Ann DeLaVergne

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

While the poor economy has slowed the green revolution, most direct marketers are aware that environmental consciousness among their prospects is here to stay. So while a sizable percentage of firms continue their efforts to "green the mail," those that hesitate due to cost concerns or because they believe prospects are too distracted with economic worries to register environmental concerns may want to reconsider and take those green training wheels off.

Nearly seven years ago, Ann DeLaVergne got an envelope in the mail from an environmental company that was encouraging people to reduce waste by reusing envelopes. But it was sealed shut, plus it had print and labels all over it. There was no way to reuse it.

"What's new in direct mail?" is one of the most frequently asked questions I get from colleagues, clients and readers of this column. These people aren't asking about the latest USPS postal regulations; instead, like you, they want to know about new practices, formats, offer incentives and other elements they should consider testing.

In a marketplace where consumers are increasingly aware of environmental responsibility, mailers fighting the battle of the outer envelope may want to test greening their outer envelopes as a way to boost open rates.

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