US ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is set to ditch regular email marketing after feedback from its customers suggested most would prefer to be contacted via social media.

Charlotte McEleny of New Media Age said the move would make the company "one of the first big brands" to drop email from its online marketing services.

Instead of its monthly newsletter, Ben & Jerry’s will instead contact its customers through Facebook and Twitter, she added.

Its final message, which was sent last week, encouraged recipients to connect with the brand’s pages on these sites.

Vicky Willis, the company’s senior brand manager, said: "Developing friendship and a relationship is key for us and social media is the best place for that."

Ben & Jerry’s founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first store in 1978 in a former petrol station in Burlington, Vermont.

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