Direct mail remains one of the most effective response-driven media channels available to marketers. It offers advantages few other mediums can match — in target ability, measurability and almost limitless creative possibilities. By being more environmentally focused and becoming environMAILists in producing and implementing direct mail campaigns, companies will continue to benefit from the power of mail while increasing its value and reducing its impact on the planet.
A new survey of 1,000 consumers revealed a large gap between the perceived eco-impact of direct mail and its actual influence. “They widely overestimated direct mail’s impact on the environment,” says Michael Critelli, executive chairman of Pitney Bowes, Inc which co-sponsored the 2007 DMNews/Pitney Bowes Survey of Consumer Attitudes. Critelli says he expected a disparity between perception and reality – “but not nearly as much as we saw.”
For instance, asked to estimate the amount of municipal waste created nationwide by advertising mail, 48 percent of respondents thought direct mail accounted for more than half of it. Thirty-six percent said it accounted for more than a third. In fact, direct mail generates just 2 percent of all U.S. municipal waste according to a DMNews article about the survey. However, many opportunities exist to lessen it’s impact even more.
Taking advantage of the digital print-on-demand technology we offer instead of printing large quantities and warehousing them until they are needed is one way to lessen direct mail’s impact on the environment.