Sustainability is on the minds of marketing, procurement and production managers as concerns about climate change continue to grow. Many companies are introducing mandates to reduce, reuse and recycle materials in every facet of their operation—including paper-based direct mail programs. The following suggestions will help ensure your next campaign wastes as little paper as possible:
Communicate with your partners.
Many of the best ways to reduce paper waste in direct mail production have little to do with paper itself. Reducing paper waste begins with effective design. Be sure your design and production staffs are working closely with your printer to facilitate optimum imposition of your mail piece on the press sheet or roll.
Consider the entire package.
Remember to include all the components of your direct mail package when reviewing specifications. A minor change in the size of a buckslip or other insert can contribute to a reduction in paper waste. Consider opportunities to incorporate multiple components on one sheet and then use the bindery to slit and nest the pieces.
Meet time constraints.
Scheduling also can play a role in reducing paper waste. If art files arrive late, your printer may be forced to use a less efficient piece of equipment and/or roll or sheet size to meet your deadline.
Keep an eye on inventory.
You also can reduce paper waste through careful inventory management. Use aging inventory for makeready whenever possible. And speaking of makeready, a single-source supplier can recycle makeready rolls between press, personalization and bindery to reduce paper waste.
Clean your lists.
Finally, incorporating robust data cleansing and address hygiene processes further reduces paper waste by decreasing the amount of undeliverable-as-addressed mail. You’ll get the added advantage of saving postage costs at the same time.
Debora Haskel is vice president of marketing at Chanhassen, Minn.-based IWCO Direct, an integrated direct marketing services company. She can be reached at Debora.Haskel@iwco.com.