Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

FSC LogoDespite the growth and popularity of the Internet as a marketing tool, the mailbox continues to be the preferred communication channel for information, promotions and announcements. According to a study by International Communications Research1, 70% of consumers prefer direct mail compared to 18% who prefer email.

 As consumer concern for the environment increases, so has sensitivity toward direct mail and its perceived negative impact. While direct mail accounts for only 2% of the country’s municipal waste, it is still a concern for businesses that use direct mail as a marketing strategy.

 So, what can marketers do to accommodate today’s consumers? Print Smart. For Sherri May & Company, a mailing proponent that specializes in direct marketing, being green is the positive result of simply printing smart. “We’ve been the most successful when we focus on delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, using the most energy and cost-efficient means possible. Green production is a win-win all the way around,” explains Sherri May.

 To address the growing concerns of the environment and the impact of direct mail, the Direct Marketing Association, Pitney Bowes and the United States Postal Service have all published practical steps to become more efficient in direct mail and thus more environmentally responsible.

 Data Management – Reducing Undeliverable Mail

Each year almost 60 billion pieces of direct mail end up in landfills. By working with a partner who understands how to minimize undeliverable records and optimize the production process in general, you can save as much as 30% on each and every mailing. Incorporating USPS endorsed NCOAlink® software, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM into the data process will ensure accuracy, helping to maximize ROI while maintaining good environmental stewardship.

 FSC Certified versus Traditional Recycled Paper

Besides positively positioning your company’s image, for little or no additional cost, using an FSC Certified paper helps reduce global warming, save forests, conserve water and lower emission of toxic pollutants. Moreover, using a recycled FSC Certified paper supports municipal recycling collection programs and diverts usable materials from incinerators and landfills.

 Generally speaking, the benefits of using a traditional recycled paper are more of a perception than a reality. Many countries continue to destroy rain forests for the hemp needed to produce the original papers used in the recycling process today. In fact, recycling traditional paper actually depletes more in fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources in the collection, fabrication and delivery than it saves for the environment. The FSC Certification demonstrates that your finished product was produced from start-to-finish, using sources and methods that promote responsible forest management worldwide.

 Manage the Mailbox

When possible, try to consolidate your message into fewer mailings. Instead of mailing monthly, consider mailing quarterly and augmenting the effort with opt-in, personalized phone and/or email communications. Combine multiple messages into a single envelope and always utilize the front and back of each insert. “Companies that are able to coordinate all their mailings through a single internal point person, do a great job of managing the customer mailbox. Customer perception can turn negative when they receive multiple mailings from the same company within a short period of time,” says Sherri May. These minor adjustments will stretch your marketing dollars and help to reduce your company’s impact on the environment.

 Manage the Message

Making an impression is sometimes easier than most people think. Minor size adjustments, self-mailers versus envelope mailers and even using a pre-printed corporate mailing permit instead of stamps, can all extend the budget of a direct mail piece. This creative thinking not only improves efficiency, but also inherently applies eco-friendly practices.

 Poly versus Poly-Less Envelopes

Implementing the use of a window envelope is a smart way to retain personalization, yet avoid the extra cost of match mailing. Also, by using poly-less window envelopes, especially on larger quantities, you can reduce production costs while making these envelopes easier for consumers to recycle.

 Vegetable/Soy or Petroleum Inks

The increasing demand for a front-to-back eco-friendly process has made vegetable and soy-based inks more cost-effective than ever before. Today, these inks are very competitively priced against petroleum-based inks, and customers appreciate receiving printed pieces from those who demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

Always Consider the Combo

Printing one project at a time is always more costly than printing multiple projects at once. Although that’s not always possible, a strategic approach to your next staggered, multiple-piece campaign could save your company thousands of dollars, while also reducing the manufacturing waste of the overall campaign.

 Become an Environ-mail-ist

Employing these simple initiatives into your direct mail strategy can improve your company’s image, will be good for your budget and ultimately good for our planet. Print Smart is more than a philosophy for Sherri May & Company and Prisma Graphic. We all have a responsibility to our clients and to our shared environment. Plus, if we’re able to reduce a carbon footprint along the way… we all win!

 Contact Sherri May & Company today to discuss everything from data optimization, mailbox management and how to develop a results-driven direct mail campaign that positively impacts our environment. Call 602 547-7020 or visit  www.sherrimayco.com . 

 1 International Communications Research (ICR) study dated 6/11/2007

2 The Truth About Green, February 2008, © Pitney Bowes Inc.

3 Forest Stewardship Council, see  www.fsc.org  for more information

 Mailing Made Simple

Over the years it became increasingly clear that print buyers were becoming tired and often frustrated managing multiple vendors in the direct mail process. This is especially true considering the everyday pressure to find ways of improving speed to market, while reducing costs at the same time.

 In response, Prisma Graphic hired a mailing expert, invested in the equipment and launched an in-house mailing department almost three years ago. This move quickly became an invaluable addition to our service offerings.  We have been able to shorten turnaround times and reduce overall project costs for our clients.  Today, our mailing department drops over 1.5 million pieces per month and continues to grow in output.

Advantages of a Knowledgeable One-Stop-Shop:

•          Start-to-finish quality control by a trusted contact

•            Improved speed to market

•          Waste reduction by using USPS endorsed NCOAlink®, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM processes

•            Availability of saturation or demographic-specific list purchases

•            Promotional results tracking

 To find out how Prisma can help you reduce costs and make
your next direct mail project seamless, contact your a Sales Representative, or John Pisauro at 800 379-5777 or johnp@prismagraphic.com.

Sustainable Actions

Prisma PressEveryday at Prisma Graphic, we search for ways to step a little softer on the earth. From the inks we use and the paper suppliers we support, to the design of our 82,000 square foot facility and the company-wide recycling program, we are proud to say we have successfully implemented one of the most aggressive sustainability programs in our industry.

Most of our success and efforts are thanks to our General Manager, Alan McAbee. His 29+ years of seasoned commercial printing experience and devotion to sustainability have benefited Prisma, as well as the green initiatives of some of our clients, Arizona State University in particular. Truth be told, Alan is always willing to discuss current trends and real-world sustainability applications with anyone who shares his passion.

Prisma’s initiatives include:

•            Vegetable and soy-based inks

•            Energy-efficient equipment

•          Low-wattage halogen bulbs used in offices

•            Recycled shipping cartons

•            Recycle paper, aluminum and cardboard

•          FSC Certified & FSC Certified recycled paper

•          Trip Reduction Program (rewards for use of alternative transportation)

•          Eco-friendly floor mats, cleaning and restroom supplies

•          High efficiency HVAC units

 For more information about sustainability or to learn how Prisma can help with your efforts, please contact a Sales Representative, or Alan at 800 379-5777 or  alanm@prismagraphic.com.

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Making the Most of Marketing Dollars, Planning and Prepress is key. Web to Print: The DokShop Solution

1 Comment Add your own

  • […] adding to the landfills or harming ecosystems during the logging process. I encourage everyone to use recycled paper, even if it is only 30% or 50% recycled. If you choose to use non-recycled paper, make sure it is […]

    Reply

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