Direct Mail is Greener

Direct mail has long been a topic that breeds negativity amongst the general public. More recently, it has come into the spotlight for the harmful effects it can have on the environment. While it is true that mass printing and mailing to random (and un-qualified) prospects is wasteful, when done correctly direct marketing is, in essence, “greener” than other forms of marketing. Follow the simple guidelines below and “green” your direct mail for little to no extra cost.

1. Target your market

When buying or building marketing lists, ask yourself who you’re targeting. What   plays an important role in their buying tendencies: income, gender, location, marital status? Defining these parameters and classifying your leads accurately will allow for more targeted lists and result in better response rates.

2. Keep it Clean

Maintaining quality data is imperative when using direct mail. Data verification services are available that can verify addresses, find missing numbers and de-dupe your files. Cleaning up your lists maximizes the potential success rate, and minimizes your environmental impact by ensuring deliverability. Not sure where to start? Contact us and we can help.

3. Send the right offer

Make sure the offer you’re sending to prospects is the right one. Do this by conducting a test run of your piece and see what the response rate is. Determine whether the response rate you receive is sufficient, or if you need to change your message.

4. Send at the right time

Always keep in mind the time of year and mail delivery speed. Is it a week before the 4th of July? It’s likely your prospect is not in the office. Are you sending school supply information in September? Too late! Think about what time of year your prospects are likely to consider purchasing new products or services and send your pieces accordingly. Try to avoid sending direct mail pieces two weeks before a major holiday.

5. Make it personal

Personalize your pieces with your prospects’ first name, or include an image of a recognizable landmark. Making the pieces more meaningful allows you to send less but still receive great response rates. 1 to 1 marketing is crucial to any campaign’s success. Work with a printer experienced in variable data printing and include some conditional information. The message, price, and offer can vary in the same campaign. It may cost more per piece, but it is more efficient and renders better results, increasing return on investment. Contact us for more information on variable data printing.

6. Think outside the box

Direct mail needs to be eye-catching – after all you want your piece to stand out! Include some interesting images or use a unique tagline and bold colors. Don’t be afraid to be different. Make your pieces memorable and watch the sales roll in.

7. Print on recycled paper!

Perhaps one of the most effective ways to green your direct marketing is using paper that is recycled and/or recyclable. Find a printer that offers a variety of  recycled/PCW paper options. For little to no extra cost, you can print on eco-friendly paper and show your customers your green efforts.

When some or all of the above is done, direct mail results are positively impacted. Targeting a list and mailing fewer pieces reduces not only expenses, but also material and energy used. It also minimizes the amount of fossil fuel associated with transportation and waste. So the next time your company wants to implement a direct mail strategy, remember these steps to minimize your company’s carbon footprint and maximize the bottom line.