Chicago (Feb. 5, 2003) --The vast majority of accountants and other professional services firms prefer paper and "snail" mail over e-mail for sending newsletters to clients, according to a survey by practice management consultants Practice Development Institute.

Just 5 percent of firms that publish client newsletters send them exclusively via e-mail versus 95 percent that send out printed copies via regular mail, according to PDI's survey. The research polled 1,480 accounting, law, banking, insurance and human resource firms that are its clients and another 2,800 accounting firms that are not its clients. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed distribute via both e-mail and regular mail.

The survey further found that 44 percent of the firms had e-mail addresses for at least half of their clients, and 22 percent had e-mail addresses for at least half of their prospects. PDI president Allan Koltin said he had expected the survey to show widespread use of e-mail, but noted that most firms sending only e-mail versions of newsletters "wouldn't even reach half of the people they wanted to" because of firms' limited access to clients' and prospects' e-mail addresses.

"Print newsletters will continue to be an important marketing and client communications tool for the foreseeable future," Koltin added. When the survey asked what distribution methods practitioners would consider using in the future, 57 percent indicated that they would still snail mail print newsletters, and 42 percent said they'd use a combination of print and e-mail.

-- John M. Covaleski

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