Green Your Mailings
For the organizations searching to develop innovative ways to improve the sustainability of their direct mail campaigns while maintaining increased return on investment, Direct Mail Center suggests:
- Change the concept from “junk mail” to “target mail”
- Select the proper mail list improvement
- Use paper with recycled content
- Alternative ideas
- Client’s shared ideas
Change the Concept from “Junk Mail” to “Target Mail”
This can be done through thorough analysis of results from previous direct mail campaigns.Constantly increase your ability of this analysis by improving the database: add/remove fields of information after each campaign in search of reaching the perfect target for your product or mission on your next mail campaign. So test, test & test + study the results analytically.
Mail List Improvements
Save paper, mail production & postage cost by removing any non-deliverable or not-wanting addresses prior to mailing. The options are:
- NCOA: National Change Of Address: updates your list prior to a mailing. More info here
- ACS: Address Change Service: obtains the new addresses of movers from return mail. More info here
- MPS: Mail Preference Service: removes consumers who do not wish to receive promotional mail at home. More info here
- DDNC: Deceased Do Not Contact list: individuals need to be removed permanently. More info here
- RRDF (Recently Recorded Deceased File): similar to the DDCN but constructed from various other sources. More info here
Use Paper with Recycled Content
While Direct Mail Center tries to use paper with recycled content on most jobs, you can specifically request the use of only recycled paper from the quote requests you makeThe use of recycled paper does increase printing cost. Use this increase scale based on percentage of recycled content:
- with 30% recycled paper, printing cost increases by about 5 to 10%
- with 100% recycled paper, printing cost increases by about 10 to 20%
- with 100% brown craft paper, printing cost increases by about 20 to 30%
Note on some different Green Products certification:
- FSC (Forest Stewardship Council): indicates that at least 70% of the fiber in the paper is from forests certified as sustainably managed by the Forest Stewardship Council; requires a rigorous investigation of forestry practices before it awards its seal. However, since only a percentage of the paper's fiber must meet its criteria, you still have to investigate the source for the rest of the fiber in order to ensure that the paper meets your environmental requirements.
- SFI (Sustainable Forest Initiative): this program is based on the belief that you can treat the environment gently and still make a profit. SFI certified members include printers and paper manufacturers, as well as loggers and foresters.
- CFPA (Chlorine Free Products Association): papers certified to meet TCF and PCF criteria, as well as minimum postconsumer content, no old growth forest fibers, and no mill environmental violations.
- Green Seal: certifies papers that meet its minimum environmental criteria.
Note on Inks & Toner used:
- Direct Mail Center uses only soy-based inks that makes easier to recycle the paper.
- Direct Mail Center uses Xerox toner that is also perfectly recyclable.
- Opt-Out Option: allow the recipient to opt-out by accessing a website or calling and opting on not receiving direct mail pieces. This can be done with a small disclaimer somewhere on the mailing piece close to where their names are located. It will save paper, mail production cost and postage in future mailing campaigns.
- Simpler Mail Pieces: add a web-site links to your mailing pieces to allowing the recipients to request simpler direct mail communication to be able to receive the important information with reduced paper usage.Analyze the movers selected in NCOA or ACS and make sure they still fit the profile for your product (e.g., if someone moves from a house in an expensive neighborhood to a condo in a city, there is no more need for a pool products catalog!)
Client’s Shared Suggestions
You can on reducing paper usage while increasing ROI.