Sid Liebenson on Going Green and Do Not Mail
Through increased media coverage over the last year, “going green,” is now more widely understood as not only a trend, but also as a last-ditch effort necessary to help reduce the landslide environmental damage that industrialized nations have caused over the past 50 years. Green living, marketing and product development have become more accepted and encouraged forms of social responsibility, and direct marketers are following suit. This emphasis is helping drive some organizations to push for do-not-mail legislation, and marketers are working to go green—without greenwashing— and prepare for possible do-not-mail demands while still maintaining the bottom line. Here, Sid Liebenson, Draftfcb executive vice president and director of marketing—and this year’s Direct Marketer of the Year for CADM— discusses how preparing for do-not-mail regulations and green marketing can work together for today’s marketers.
Target Marketing: Do-not-mail survival strategies and going green can go hand in hand. What examples of this have you seen?
Sid Liebenson: Changes in contact strategy to reduce unnecessary mailing is probably the most common example. If you want to be green, really embrace the issue. This includes educating customers (and even employees, vendors and others) on what they can do to become more green, responsible consumers.
TM: What are some ways companies are successfully preparing for the possibility of do-not-mail regulations with sustainable marketing practices?
SL: From what I’ve observed, one way companies are preparing for the threat of do-not-mail regulations is to cut back on direct mail as a prospecting channel in favor of other media that offer efficient reach and the opportunity for respondents to opt in for further contact. Such prospecting media include e-mail, television and even print. Among marketers that traditionally contact customers by direct mail, some are offering customers options for how they’d prefer ongoing contact either by moving contact online, with less mail frequency or other options. When customers are in on the contact decision, they’re less likely to opt out or otherwise express dissatisfaction.