Strong argument for letters
Seven out of ten private customers would like to continue receiving business correspondence such as invoices and salary statements in written form in future. These were the findings of surveys carried out by Swiss Post among individuals and business customers. The results prove that despite the new media the letter has a bright future owing to its stronger impact. As such, Swiss Post is convinced that the letter business will remain a strong pillar of the company in the long term.
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How are letters perceived by recipients and what role do they play for companies? To obtain answers to these questions, Swiss Post surveyed around 1,600 individuals and business customers in German- and French-speaking Switzerland. The survey was carried out in autumn 2010 and summer 2011 by market research institutes GfK Switzerland AG and Polyquest AG. The studies show that physical communication between senders and recipients continues to enjoy great popularity and that letters and promotional mailings have a greater impact than electronic mail.
Paper invoices are more popular
The majority of individuals surveyed would like to continue receiving business correspondence in paper form in future. 76% of respondents would choose to have their reminders on paper, 71% were in favour of paper invoices and 67% would like to receive their salary statements in paper form. Misgivings remain with regard to the security of data transmitted electronically. Customers appreciate the higher perceived value, binding nature and simple archiving associated with letters.
Higher acceptance of physical advertising
The majority of individuals surveyed (62%) feel that postal advertising addresses them personally whereas only 23% of respondents believe this to be the case with e-mail advertising. At the same time, 58% of those questioned admitted to opening promotional letter mailings more frequently than if they had been sent by e-mail. The opposite was true in only 9% of cases. What's more, 68% of respondents consider a company that sends physical promotional mailings to be reputable, whereas only 27% believe this of companies that advertise via e-mail. The advantages of physical advertising also prove more popular among our younger customers. There are no signs that this trend towards postal advertising will abate.
Greater impact of postal mailings
In the field of business correspondence – such as invoices or reminders – postal mailings continue to dominate heavily: 97% of companies surveyed send their correspondence by post. The high level of attention and impact was quoted as the greatest benefit of physical mailings. A similar picture can be seen in the case of promotional mailings: 62% of companies believe that customers are more likely to read the content of a physical mailing than its electronic counterpart. Only 3% believe the opposite to be true with regard to e-mails.
Letter market as an important pillar for Swiss Post
Over the last year, Swiss Post delivered 2.37 billion addressed letters. With an operating result of CHF 199 million, business from letter and promotional mailings in 2010 was one of the company's strongest pillars. While the decline in volumes had already begun to slow significantly last year, the first half of 2011 reveals an even more positive picture. The number of addressed items has increased slightly. The latest survey results once again show that physical mail will stand its ground in the electronic world. As such, Swiss Post is convinced that the letter business will remain a core business and thus a strong pillar of the company going forward. Swiss Post will continue to make huge investments in the letter business, further optimizing its services, making its processes as efficient as possible and exploiting new potential for growth. This also includes developing innovative solutions and services at the interface between the physical and electronic world.