Environmental Sustainability

Mal Warwick Associates’ Mal Warwick on Sustainable Direct Mail
January 30, 2008

The age of corporate responsibility is here, and many direct mailers didn’t see it coming. And many don’t know what to do. Mal Warwick—founder and chairman of Mal Warwick Associates, a Berkeley, Calif.- and Washington, D.C.–based fundraising agency specializing in direct marketing—got a head start more than a decade ago, when being socially and environmentally responsible wasn’t necessarily profitable. Now he serves as a model for direct marketers everywhere who want to achieve the so-called “triple bottom line”—social, environmental AND financial success—that actually is more profitable for most of the companies that pursue it. Warwick is the co-author of “Values-Driven Business: How to Change the

The DMA’s John A. Greco Jr. on the ‘Greenprint’ for DM Success
November 14, 2007

Environmental responsibility is no longer confined to only personal philosophies and social positions. Increasingly, the term now applies to economic and business survival, let alone success, in the direct marketing world. For mailers, the green transition perhaps is even more important to overcome the negative “junk mail” reputation and appease prospects who want to see more targeted and environmental practices. While there finally is more of a will among mailers to go green, however, it’s less clear about how exactly to do it. Fortunately, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is here to show the way. I spoke with DMA President and CEO John A. Greco

How Storytelling Boosts Response Rates
October 24, 2007

For centuries, the world’s greatest teachers and leaders have used fables, allegories and other types of stories to successfully communicate with people and motivate them to take action. So have some of the top-performing direct mail packages, including those from The Wall Street Journal, Time-Life, Rodale Inc., Covenant House, Greenpeace, Nightingale-Conant and National Wildlife Federation. Stories engage people because they are entertaining, allow the listener to empathize with the characters, draw on emotion and lead the listener to a conclusion. And in present times, when consumers tend to be more entertainment-oriented than ever, stories might be just what your direct mail package needs to

Reduce Direct Mail Paper Waste
September 26, 2007

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

Three Ways to Create a Pro-environment Package
August 8, 2007

Everything is turning green, not from envy but for the environment—and, make no mistake, for business. The environmental movement has gathered steam in recent years not just because of genuine concern for what’s growing or deteriorating on and around the earth—global warming, water and air pollution, peak oil—but also because savvy businesses have very recently created a “win-win” scenario, helping the environment and their businesses with new policies, manufacturing processes and materials, to name a few. The direct mail industry has similarly warmed to the big idea and has begun the big conversion. The Direct Marketing Association leads the way, encouraging its members to

Straight Talk: Do Not Pass!
July 1, 2007

Last year, four states had do-not-mail registry legislation on the books; to date, the number has increased to 15. While three have withdrawn their bills, this trend nonetheless alarms direct mailers. Add in the growing concern that the Federal Trade Commission will institute a do-not-mail list like the National Do Not Call Registry, and you’ve got downright panic. After all, nearly 47 percent of all print is delivered by the USPS, and advertising mail makes up 30 percent of its total revenue. Fortunately, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is on the case. The DMA is actively working with state business groups and communicating with

Straight Talk: The New Green
June 1, 2007

Increasing numbers of investors, regulators and customers want the so-called triple bottom line (environmental, social and financial) that factors in corporate responsibility, natural resource conservation and climate change. “Call it the New Green,” says Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC), a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally responsible practices for the printing, publishing and packaging industries. Here’s a small part of my recent eye-opening chat with Carli, a former strategic planner within these industries. To read the entire interview transcript, go to www.insidedirectmail.com. EB: What got you interested in the topic of sustainable printing? DC: It grew out of

Institute for Sustainable Communication’s Don Carli on Sustainable Printing
May 30, 2007

Increasing numbers of investors, regulators and customers want the so-called triple bottom line (environmental, social and financial) that factors in corporate responsibility, natural resource conservation and climate change. “Call it the New Green,” says Don Carli, senior research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Communication (ISC), a nonprofit group that promotes environmentally responsible practices for the printing, publishing and packaging industries. Here’s a small part of my recent eye-opening chat with Carli, a former strategic planner within these industries. EB: What got you interested in the topic of sustainable printing? DC: It grew out of a consulting engagement I had about 10 years ago with the CEO

Developing Your Firm’s Environmental Policy
May 30, 2007

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

Fulfillment: Take the Greener Path
April 1, 2007

Typically, the front end of the direct marketing process garners the most attention from environmental rights and waste reduction groups, and with good reason. Americans receive roughly 4 million tons of direct mail per year, according to statistics on the Clean Air Council’s Web site. But the back end, or fulfillment side, of direct marketing also requires the manufacture of quite a few components essential for shipping product orders and lead fulfillment kits to customers and respondents: boxes, padded mailers, cushioning materials, etc. What’s more, these materials might not be as easily recycled by the recipient as unwanted direct mail. For example, most of