A recent Gallup survey reveals that most United States adults are likelier to be happy about receiving a catalog in the mail. In fact, 46 percent of the American adults surveyed are happy to receive catalogs in the mail when compared to the 28 percent who say they are not, according to MarktingCharts.com

Gallup also asked participants about how they feel about receiving letters from a business and receiving advertising cards or fliers. Advertising cards/fliers were twice as likely to provoke a negative reaction when compared to receiving letters from a business:

Receiving Letters from a Business:

  • Positive: 30 percent
  • Neutral: 34 percent
  • Negative: 30 percent

Receiving Advertising Cards/Fliers:

  • Positive: 21 percent
  • Negative: 51 percent

Gallup poll results for this survey are based on telephone interviews conducted on March 27 and 28, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey involving a random sample of 1,010 adults who were 18 years of age and older living in all 50 United States and the District of Columbia. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level, according to Gallup.

While more than 40 percent of Americans enjoy checking their mailboxes, Americans age 65 and older and 36 percent of Americans under the age of 30 are likelier than younger adults to enjoy checking their mail. The responses broken down by age:

Look forward to checking mail:

  • Ages 18-29: 36 percent
  • Ages 30-49: 36 percent
  • Ages 50-64: 41 percent
  • Ages 65 and older: 56 percent

Do not think a great deal about checking mail:

  • Ages 18-29: 64 percent
  • Ages 30-49: 63 percent
  • Ages 50-64: 57 percent
  • Ages 65 and older: 44 percent

Of course, the type of mail received triggered varied reactions. A letter from someone known to the respondent provoked greater happiness than an advertising card or flier, which led to the least positive reaction:

A letter from someone you know

Very positive: 94 percent; neutral: 3 percent; very negative: 2 percent

Birthday, holiday, greeting card

Very positive: 93 percent; neutral: 3 percent; very negative: 3 percent


Very positive: 83 percent; neutral: 8 percent; very negative: 5 percent


Very positive: 60 percent; neutral: 19 percent; very negative: 18 percent


Very positive: 46 percent; neutral: 24 percent; very negative: 28 percent

Letter from a business

Very positive: 30 percent; neutral: 34 percent; very negative: 34 percent


Very positive: 29 percent; neutral: 26 percent; very negative: 44 percent

Advertising card/flier

Very positive: 22 percent; neutral: 25 percent; very negative: 51 percent

The results, notes Gallup, reveal that, despite that we are in the midst of a communication and commerce revolution that began some two decades ago, millions of Americans still look forward to receiving their mail from the United States Postal Service. Much of this interaction is positive.

According to Gallup, despite the flood of text messages, emails, and social media updates Americans receive each day, direct paper mail remains uniquely valuable, “and it may be possible that Americans’ strong emotional bonds to personal letters and cards means that this ‘old-fashioned’ means of communication could have a renaissance, or at least not become extinct, in the years ahead.”