It turns out that people hate spam more than direct mail.
Results from a focus group study conducted by Morimoto and Chang found that people find spam more intrusive than direct mail because it makes it harder to get to legitimate and wanted messages. Discarding direct mail, on the other hand, wasn't perceived as time consuming.
And while spam often contains adult content or other inappropriate material, direct mail pieces often contain potentially useful items such as sales promotions and easy-to-use coupons. E-mailed coupons must be printed, which is an extra step that consumers would rather not have to take.
I say telemarketers are worse than both.