Environmental concerns are changing your business environment, and eco-friendly practices are more important than ever. Everything you do to preserve the environment can reflect on your business and impact your bottom line.
Some believe that direct mail is not eco-friendly and should be avoided. But direct mail can be greener than you think, and green direct mail practices can give marketers an opportunity to demonstrate their environmental responsibility through certified materials and initiatives.
It's one thing to be aware of one's negative environmental impact, but it's much more important to work to decrease it. Diligent marketers can take some very simple steps to ensure their direct mail is both eco-friendly and effective. Direct markets have the opportunity to take the initiative and become more eco-friendly in their customers' eyes. Always print environmental certifications clearly and honestly on your mailpieces, and remind consumers to recycle direct mail. Environmentally sound direct mail practices are really about the little details. Here are four practical solutions you can take today.
1. Greening the List
Every year, US businesses send billions of pieces of mail that are undeliverable-as-
addressed (UAA). By taking steps to maintain a clean, up-to-date list, your business can reduce its amount of UAA mail. You'll be producing fewer mailpieces and less paper, ink and energy. There are resources available to help hone your lists:
>>ZIP Code correction ensures that mail is delivered to its proper recipient
>>Address standardization eliminates address errors
>>National Change of Address Linkage System corrects addresses before mailing
>>U.S. Postal Service Address Change Service corrects an address after mailing
There are steps marketers can take to fine-tune their lists:
2. The Many Faces of Paper
Almost every direct mail piece is printed and mailed using paper. Depending on the piece, certain characteristics may be required of the paper itself, including brightness and coatings. Marketers can reduce their environmental footprint significantly by using non-traditional kinds of paper. There are many opportunities to make direct mail more eco-friendly:
3. Inks and Coatings
An overlooked opportunity to spare the environment is through the inks, varnishes and coatings. Some inks have a greater environmental impact than others. Marketers looking to become greener should pay attention and research their impact on the environment. Here are some things for marketers to consider:
4. Production and Partners
Printers aren't the only ones to consult during direct mail production. With the help of production partners, you can discover additional practices that will help you become eco-friendly:
There are many shades of green. As a marketer, there are steps you can take to make your direct mail a little greener to have less impact on the environment and a greater impact on your customers.
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