10 Tips to Green Your Direct Mail

Client address changes, undeliverable mail and low response rates are among a few of the problems regularly experienced by business mailing campaigns. The problem becomes magnified when the costs of paper, printing and shipping are all worked into the equation. It is estimated that undeliverable- as –addressed (UAA) mail costs mailers over $6 billion a year. These costs extend to the United States post office, which annually spends over $2 billion (US) to process and sort UAA mail. The huge environmental impact compounds the issue, accounting for more than six million trees and over 300 million pounds of paper.

Whereas it’s often assumed that “going green” requires a costly investment in additional infrastructure, efficiencies are often as simple as re-examining existing practices and using a little creativity. A new Melissa Data whitepaper outlines 10 simple steps to reduce the cost and environmental impact of mailing campaigns all while increasing response rates.

  1. Correct and Standardize addresses before they are entered into the CRM database
  2. Use creative means to ensure company’s addresses are up to date in CRM
  3. Remove duplicate customer records in CRM
  4. Incent customers to notify when they get duplicate mailings
  5. Accurately locate customers, best prospects and competitors to enable geographic targeting
  6. Combine promotional material with must-read documents like bills, statements and invoices
  7. Combine direct mail with the web via personal URLs to provide relevant messaging
  8. Design mail pieces efficiently so that they are cost effective to send via regular mail
  9. Lesson the environmental impact by using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) recycled paper, and vegetable or soy-based inks
  10. Encourage customers to toss mail pieces into the recycling bin after reading

The benefits of adhering to these ten steps are significant for all parties involved. By ensuring accurate and quality data is entered into the database, companies are better able to target their intended audience and cut costly UAA mail. In addition, a targeted list can attain better results than a much larger non-targeted list, allowing organizations to reduce the number of prints and mailings. Using this strategy not only can achieve substantial cost savings, but limits the amount of waste and impact on the environment.

About Michael Hornung

Michael is an Accounts Receivable Representative at Softchoice.