Developing Your Firm’s Environmental Policy
As awareness of the earth’s declining environment broadens, both consumers and businesses are compelled to assess their environmental footprint. To support direct marketing member companies that wish to implement sustainable business practices and to hasten other direct marketers to adopt progressive plans for improving their firms’ commitment to the environment, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has developed the Environmental Planning Tool and Optional Policy Generator and set forth 15 key areas by which marketers should evaluate their progress. These areas fall under the general categories of: paper procurement and use; list hygiene and data management; mail design and production; packaging; recycling and pollution reduction.
For example, to ensure list hygiene and data management practices do not contribute to a negative impact on the environment, the DMA advises marketers:
* Maintain in-house do-not-market lists for prospects and customers who do not wish to receive future solicitations.
* Use the Mail Preference Service (MPS) monthly for consumer prospect direct mail.
* Provide periodic notices and opportunities for customers to opt out of receiving future marketing contacts.
* Maintain clean mailing lists by using USPS or commercial equivalent files where applicable for ZIP Code correction and address standardization as well as USPS products such as National Change of Address, Address Element Correction, Delivery Sequence File and/or Address Correction Requested.
* Apply predictive models and/or Recency-Frequency-Monetary segmentation where appropriate.
The rest of the 15 best practices are available by using the DMA’s online tool ( www.the-dma.org/envgen ). Given the DMA’s planned June 2008 announcement of established environmental benchmark goals for its members—not to mention that it’s the right thing to do—companies should start reviewing their practices now.