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Email is the least favoured form of business-to-consumer communication, according to The Henley Centre.

Only two per cent of those quizzed for its report, The Lonely Customer, said they wanted to find out about a new product by email.

A whopping two-thirds of people said they preferred to get their information by traditional stamp-licked post.

It seems people respond angrily to companies that use e-mail for promotional purposes. It doesn't even matter whether the email was unsolicited junk or requested.

It seems people feel that email is much more personal than a letter, say, and therefore sense that their personal space has been invaded.

Instead, the report found that people prefer to receive paper-based information from businesses, casting doubt on the belief that the Net would replace traditional printed forms of communication.

"Consumers claim that mail has the right mix of formality and familiarity, is less intrusive, and gives them options: consumers can choose whether or not to open a letter, when to read it, whether to keep it, when to respond and how to respond," the report chirps.

Oh, and just as a mere irrelevant aside, hardly worth bothering really...but which company sponsored the report?

The Royal Mail.

Say no more. ®

* It may be of interest to note that the press release detailing this "research" was sent to us by...you guessed it...email.

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