March 5, 2008 - Consumers tend to overestimate the environmental toll of direct mailings, but companies can score big points for making their mailings more resource efficient, according to a new white paper from Pitney Bowes. "The Truth About Green" outlines seven steps to greener direct mail campaigns.
- Eliminate undeliverable mail. Mandate the highest address quality standards to stop waste generated by mail with bad addresses. These mail pieces increase environmental impact and stagnate business operations, resulting in significant financial costs to mailers. Take advantage of address management software that matches addresses against databases with the most up-to-date information.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle. Pay attention to paper stock and ask suppliers about using recycled paper. Choosing lighter weight paper also reduces the weight and bulk of a mailing, keeping costs at a minimum.
- Minimize unwanted mail. Reduce the amount of unwanted mail with personalized messages to the recipient. When consumers receive relevant material, that mail piece is less likely to find its way to the trash. Leverage location intelligence capabilities, which enable mailers with the information they need to target the right customer.
- Consolidate mailings. When a company sends out three separate mailings to the same individual in the same week, three times the amount of resource consumption occurs. Combining multiple communications in a single envelope helps the environment and cuts down on postage costs.
- Design more efficient operations. Take active steps to reduce the amount of CO2 emissions associated with your mail operations. Manage your resource consumption and follow the mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- Achieve more with your transaction mail. Transaction mail – bills, statements, and notifications – enjoy a 95% open rate, far higher than any other type of direct response effort. Make better use of these transactional documents by adding promotional messages to your bills and statements.
- Go certifiably green. Third-party assessments can help you benchmark your current operations and assist you in setting a plan of action. Promoting your eco-friendly practices to customers and prospects can be a smart way to build good will and customer loyalty.
"Changing customer expectations in the green marketplace are a call to action for the entire mailing industry, says Pitney Bowes CEO Murray Martin. "We need to engage with consumers and better communicate these practices while continuously expanding our stewardship efforts."
Download the white paper here (PDF).
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