How Direct Marketing Can Be Sustainable
More than ever, consumers are demanding eco-friendly products and services—and integrated marketers are also tasked with promoting sustainability. Here’s how you can make your direct marketing more sustainable without sacrificing impact.
But marketers are still concerned about ROI and results—and the one tactic that continues to perform well in all categories and industries is direct mail. So, naturally, we hear from conscientious marketers who don’t want to give up their mailers but want advice on how they can market more sustainably. Here’s how you can produce direct mail that gets results, including minimizing your environmental footprint.
Maintain Your Mailing List
Waste not, want not: To avoid the waste that comes from undeliverable or unwanted mailers, fill your marketing database with people who really want to hear from you and eliminate those who don’t.
Regular list hygiene is a good start. Verify that addresses are complete, eliminate duplicates and cross-check previously undeliverable and return-to-sender mail. The United States Postal Service has programs available to help marketers avoid or correct these errors—call us so we can provide additional details on what’s available.
You can also be proactive by making all data collection forms consistent. That means asking for the same information, including for internet opt-ins. Even when UX best practices recommend asking for the bare minimum to increase sign-ups or subscriptions, gathering extra information will ensure you’re mailing to an engaged audience.
A Unified (Store) Front
If your company includes multiple locations or is franchise based, having an online storefront for ordering marketing materials can help you monitor your inventory of assets like brochures, flyers and direct mailers. You’ll be able to minimize waste by setting controls around quantity and availability, so each location can get precisely what they need—no more, no less—right when they need it.
Other benefits of having a single source for ordering marketing materials:
- Improved consistency: Ensure that each location sends the right message to your customers.
- Cost savings: It’s much more cost-efficient to have everything produced by a single source, rather than each business location designing and printing their own material.
- Building a stronger brand: An online portal lets you showcase a range of items and make franchisees aware of products they may not have known about.
- Versatility: In addition to brochures and flyers, your portal can offer signage and premium items.
Design Choices Matter
Every little choice can add up. Let’s start with the most obvious: the form factor. Start by thinking, does it have to be a brochure? Does the project require a complete letter package, or will a postcard suffice? Consider how you can do more with less.
Here are a few other design/content choices that may not be so obvious but still make a difference:
- Use full-bleeds sparingly to save ink and energy.
- Your font can make a difference (even in Web/digital design).
- Add a note on your mailers asking recipients to recycle after use.
Partner with the Right Printer
Your printer can be a major ally in your sustainability efforts by advising you on the most environmentally friendly products, services and practices.
Let us help! We are deeply committed to sustainability and innovation, and we have the resources and expertise to help you produce direct marketing that fits your budget and your goals, including:
- Papers and films made from recycled and environmentally conscious materials
- Eco-friendly inks and finishes
- Variable printing capabilities allow you to personalize elements of the mailer within a single print run
- State-of-the-art machinery designed to save energy and maximize efficiency
- File troubleshooting to make sure your jobs come out exactly as expected
We also offer professional design and marketing services to help you produce materials that get noticed, get read and get results. Contact us to learn more about any of these offerings.