The Green Production Process: Environment-friendly practices that make social and economic sense
Felt-covered amphibians and marketing managers agree: It’s not easy being green. But that doesn’t stop Kermit or your friendly neighborhood production company from trying. “Green” is more than today’s favorite buzzword. Marketing managers should put an ear to the ground for the environmentally sound practices of the companies with which they do business. In doing so, they can save money, exhibit stewardship, reduce their carbon footprints and even improve ROI.
Find where the green savings grow
For many years, paper has been easy to recycle, so all direct-marketing production companies make it part of their plant processes. But direct-marketing managers need to go beyond recycled paper choices in their conservation efforts.
The common knock on going green is that environmental practices add cost and chill net returns. The larger question is: Can any business afford not to change its industrial colors? Today, environmental sensitivity calls for a rainbow of sound practices.
Green production is a total process involving everything from clean lists to more targeted mailing, co-palletization and commingling. Here are just the basic steps every direct marketer should take — every one a cost-saver:
* Frequently — even ruthlessly — purge mailing lists of duplicates, bad addresses and former recipients who no longer want mailings.
* Include an easy opt-out option on mailings to eliminate waste and express your consideration.
* Use techniques like predictive modeling to target a smaller, more specific audience with mailings that help reduce or eliminate bulk mailings with lower return percentages.
* Choose a lighter-weight paper stock, or use postcards instead of larger pieces — relying on fewer resources means that it will cost less to send.
* Explore cross-media marketing. Used in conjunction with other media, options like e-mail and Web marketing can create recognition and help reinforce direct mail.
* Select direct-marketing production vendors that are certified in forest and paper programs.