IP Wants You to Go Paper. Grow Trees.™

Kudos to International  Paper!

Their sponsorship of a new awareness campaign aptly titled ‘Go Paper. Grow Trees. delivers the facts – and nothing but the facts! – about how using paper actually does benefit the health and growth of trees and forests worldwide.

And since we depend on forests for many reasons (social, ecological and economical), it is important we all do our part to spread this message to everyone within earshot (or eyeshot).

The main purpose of this campaign is to educate the public as to the challenges that private landowners face in cultivating forests. And since a vast majority of the 750 million acres of U.S. forests are privately owned1, it is up to these private (usually family) owners what will happen to our forests.

“It’s important to understand that tree farmers and other private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day… about three to four times more than they harvest. By planting trees and managing forests responsibly, landowners are given the financial incentive they need…”
– Teri Shanahan, VP of Commercial Printing, International Paper “

When we DON’T use paper, the income that tree farmers would normally receive is drastically reduced, which then leads to their inability to keep these forests going. To ensure their business’s survival, many tree farmers have begun to convert their forestlands to more profitable sources of income, such as agricultural crops or selling the land for development.

Either way, it results in a loss of forestlands, reducing our ability (yes, it affects all of us) to receive many of the health benefits we currently take for granted – things many of us don’t even think twice about like clean water, fresh air, etc.

Needless to say, it is important that we, as consumers, spread the word (and repeat the mantra) to Go Paper, Grow Trees. Because printing is good and paper products are a “sustainable, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource2.”


1Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2010



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.