3 Ways to Reduce Waste in the Direct Mail Production Process
You rely on your direct mail production suppliers to help you identify cost-cutting measures for your campaigns. Why not also bring these key stakeholders into your efforts to improve your environmental stewardship goals? Beyond being experts at print production and workflow, they might also be educated on the latest industry guidances that you’ll want to consider when evaluating your green options.
And while you’re brainstorming, don’t forget to ask what steps your production partners are taking to address environmental impacts in their own operations. Sharing ideas and research can help you all move farther forward on this important issue.
Here, Debora Haskel, vice president of marketing for IWCO Direct, a provider of integrated direct mail production services and marketing solutions that’s located in Chanhassan, Minn., shares a few ways to reduce waste in the production of direct mail.
1. Design Forms More Efficiently
For example, Haskel asks, can you take a form and a buckslip that are produced separately and create one image that becomes a slit-to-nest format that goes into an envelope? By designing these elements as one piece that’s trimmed, you will have produced two components out of one roll of paper.
And while there’s been much talk about reducing trim sizes to reduce paper use, here’s an idea she offers for finding that extra little space: Work with your designer and copywriter to analyze your pieces for opportunities to downsize. They might be able to offer options for changing the font or testing shorter copy.
2. Reduce Trucking of Materials
Try to identify suppliers that can provide all the components of the package out of one location. That way, says Haskel, you’re decreasing the carbon footprint of the package because you’re not moving components from one vendor to another.
3. Reuse Materials
For example, she notes, IWCO reuses cartons a minimum of five times before putting them in the recycling bin. The make-ready rolls from the print platform become its make-ready rolls for personalization, which then become their make-ready rolls for inserting. And it regrounds the scrap material from producing plastic cards to use again in the next job. Ask how your mail is produced, and look for ways to help your printing partner reuse materials related to your jobs.