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(June 27, 2001) -- Direct mail is the best way to establish relationships with customers, says a study released today by Pitney Bowes.

Of the 350 U.S. households surveyed, with incomes greater than $35,000, 34% said direct mail is the most effective communication vehicle, followed by print advertising (30%), TV (25%), radio (5%), e-mail (4%), Internet ads (2%) and telemarketing (0%).

The survey, conducted with the help of consultancy Peppers and Rogers Group, also found that 82% of consumers prefer the control associated with direct mail and 78% enjoy its non-intrusive nature.

More than 90% of those surveyed cited the familiar, convenient, interactive and universal aspects of direct mail as the reasons for its effectiveness.

Although direct mail accounts for 65% of the mail received by the average U.S. household, the majority of consumers -- 57% -- said they value companies' efforts to communicate with them, up 10% since 1998. -- Cara Beardi

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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