Email is by far the most popular channel among US online consumers for receiving permission-based promotional messages, according to [pdf] ExactTarget survey results released in April 2012. 77% of respondents chose email, with direct mail (letter, catalogs, postcards, etc. – 9%), text messaging (SMS) on a cell phone (5%), Facebook (4%), and phone (2%) trailing distantly.
Email’s primacy is constant across all age groups: it is most popular among 35-44-year-olds and 55-64-year-olds (both at 81%), and least popular among 15-17-year-olds (66%). The preference for email appears to be global, at least when the channel is stacked up against SMS: data from survey results released in March 2012 by Ipsos indicates that three-quarters of consumers worldwide prefer receiving offers via email rather than text.