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3 Ways to Make Your Direct Mail Program More Sustainable

“Home” is a pretty darn important place, especially for brands looking to make meaningful connections with consumers along their path to purchase. After all, 89% of major purchase decisions are made within the home, and direct mail continues to be one of the most impactful ways of engaging these decision-makers and inspiring them into action.

But for brands focused on reducing waste and protecting the home we all share – this big, beautiful plant we call “Earth” – continuing to use direct mail might feel counterproductive. But it doesn’t have to be. As a marketer, you can still commit to sustainability without sacrificing performance.

We’ve got three tips to put you on the right path toward tapping into more sustainable direct mail marketing while still powering sustainable growth.

1. Use FSC Certified Paper

When it comes to more sustainable direct mail marketing, you need to start with paper choices. This can get pretty complicated, as there is a lot of information out there and few of us have the time to evaluate the entire supply chain of our paper products. So one easy trick is to look for environmental certifications such as those from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting healthy, resilient forests around the world by setting strict standards for responsible and sustainable forest management and halting deforestation.

Using paper with environmental certifications ensures that the fiber used to create the paper for your direct mail was harvested responsibly from certified sustainable suppliers that take measures to replant trees and reduce the risk of wildfire. 

2. Make Eco-Friendly Format and Design Choices

The next step in more sustainable direct mail marketing is rethinking what you actually send.

Does it need to be a letter requiring a separate envelope, or can it be condensed to fit on a postcard? Do you need to send out a full catalog, or can you create a virtual catalog destination using a QR code? There are a lot of easy ways to reduce the amount of paper and ink needed for your campaign if you’re willing to get creative.

And speaking of creative, the opportunities to make eco-friendly choices don’t stop at format.

Try to design your direct mail so the artwork optimizes the print page size with little wasted paper to trim. Avoid flood colors in your design, especially darker colors like black and blue, as they require a lot of ink. Finally, you should avoid using varnishes, laminates, UV coating, foil stamping, or adhesives that may enhance look or durability but aren’t environmentally friendly.

3. Use Programmatic Direct Mail

The whole idea behind Programmatic Direct Mail is that, through the application of real-time intent signals and sophisticated machine learning optimization, you only engage people with the highest likelihood to convert and receive a piece of marketing mail.

In other words, when using Programmatic Direct Mail, you don’t have to send as much to see the same, or even better, results.

By increasing the relevance of the marketing mail consumers receive at home, you decrease the amount you need to send in order to drive better outcomes. In fact, PebblePost estimates that brands can reduce their send volume by up to 75% while still hitting their performance goals using the Programmatic Direct Mail channel instead of traditional direct mail.

By making smarter, more eco-friendly choices, you can quickly set your organization on a path to more sustainable direct mail marketing without sacrificing performance.

Learn more about how PebblePost is paving the way for the direct mail industry through our innovative offering and by partnering with the environmental restoration and verification platform, veritree, and offering FSC-certified paper options for our customers here.

Free Guide: PebblePost's Guide to Programmatic Direct Mail

Download our short guide and learn the who, what, why, and how of Programmatic Direct Mail.

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