumers associate mail and email with very different characteristics. But if you’re putting together a marketing plan these characteristics can also be seen as complementary: Email is seen as being quick and informal. A simple piece of information or news that people can glance at and get in a moment. Mail is believable and reliable. In fact all of the top associations show that it is a medium of authority. This makes it perfectly suited for communications that are formal or official. What’s also interesting is that mail is seen as ‘personal’ in a way that email is not – even though both are targeted and personalised. Consumers are perhaps being influenced by the high volume of emails they are now receiving. Alternatively, it may be the physical nature of mail and the tactile way people interact with it that gives it a higher status.
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