There’s no denying it: people are becoming more environmentally conscious. From electric cars to recyclable coffee pods, consumers are more aware than ever of green issues, global climate change and other environmental matters, and they are voting with their feet and their wallets.
This poses a problem for direct mail since by its very nature it is not an environmentally friendly advertising method. With the drive toward paperless everything picking up momentum, here’s what you need to know about the paper used for direct mail and how using tree-free mail can help to boost your brand and your conversions.
The Facts About Direct Mail
Thanks to the Internet, it’s not hard to look up the statistics about the amount of paper used in direct mail every year. The numbers don’t look good at first glance.
Direct mail in the U.S. is responsible for the loss of 2.6 million trees per year, and the average U.S. household gets six pieces of direct mail every day. This is not good news. Neither is the fact that direct mail contributes 1 billion pounds to landfills annually or that every five days, we create enough direct mail to reach to the moon.
When you look at it that way, it’s little wonder that there have been environmental objections to direct mail for some time. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and you can use clever tactics to improve your image, even while using direct mail as part of your marketing strategy. Enter tree-free paper.
What Is Tree-Free Paper?
Tree-free paper is a material, which, as the name suggests, is manufactured without the use of wood pulp. Instead, it’s created from agricultural waste, like straw and husks, fiber crops and textile waste.
In other words, tree-free paper not only doesn’t use trees, but it can also be helpful in that it uses other recycled materials that might otherwise have found their way into landfills.
Leveraging Tree-Free Paper in Direct Mail
When people who are concerned about the environment receive direct mail pieces, they may automatically assume the paper used is not environmentally friendly. The best thing you can do if you do opt for tree-free paper is to include a statement to the effect of “Printed on tree-free paper made from recycled materials” somewhere on your direct mail piece. This will not only allay potential customers’ concerns, but it might actually improve your brand’s reputation.
Even better, if you’re marketing an ecofriendly or environmentally aware product or service, include an invitation to bring your marketing materials (and any other paper products recipients may want to recycle) to your store or location for recycling purposes. Not only will you immediately make an impression as an environmentally responsible company, but you’ll get an opportunity to reach your target market in person.
Use Environmental Concerns to Your Benefit
It’s clear that direct mail marketing works – and that the paper it uses is a concern. Those two concepts don’t have to be mutually exclusive, however; if you use clever, ecofriendly products like tree-free paper, you can turn your direct mail pieces into an environmentally friendly marketing asset.