In the past, critics of direct mail argued that the channel was neither financially nor environmentally friendly, as the campaigns often resulted in a lot of waste.
However, many studies have found that the marketing tactic is extremely effective. When run with the help of address management software and a targeted, focused approach, it can also be an affordable project that delivers a high return on investment.
But how can you make a great, green direct mail campaign? The Ballantine Corporation explains in a white paper that there are four R's for eco-friendly initiatives, starting with reduction. This can be achieved by cutting down the amount of material used in the physical mail piece, applying deduplication software
to remove redundant listings and asking contacts if they prefer mail, email or phone communications.
Reusing materials will also help the environment. Consider printing on recycled paper with natural inks and sending out leftover mailers that are still applicable to the current campaign.
To encourage recycling, add a note at the bottom of the mailer that reminds customers to recycle a mail piece after they have read and acted upon the printed message. Ballantine says the fourth step, respond, involves telling clients about your company's efforts to go green.