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When it comes to sending good tidings of joy, the Brits still hold true to tradition and this year over 80% of us will send Christmas cards despite recent Royal Mail strikes. This is nearly double compared with our European counterparts who would rather send Christmas greetings via email.

Britain is fast becoming a nation of online shoppers, however a study by European digital marketing company eCircle has found that 86% of the UK will still pop a card in the post, displaying a show of faith in the Royal Mail and a sense of tradition at Christmas time. In a pan-European survey of over 7,000, eCircle found that in comparison with the UK, only:

• 22% of Italians send Christmas cards
• 44% of French send Christmas cards
• 47% of Germans send Christmas cards

However the number of festive emails and text messages being sent is increasing this year and these are the next most popular modes of Christmas communication, being used by 33.5% and 31.8% of the UK population respectively. But at the end of the year when social networking gripped a nation, only 5.8% of us will use Facebook, myspace or similar sites to wish joyful tidings. And in a further display of Britain’s love of all things Christmassy, the British are the post prepared for the festive season, spend the most amount of money, and research their gift ideas online the most compared to their friends on the continent.

Volker Wiewer, CEO of eCircle says: “I think it’s important for retailers, brands and technology experts alike to remember that as much as we want developments that make life easier and more hassle-free, we also want to retain the personal touches that protect the festive spirit. Even following an unpredictable year for the Royal Mail, people are still planning on sending offline Christmas greetings which show that whilst we’re emigrating online for many aspects of the festive season, we still want to retain some traditional Christmas cheer’.

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About the research

A total of 7,931 people across four countries took part in the survey (2,156 in Germany, 1515 in the UK, 1,579 in France and 2,141 in Italy).

The invitation to participate took place by email and the actual survey was via an online questionnaire. Screening of individuals was based on quotation on sex and age in eCircle’s online market research panel – V@lueTrend

Other Facts – FULL SURVEY AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

• In order Argos, Boots and Woolworths have been found to be the most popular high-street retailers for Christmas Shopping. In the online sector Amazon is the most popular with 62% of market share. Interestingly Argos is the next biggest online retailer.

• The British are the most prepared for Christmas

• The British will spend the most at Christmas

• Fashion is the most popular gift in Italy whilst books are the most popular in Britain

• The UK will spend the most on Christmas compared to European counterparts

For more information call James Holmes 07769 882 798 or Amy Lawson 07881 816 505

About eCircle

eCircle is one of Europe’s leading digital direct marketing companies, providing a complete email marketing solution, including the transmission of email, sms, mms and fax campaigns, a comprehensive permission marketing database for email campaigns, lead generation and online market research.

eCircle is one of the largest global email senders broadcasting over 500 million emails per quarter, and in addition is one of Europe’s largest email address providers with access to over 36 million opt-in email addresses.

Founded in Germany in 1999, eCircle was an early pioneer of video email campaigns and permission based lead generation. Headquartered in Munich, the company has additional offices in London, Paris and Milan and its clients include BP, BT Business, MTV and Samsung.

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