Businesses are starting to find creative ways of going green in every way that they can, but areas like direct mail can be tricky. With 92% of shoppers saying that they prefer direct mail for making decisions regarding purchasing, you may not want to completely substitute your direct mail strategies for electronic ones. Discover these environmentally-friendly alternatives and keep mailing as much as you like.
- Find The Right Green Paper
The most obvious part of direct mail that is harmful to the environment is the amount of paper you use. Since 1900, the United States has milled over 3 trillion board feet of lumber. Add the billions of trees cut down around the world every year for paper, and we are rapidly using up our finite resources. Luckily, there are green alternatives to traditional paper. You can use recycled paper, chlorine or chemical-free paper, or papers made from non-wood based pulp that are completely tree-free. Seed papers are another clever alternative that are impregnated with seeds, allowing you to plant them after use.
- Consider Your Envelope Options
The type and amount of envelopes you use to send out your mail have a major impact on the environment as well. You can use recycled envelopes, similar to recycled paper you can use, to cut down on envelope waste. Envelopes without plastic windows are also more eco-friendly, as they eliminate the use of plastic. If possible, send out self-mailers and postcards, which don’t require envelopes at all.
- Prevent Waste In Your Process
Choosing the right materials will go a long way, but you want to be sure that you’re cutting down on as much waste as possible during the entire direct mail process. Start with fine-tuning your mailing list. Regularly update it to eliminate any duplicates and make sure that you take off customers who opt out of direct mail so that you’re not sending them materials they’ll just throw away. Try printing on both sides of the paper to save on resources and reduce your mailing costs at the same time.
- Think About The Ink
Traditional ink is petroleum-based, meaning that it draws on the finite natural reserves of the planet. Instead, opt for eco-friendly inks for all of your printing needs. These inks are typically vegetable-based and have much less of an impact on the environment. When working with a professional printer to create your mailing pieces, make sure they have these green options.
Marketing through direct mail is still a possibility, even when your business has sustainable values. If you want to move past direct mail completely, there are plenty of effective digital marketing options out there. You can transition to only email marketing by investing in a subscription to an email contact service for about $100 per month, which will enable you to send newsletters and offers to a mailing list. Alternatively, you can rely more heavily on social media and paid search ads to attract customers.