Mail Room: Ask Sandra

Sandra Long, vice president, Printer Market and Customer Development, Pitney Bowes, answers readers’ questions about mailing. Send your questions to her at

Q: It would be helpful to have some statistics that support my new marketing suggestions to show to businesses that are considering using my services. Do you know of any?

A: Yes, Pitney Bowes recently surveyed more than 750 small businesses for a Small Business Marketing Survey, and it is a very comprehensive report that found small businesses are really missing out on reaching their customers in relatively simple ways.

Some of the highlights are: The top choice of communications for small businesses is email (46 percent). Surprisingly, the email campaigns are not generally measured (73 percent). The next most popular channels are phone and direct mail. Clearly, small businesses are still using traditional channels to communicate. Email popularity is due to ease of use and cost. However, without tracking and measurements, the effectiveness of most email appears to be an unknown.

The use of social media and QR codes is surfacing, but is far behind traditional channels. Only 17 percent of small businesses use social media, according to this study. Interestingly, small businesses with fewer than 10 employees are most likely to use social media as a primary channel of communication.

Your knowledge of all communication channels will serve you well as you recommend different strategies. No matter which communication channel is chosen, it is always smart for you to measure and track all campaigns. Recommend multi-channel campaigns for the best results. People often want to be communicated with in different ways, depending on the volume of information or urgency.

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