Debunking the Myth of Trees vs. Direct Mail
Let’s not forget that more than four in 10 Americans make shop-at-home purchases. By shopping (and donating) direct, consumers and businesses are using the convenience of their homes and offices to research and make purchase decisions. They rely on courier companies and the USPS to deliver the goods, creating a highly efficient distribution of goods and services.
So, why is direct mail still important, even in a digital age? Because it's more targeted than ever, and by measuring response, companies and organizations know that direct mail works. Response rates to today's targeted direct mail campaigns are still measured in whole, single and double-digit figures.
Even permission-based email response rates rarely surpass that of well-strategized, targeted direct mail offers. Compare that to the estimated worldwide total of 62 trillion spam emails that were sent in 2008 — with the average business email user responsible for 131 kg of carbon dioxide per year in email-related emissions, 22 percent being spam-related — and it’s now clear we need to turn our attention to our digital footprints as well.
Claims that have been made about direct mail’s impact on the environment have been uniformly negative, with a significant level of misinformation. In fact, the reality is that the mailing industry, through its investments in programs and initiatives to address and further reduce the environmental impact associated with all six lifecycle stages of letter mail, deserves some recognition for its efforts.
Evelyn Milardo is a direct marketing consultant with experience and insights working with leading B-to-B, B-to-C and nonprofit industry verticals. Reach Evelyn at ERM2797@hotmail.com or (781) 934-2559.