Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Greening Your Mail Can Keep You in the Black

By Greg Brown, Marketing Director, Melissa Data

A recent Aperture Research Institute study reported upwards of 70 percent of organizations have adopted a green initiative of some kind. While those companies should be lauded for their efforts at environmental stewardship, bad days on Wall Street and for the economy have seen some companies abandon or scale back their green initiatives as they tighten their belts.

Now is the time to take a realistic look at your company’s green initiatives and ask whether or not the practices undertaken are “evergreen” – promoting not only environmental sustainability, but also sound business practices and solid return on investment so as to be sustainable in good economic conditions as well as bad.

For instance, over six million trees and more than 300 million pounds of paper are wasted each year on undeliverable-as-addressed Standard class mail, as reported by UAA Clearinghouse. It costs the Post Office over 2 billion dollars annually to process this true “junk mail”. And the cost to mailers is even more dramatic – undeliverable mail costs direct mailers over $6 billion dollars a year.

So, is Postmaster General Jack Potter’s call to reduce UAA mail by 50 percent by 2010 a green initiative designed to decrease global warming and unnecessary environmental waste? Absolutely. But it’s also a common sense business initiative that will save both the USPS and mailers a tremendous amount of money – money better spent on job creation, product development, and effective marketing.

Here are 10 steps you can easily implement to save money as you green your mailings – reducing waste, while improving deliverability, effectiveness and response to ensure you stay in the black, even as the economy sees red:

1. Correct your mailing
2. Update your mailing
3. Dedupe your mailing
4. Suppress your mailing
5. Target your mailing
6. TransPromo your mailing
7. Connect your mailing
8. Downsize your mailing
9. Sustain your mailing
10. Recycle your mailing

Has your organization had success with any of these strategies?

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