It may sound contradictory but An Post today claimed that Irish households with internet access actually send and receive the highest volumes of physical mail in the country.
The research, carried out by TNS MRBI on behalf of An Post, found that 61pc of households that regularly send mail have internet access. It covered over 600 houses between September and November last year.
Of those that send the heaviest volumes (six items a week) 64pc have internet access.
Over one third of all addressed mail now contains some marketing content and 86pc of direct mail is read by the recipient, with over a third kept for future reference.
“The survey shows there is a direct connection between internet access and sending and receiving mail – those with access do more of both, which is perhaps surprising given the common perception that use of the internet and email discourages use of the postal system,” said Liam Sheehan, An Post director of sales and marketing.
“A challenge for the industry is the finding that just over half of direct mail was described as relevant but its potential as a powerful marketing communications tool is evident from the amount that is kept for future reference.”
In terms of households that receive addressed mail, which is practically all of them, 59pc have internet access, according to An Post. That figure rising to 74pc for households that receive more than six items per week.
The survey showed that those with access to email are also heavier receivers of addressed mail, with 58pc of households that receive six or more items a week having access.
With regard to social-economic class, ABC1s are the heaviest receivers of both addressed and unaddressed mail. Around 47pc of households that receive six or more addressed items a week are ABC1s, as are the same percentage of those receiving four or more unaddressed items per week.
By John Kennedy