Today’s consumers are increasingly demanding more environmental responsibility from businesses they interact with. With consumers becoming more aware of green practices, every little change you make to preserve the environment can reflect on your business and affect the bottom line.
Here are a few ways that direct mail marketers can become more eco-friendly in the eyes of their audience:
- List management
This should be the first item on every direct mail marketer looking to go green. Before you send out your mail pieces, you should update your list to ensure that very few mail pieces are sent to wrong addresses or uninterested recipients. This single step will not only reduce the environmental impact of direct mail, but also save on the cost of paper, ink, and postage, ultimately increasing your return on investment through effective targeting.
You can seek available resources to help you hone your mail lists, such as working with the GTA mailing service and direct mail providers to correct an address before mailing; address standardization to get rid of address errors; or area code correction to ensure the mail gets to the right recipient.
- Use non-traditional kinds of paper
Paper is the essence of direct mail, and presents the biggest opportunity for going green. Marketers choose different paper characteristics when creating the content, from brightness to coating to texture. There are numerous kinds of papers with varying amounts of recycled content that marketers can tap into. Unfortunately, papers with greater recycled content tend to be more costly, but the goodwill benefit can outweigh the out-of-pocket cost.
Marketers can also consider using paper containing post-consumer waste; printing on the lightest weight of paper; using paper made from alternative materials, such as sugarcane; using paper made from chemical-free processes (like chlorine-free paper); using formats that require less paper and packaging; and working with eco-friendly paper mills that use best practices.
- Using eco-friendly inks, varnishes, and coatings
Different inks and special coatings have varying impact on the environment. While these coatings are necessary to give your mail pieces the extra visual/tactile zing, marketers looking to go green should do a bit of research to identify the inks/coatings with the least impact on the environment. Marketers should also consider using agri-based inks/coatings whenever possible and using less ink/colour in their mail pieces.
- Better production habits
You can also change some of your business practices to have greater impact on the eco-friendliness of direct mailing. You may consider:
- Printing on both sides of direct mail paper to reduce paper usage
- Using printing services near you to reduce transportation
- Using print-on-demand technology to reduce overproduction and warehousing
Lastly, make a habit of printing environmental certifications clearly on your mail pieces, and honestly remind the recipients to recycle direct mail when they are done with it.