eMarketing and Commerce http://www.emarketingandcommerce.com/story/younger-consumers-more-influenced-e-mail-and-direct-mail-social-sites

Some members of the lucrative 18- to 34-year-old age group say they’re more likely to be influenced to make purchases based on “older” media, such as e-mail marketing messages and direct mail, than from marketing messages on social networks.

This was a key finding from the whitepaper, Messaging Behaviors, Preferences and Personas, from Ball State University’s Center for Media Design and ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based provider of e-mail marketing solutions.

The whitepaper provides insight into the media consumption habits and marketing preferences of six groups:

* “wired” consumers: young males ages 18 to 34 without kids. They are employed full time or are self-employed, have an annual household income of at least $35,000 and have at least a college education;

* young homemakers: females ages 18 to 34 who consider “homemaker” to be their primary occupation and have an annual household income of at least $35,000;

* retired consumers: men or women who have retired, although the sample is more skewed toward male respondents (57 percent); of this group, 80 percent have attended college and 41 percent received at least a bachelor’s degree;

* college students: predominantly those ages 18 to 24.

* teens or high school students ages 15 to 17. The sample skews slightly higher than average in annual household income; and

* established professionals: adults who are employed full time, ages 35 or older, with annual household incomes greater than $75,000; in the sample, 65 percent are ages 35 to 54, and it’s evenly split between men and women.

Key findings
* 20 percent of wired consumers have signed up for marketing offers via short message service, but they want to receive text messages only for urgent customer service issues such as financial alerts or travel updates;

* more than 50 percent of young homemakers use social networks and SMS during the day, but direct mail and e-mail are their two preferred marketing channels;

* 81 percent of retired consumers have purchased online and 94 percent have been influenced by some form of direct marketing to make a purchase;

* college students are very spam-savvy and believe private communication channels such as SMS and social networks are off-limits for marketers;

* teens use social networking more than any other group, but are more likely to make a purchase from direct mail, followed by e-mail; and

* in the established professionals group, women are more likely to use new digital media channels such as instant messaging, SMS and social networking to communicate with friends and family, but both men and women shop online, with 92 percent of consumers in this group having made an online purchase.

To download a copy of the whitepaper, please click here.