Mail Ranks #1 Among Alumni for Information, Solicitations from Colleges and Universities
STAMFORD, Conn., September 29, 2009 - New research from Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) has a clear message for colleges and universities trying to engage alumni and keep the donation pipeline flowing: use the mail.
Commissioned by Pitney Bowes, the polling firm International Communications Research surveyed approximately 1,100 college graduates and post-graduate school respondents about their preferences for receiving information from the school they attended. Results showed that 57 percent of respondents prefer to receive correspondence, news and other communications by mail versus 31 percent by e-mail and only three percent via social networking sites.
When asked about what types of information respondents most enjoy receiving, 30 percent of alumni chose all information about the college or university they attended. Twenty-three percent said they most enjoy receiving alumni news and events while 22 percent said they like receiving a combination of campus events and alumni events. Fourteen percent of respondents were most interested in special events happening in their geographic area and 13 percent were focused exclusively on current news and events from campus.
Alumni also have a strong preference for regular mail (54 percent) versus e-mail (23 percent) as a communications channel when it comes to being contacted about gifts and donations by their college or university. Only five percent of graduates chose the phone and one percent of respondents chose social networking sites.
“Many colleges and universities are under pressure right now to manage their marketing budgets while finding effective ways to communicate with alumni,” said Mark Pollack, vice president, marketing, U.S. Mailing for Pitney Bowes. “Our research reveals that alumni have a strong preference for mail when it comes to receiving correspondence and news, and being contacted about gifts or donations by their school. As a result, colleges and universities should continue to incorporate mail as a primary channel in their direct marketing efforts to communicate with alumni and build more effective relationships.”
Another key survey finding is that graduates are less likely to discard or ignore mail (27 percent) when it comes to messages about fundraising and donations from their college or university versus phone (38 percent), social networking sites (34 percent) and e-mail (30 percent).
The survey also asked respondents how many times they have made a gift to their college or university since graduating. Fifty-nine percent of alumni said they have made a contribution. Approximately 19 percent said they have made a gift to their college or university more than 10 times. Also, despite the current state of the economy, almost 37 percent of respondents said that they are likely to make a gift or contribution to their college or university in the next year.
About Pitney Bowes:
Pitney Bowes is a $6.3 billion global technology leader whose products, services and solutions deliver value within the mailstream and beyond. Founded in 1920, our company’s 35,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. For more information about Pitney Bowes, its products, services and solutions, visit www.pb.com.