How green is your direct marketing?

[Posted by Dave Frankland]

Traditional direct marketing has faced a range of hurdles over the last several years from Do Not Call lists, budgets shifting to online, spam complaints, etc. Where’s the latest challenge coming from? It appears to be the green movement. Advocacy groups and consumers are shining the light on the practices of direct mailers and catalogers – and their impact on the environment.  Some states are proposing Do Not Mail lists, organizations like the DMA, CatalogChoice, and GreenDimes allow consumers to register to cut back on the catalogs they receive, while the whole subject of Greenness gets brighter.

So how green is direct marketing today?  We have a survey in the field right now to find out.  If you’re a direct marketer and are interested in taking part, we’ll be sure to send you a copy of the findings. You can access the survey here.



re: How green is your direct marketing?

This is an interesting question. I look forward to seeing the answer. We have recently had a few clients bring this up in healthcare as a value proposition around using speech recognition technology to automate outbound calls rather than use direct mail for patient education programs. Not traditional marketing, but as we all know, we get lots of "data" from our healthcare providers which is often not in the easiest format to digest.A good example was a client wanting to get 100,000 survey responses. They were originally going to mail out 1M letters before we showed them that they could accomplish the same objective with an interactive call to them. No paper. Less contacts. Fully automated. Data available instantly.I also talk with a lot of our clients about using calls to build personalized print packages. I.e., would you like a formulary? would you like a list of physicians? Then, if you are mailing physical materials, they are only what the patient wants.Of course, the best is to drive them to self-serve on the web, but for healthcare, that has some challenges in pushing out patient specific data via e-mail.

re: How green is your direct marketing?

Good post.Direct marketers simply need to do more than they have in the past. GreenDimes and CatalogChoice are a great success because direct marketers haven't made it as easy for someone receiving a printed item to opt-out.It should be as easy as it is to opt-out of an email newsletter.I'm not so naive to say that it's an easy choice to make or easy to implement. Fact is, many of the marketing decisions we have to make today happen when commerce and conscience collide.That's the topic of The Responsible Marketing Blog at by and join the conversation.Patrick--------------------Patrick ByersOutsource Marketing