U.S. survey: change in personal communications channel preferences

The statistic shows the change in U.S. online consumers' preferences of communication channels for personal communications. In 2008, e-mail was the most popular channel, as 66 percent of respondents stated it as their preference. Despite remaining the top category in 2012, it was then preferred by only 45 percent of the respondents, while text messaging gained more popularity.

Change in preferences of personal communications channels in the United States from 2008 to 2012

Text messages16%36%
Social networks3%13%
Direct mail5%2%
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Release date

April 2012


United States

Survey time period

January 27, 2012 to February 1, 2012**

Number of respondents


Age group

15 years and older

Special properties

Online consumers

Method of interview

Panel survey

Supplementary notes

* Values for 2008 were taken from ExactTarget's 2008 Channel Preferences survey.

** ExactTarget 2012 Channel Preferences Survey, February 2012, N = 1,481 US Online Consumers, age 15 and older
ExactTarget 2008 Channel Preferences Survey, February 2008, N = 1,555 US Online Consumers, age 15 and older. In 2008, ExactTarget asked about “Social Networking Sites” (e.g., Facebook, MySpace). In 2012, questions were asked about specific social networks. 2012 statistics for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ were aggregated for the purpose of comparison to 2008 statistics.

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