Monday, December 14, 2009

Green printing tip no. 26: What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

We're back with another tip on our weekly series of green printing tips, where we bring you information on green printing in collaboration with Greg Barber, an experienced eco-friendly printer.

Direct mailing is considered by many a very not sustainable marketing channel, as it can be very wasteful and have a significant carbon footprint, while at the same time it generates many times poor results. Today, in a tip dedicated to the Hopenhagen campaign, Greg is offering another option that combines greater effectiveness and a reduced carbon footprint.

What can we do to reduce the carbon footprint of direct mailing campaigns?

Tip #26

I attended a sustainable meeting at NYU last week and came away with a few good Green tips on direct marketing - how to make it effective and minimize its footprint at the same time.

There is no secret here and it's actually quite simple - if you look at your clients and really decide to target what it is they really want, you can create a direct mail program that will give you better
results, be environmental, and save trees, paper, energy, water and money.

First step: Make your list of names targeted to these best clients, or the ones that can do you the most. Look at their history of their buying. What did they buy, and when did they buy, and how much did they spend? Make a new print campaign that targets those wants and desires.

It's all about personalizing your marketing. Personalize by name, products, time frame, and do a mailing that might be 20% of your present mailing list, but targeted to their past history of buying.

Second step: Even though you already eliminate waste by sending this printing only to past customers, don't forget to use 100% recycled paper that is 100% processed chlorine free for the materials you're sending.

Third step: You can also an email to this targeted audience on a second run, that will not only help you to minimize your campaign's footprint, but can also be an helpful tool to estimate the effectiveness of your campaign and even further personalize your database for future campaigns.

Personalized marketing brings in 5 times better results. One telecommunications company I saw the results of, did a 49 per cent return by doing their homework. They knew the people they mailed to were ready for an upgrade. They showed a picture of what the present phone was, of each recipient, and then showed 3 new models that might interest that client. They also showed the nearest store to each person they mailed to.

The national average for sucessful responses is under 1%, and the company I am referring to, had a 49% response rate. They mailed to a fraction of their names, but did so well that the fullfillment department asked that the program be stopped until they caught up.

So, this firm not only made good business and prsented impressive ROI (return on investment) but saved trees, paper, water, and the carbon footprint was reduced for the people they sent to, by telling them where the nearest store was.

For additional information, please call Greg Barber at (973) 224-1132, or email

Also, if you have any questions you would like us to address in future tips please email us to .

Latest tips:

Green Printing Tip #25 -
Can you Green your print advertising?

Green Printing Tip #24 - Can we be Greener in our use of Inter Office Envelopes, Presentation Folders, and Outgoing Envelopes?

Green Printing Tip #23 - Are there inexpensive Green papers for brochures?

You can find links to all the tips we published so far on our green printing tips page, which is part of our green printing tools & resources.

You can also find further valuable information on Greg Barber Company's website -


Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green printing!

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