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Greening Print Marketing: Better Data Means Greener Direct Mail

When we think about a “green” business, we don’t necessarily think about the quality of the data in your marketing and other databases. But maybe we should.

When your marketing or mailing database has incorrect or missing information, your documents can end up being sent to the wrong person, the wrong address, or undelivered altogether. From a marketing perspective, this is a bad thing. But it’s bad from an environmental perspective, too. All that ink, paper, power, fuel — used to create and distribute a product right to the trash can.

For this reason, making an investment in your data quality can have substantial environmental benefits. Eliminate redundant records, kill those bad addresses, and mail only to real, live people. Imagine the green implications!

Take the following real-life example.

In a recent Webinar from Direct magazine, Baseline Consulting gave the example of a manufacturer that was shipping 3 million catalogs quarterly. Each catalog cost $2, including postage. Once the company decided to clean up its database, it found that 50% of its catalog mailings were either duplicate, sent to the wrong addresses, undelivered, or sent to the wrong prospects.

The results? It cut out all of the duplicate and bad addresses, reduced its catalog marketing expenses by 50%, and accrued an annual savings of $12 million. That also means that it cut its printing, mailing, and distribution volumes by 50%, as well. Not only was this step good for the bottom line, it was good for the environment, too!

Like this post? See all of my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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