How Direct Mail is Becoming Eco Friendly

Today, it’s hard to ignore the plea to save the planet. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, said to be double the size of the state of Texas, is one such example that highlights the need to reduce waste.

The excessive amount of plastic waste entering the oceans and other natural environments is significantly damaging, which is why more consumers are looking for eco-friendly companies. As the change in adopting sustainable behaviour continues, your business must adapt to support environmental change and, subsequently, grow. At WDM, we understand the importance of working together and have recently become a member of the ORB – an organisation for responsible, sustainable and green businesses.

While direct mail campaigns do utilise paper, that’s not to say mail advertising is unethical, especially if the paper stock comes from guaranteed sustainable sources. Certainly, you can work with a mail house to reduce your carbon footprint and produce more successful direct mail marketing. As part of our campaign for environmental awareness, we are accredited ISO 14001 for environmental management. We’re sharing all of our tips for getting the most out of your direct mail marketing, while working with an eco-friendly mail house.

Polythene in direct mail campaigns

Firstly, polythene is completely recyclable and can be recycled many times over. Polythene can be reformed into granules, dyed and so on for a direct mail campaign, or other such examples. When compared with recycling paper, polythene is a much better addition to environmental awareness. Likewise, polythene is light and strong, thus maintaining the quality of your advertising mail and reduce postage costs. If you happen to be delivering to a large number of recipients, you can rest assured your direct mail campaign will remain intact. Another advantage to using polythene is that it doesn’t require bleaches or other chemicals during production, massively reducing the risk of unnecessary pollution.

Often, large-scale environmental companies offer discounts for brands that are attempting to become socially responsible. Similarly, eco-friendly companies that have demonstrated a commitment to ‘going green’ have experienced growth of more than 4%. Further to that, more than 66% of consumer stated they are willing to pay more for products or services from environmentally friendly businesses.

What can I do for my direct mail campaign?

You can take positive actions to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to direct mail marketing. In fact, there are a variety of methods you can work on improving your business sustainability.

Eco-friendly companies

Clean data

Clean data has never been more crucial, particularly with the GDPR coming into effect in May 2018. While clean data can spell the difference between success and failure when it comes to mail advertising, it can also help you ‘go green’. By targeting those who have expressed interest in your company, or prospects who are relevant to said products, you are already reducing the physical volume – and therefore the environmental wastage – of your direct mail pieces. Ten years ago, it may have been the ‘done thing’ to advertise your services to all in the hope one will respond, but it’s certainly not cost-friendly or efficient. Personalise your marketing strategy to those that are interested, and you will see a significant lift in sustainability and responses.

You must also consider GDPR consent when producing your direct mailer. Do not target your marketing campaign towards those who have removed permission for using their data, and asked to be removed from your mailing list. Ignoring these concerns could result in substantial penalties for your company – you can read more here.

Use an efficient design

Rather than opt for several direct mail pieces, look to whether you can reduce the number to one large document. Work with your copywriter or mailing house to analyse your advertising mail, and whether there are any opportunities to downsize. Perhaps use a smaller font or test shorter copy. By trimming your direct mail campaign, you are working towards environmental awareness.

Warehouse capabilities

If you are using a mailing house for your direct mail services, ask about their storage capabilities and distribution. You can significantly reduce pollution and, subsequently, transport costs by using a mailing house that offers the ‘full package’. For example, they can design, produce, store and deliver your mailing – thus offering your company direct mail fulfilment.

Reuse materials

Speak to your mail house as to whether they can reuse materials or discuss their environmentally friendly policies beforehand. For example, do they use polythene? Do they practice recycling postcards etc.? Always ask how your direct mail campaign will be produced and work together to create your marketing in the most efficient method possible.

Multi-channel marketing

If your company is yet to look into the benefits of multi-channel marketing, now is the time. Multi-channel marketing offers companies unique opportunities for communicating with their audience, as well as an estimated 118% lift in response rate… This is a combination of young and old: direct mail and digital advertising. For example, you can target a consumer who has abandoned their cart on your website through both direct mail marketing and social media etc. Rather than ignore a large chunk of your audience, you are significantly expanding your reach. A UK tech startup company, Paperplanes, adopted the latest marketing trend as part of their strategy and recorded a 14% basket recovery uplift. Similarly, you are producing far fewer direct mail pieces, thus reducing your carbon footprint.

Is it easy?

The above steps may seem small, but considering fundamental changes such as these can only work to benefit the fight on behalf of our planet. These are simple steps, that can also influence suppliers and even customers – thus increasing the chance. It’s pivotal for all companies to consider using sustainable resources, and everyone has to start somewhere. If you would like to discuss our direct mail services, and what we offer for your company, get in touch with one of our team today.

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