According to a study in September 2011 of consumers’ use of technology and preferences for how brands communicate with them:

  1. Three in four people (71%) welcome receiving direct mail from organizations they are already customers of.   Additionally, some 57% of those surveyed feel direct mail contact was appropriate for prospective customers.
  2. Email is similarly popular among existing customers, — 78% of people say they willingly accept this form of contact; the figure dropped to 52% for prospective customers.
  3. Newer types of marketing were not so popular: Less than one in 10 (9%) of existing customers feel that receiving marketing text messages is appropriate; Just 4% feel it is acceptable for marketers to contact prospective customers via SMS.
  4. Just 4% of customers approve of contact through social media; Just 6% of prospects would be happy to receive marketing via social media.
  5. Consumers are using technology to control their relationships with brands and filter out unwanted communications.

Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) UK states: “As Acxiom’s survey highlights, consumers are very clear about how they want to be contacted, with mail and email continuing to be their preferred channels.”

“Above all they respond best when the communication is timely, relevant, and targeted.  This should be at the forefront of every marketer’s mind in these tough trading times, as they fight to retain customers and win new ones.”