Sprint’s Match in Green Mail: National Parks and Conservation AssociationFebruary 1, 2013 By Heather Fletcher
Sprint’s reusable envelope is rare, but not alone.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving natural resources has been working to do just that by sending potential donors reusable envelopes since at least 1992, says Paul Bobnak, director of the Who’s Mailing What! Archive.
The National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) of Washington, D.C. allows donors to pull apart the sides of the original member acquisition mailing, assemble the return envelope from it, insert a check and mail it back in.
“It’s very interesting and maybe telling that so many organizations,” Bobnak says, “based on what they’ve been putting in the mailstream for a long time, they don’t necessarily practice what they preach.”
Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint, though, is the first for-profit entity he’s seen mail a two-in-one envelope.
“It’s not something that’s done a lot,” Bobnak says, “And it’s one of those things that [makes me] wonder why not.”
After all, he says, the association’s mailings are a “success,” possibly because the organization is walking its environmental talk. Bobnak explains a success in the archive is defined as seeing substantially the same carrier envelope, letter and offer from a mailer for three years or more, making it a “grand control.” The archive has 1,500 of those, and he believes the association is the only one with a reusable carrier envelope.
So, other than Sprint and the National Parks and Conservation Association, Bobnak hasn’t found two-in-one envelopes in the archive.
“I haven’t even seen it tested,” Bobnak concludes.