Envelope: The Medium of Choice for Communication in the Digital Age

Despite a decline of volume in the envelope market, there is positive news about consumer preference for envelopes and sustainability of paper. A recent Nielsen study found out that digital natives prefer the envelope to the email. And according to the latest Austrian Direct Media Report, 84% of recipients do open and read direct mail.

This was revealed at the 55th Congress of the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers (FEPE), held in Malta from 4-6 October 2012. The event, entitled “The Envelope in a Digital World” was attended by 80 delegates from 17 European countries, the US, Dubai and Israel, representing Envelope Manufacturers and their suppliers.

Digital natives prefer the envelope to the email

An international Nielsen survey among 3000 consumers unveiled that young people aged 16-34 prefer the envelope to email. “They complain more about digital information overload and irrelevant messages overflowing their electronic inboxes” said Christopher Barth, strategic director at Rapp Germany. Comparing preferences for and efficiency of marketing channels, the survey showed that the printed envelope is the most valuable mailing technique. It has not only the highest opening and reading rates (85%), it also beats its electronic as well as other physical competitors in terms of recall and recognition (67%, email 11%). Reinforced by the need for individualization, Barth predicts that postal mailings in individually printed envelopes shall increasingly become the medium of choice for marketers.

84% read Direct Mail

The Austrian Direct Media Report 2012 confirmed that Direct Mailings are read by 84% and 44% are curious and excited about reading the content. “Social media & mobile marketing will become more important, but over one third of consumers would miss personal and unaddressed mailings” said Walter Trezek from Document Exchange Network. “Their increasing expectations regarding efficient, highly individualized and secured communication will require a mix of all communication channels in the future, in which the physical channel will continue to play a major role”. Even more so, as consumers perceive physical mail as more trustworthy than email, so Jan Remmert from Swiss Post.

Print and paper is the sustainable way to communicate

Martyn Eustace, Director of Two Sides, confirmed that consumers, and in particular the younger generation, like paper. The recent consumer campaign launched by Two Sides already helped to make consumers understand that print and paper is the sustainable way to communicate. 76% of consumers asked by IPSOS now know that more than 60% of European paper is recycled and from the 78% believing that European forests are reducing in size, 75% now understand forests are increasing in size and that print and paper is based on a renewable resource.

The successful congress was kindly sponsored by Stora Enso, UPM, Winkler+Dünnebier, Multiplastics, Eukalin, Sidaplax, Drewsen Spezialpapiere, Halm International, Gascogne Laminates and Sihl GmbH.

Next year´s FEPE congress will take place from 3-5 October in Zagreb. For further information on the congress, FEPE, its members and activities, please contact info@fepe.org or call +32 2 779 4001.

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