We haven’t heard a lot lately on “going green” in direct marketing. This was big news a few years back when it first got attention, but has faded from the front page. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday, it seems like a great time to revisit this worthy initiative.
We already know that every dollar spent on direct marketing will return about $12 in sales—the highest ROI than any other method. But the truth is, green marketing—the effort to reduce a carbon footprint/conserve natural resources—often seems at odds with some of the direct marketer’s objectives and strategies. Aside from email, social and text—obvious green channels—many of our successful go-to moves can appear to be anything but planet-preserving. For many clients, green responsibility is a priority and part of their brand commitment. For others, it is less of a focus as they wage the battle for customer traction.
The US Postal Service reminds us of all the great ways to keep green tactics in mind when planning our next print and direct mail campaigns:reat tool available online to take marketers through the planning process necessary to ensure that green marketing becomes part of an organization’s DNA. Check out tips and strategies from the Direct Marketing Association.
- Regularly update and improve your mailing lists to limit duplication and waste.
- Use research to effectively target your customers. Folks who live in apartment buildings, for example, probably don’t need lawn services.
- Allow customers to opt-out of your mailings to ensure you’re not sending them unwanted mail.
- Use recycled materials for the mailings you create.
- When sourcing paper, make sure that it comes from forests managed with practices certified by independent, third-party organizations such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Design your mailings to be recyclable, too, by printing with water-based inks, on uncoated paper stocks, and sending windowless envelopes.
- Print on both sides of the paper to save resources and reduce mailing costs.
- Ship your products with USPS Cradle-to-CradleSM certified packaging, and encourage customers to save energy with USPS delivery.
- Encourage your customers to recycle the mailing once they’ve read it, and tell them how you made your mailing as green as possible.
St. Patrick just might approve.
Direct Choice Inc. is a full-service direct marketing agency that has worked with national and regional brands in a wide variety of vertical markets. In addition to this blog, you can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn