Business Customers Prefer Email

The amount of channels available to communicate with stakeholders has expanded dramatically over the past decade and options continue to grow. To help you communicate with your customers, MarketingSherpa asked 2,057 American adults about their channel preferences.

“It’s not the tired email-is-dead 2003 world anymore. Junk mail didn’t kill email the way most ‘experts’ expected. Instead, the struggle to stay afloat in an ocean of junk made permission emailers much, much stronger.”

This was before the rise of the latest threats to email communicationFacebook, Twitter, smartphones, etc. However, according to our latest market research, email marketing could borrow from Mark Twain’s famous quote, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

About 72 percent of adults prefer email communication with companies.

In many ways, customers prefer traditional versus digital tactics — with email being the main exception. Email was unique among digital channels. In fact, it was the only digital channel to outperform old media standbys — postal mail (preferred by 48 percent), television ads (preferred by 34 percent) and print media, such as magazines and newspapers, (preferred by 31 percent). For example, only 11 percent of people preferred mobile apps and just 7 percent preferred online video ads.

There were variations on channel preferences among different demographic groups. For example, 64 percent of those 55+ preferred postal mail, and 41 percent in that cohort preferred print media, while 38 percent of people ages 18-54 preferred postal mail, and 24 percent preferred print media. However, across almost every demographic surveyed, email was the preferred way to communicate with companies. The only exception was females 65 or older — 64 percent prefer email, and 65 percent prefer postal mail. Males aged 35-44 were the biggest fans — with 87 percent preferring email as their favorite channel.

This insight puts a premium on data collection and management. That’s the first part of the equation–building your email lists. We have many tactics that we recommend for email harvesting, direct marketing and relationship management.

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