Ready for a shocker? Employers still like to communicate with employees via snail mail – mail sent through the post office – especially mail that is sent to their homes.

Sending mail concerning employee benefits to an employee’s home was listed among the top five ways employers communicate about benefits, according to a Prudential Insurance Company benefits communications survey. Seventy-four percent of employers said group meetings and seminars was their No. 1 choice.

Filling out the list of channels employers use between group meeting and mail at home:

  • Individual meetings;
  • Email; and
  • Toll-free numbers

When employees were asked how they like to receive benefits information, it was a different story. Work email was the most preferred manner, chosen by nearly half of respondents. After work email, employees prefer:

  • Personal email;
  • Online avatar;
  • Group meetings; and
  • Individual meetings.

Targeted marketing mailings and mail received at home both showed strong gains compared to 2013, with at-home mail increasing 14 percent year-over-year and targeted marketing mailings up 13 percent. Employers acknowledged “great success” with such newer communications tools as external social media networking and video, CD-ROM or DVD presentations. Almost half of employers said they’d found success by sending text messages to employees’ mobile phones.

But, employers will still need to pay close attention to the messages themselves, regardless of the way they are delivered.

“As individuals increasingly choose digital tools to take in information, benefits communications will be no different. Employers and carriers will need to look at successful aspects of non-digital communications and incorporate them into the digital realm,” said Jean Wiskowski, Prudential Group Insurance vice president.