Florida Dodges the Do-Not-Mail Bullet
Earlier today the Florida House of Representatives was supposed to vote on its version of a do-not-mail bill (HB 781). Luckily for Florida and the rest of the country, and our economy, the vote never happened.
But don’t get too happy. The bill isn't quite dead yet, and there are many more bills in other states where that came from. Below you'll find information on who to contact in the Florida legislature to voice your opinion to on why the bill needs to be kept off the agenda in the future.
Without preamble, this would result in a devastating blow to Florida's economy, its many direct marketing businesses and the USPS if HB 781 passed.
Catalog and other direct marketing companies would close; jobs would be lost. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Think about this from the manufacturer on down: With less to manufacture comes less need for transportation to merchants. Less direct mail equals less packages shipped. The list goes on and on.
Couple that with the fact that this bill is highly visible nationwide and you risk setting a spiraling precedent that'll change the landscape of mail order companies and, more importantly, all companies that use some form of mail, be it marketing or some other type.
Lawmakers in Florida and throughout the nation should encourage their constituents to use the services that are already available to them.
This isn't something that needs legislation.
The following organizations already have mail suppression lists:
As a direct marketer, I encourage you to sign up for one of these lists if you don't want to receive direct mail.
And to mailers: Please use these organizations’ suppression files. You don't want to mail people who won't respond to your offer anyway, right?
But What About the Environment?
Simply put, the environmental lobbyists are wrong. Listed below are five facts from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) that all people who dislike so-called “junk mail” should know. What many buzzword-catching, sound-bite-hearing environmentalists think is wrong.
Some people go to the DMAchoice mail preference service planning on completely stopping all the direct mail they receive, believing that doing so will help save paper and the environment. But here are some numbers that might convince them otherwise:
1. Direct mail is a green way to shop. If Americans replaced two trips to the mall each year with shopping by catalog, we'd reduce our number of miles driven by 3.3 billion — a 3 billion pound reduction in carbon dioxide and a savings of $650 million on gas alone.
2. Mail represents only 2.4 percent of the country's municipal waste stream.
3. The production of household advertising mail consumes only 0.19 percent of the energy used in the U.S.
4. Mail is produced from a renewable resource. The vast majority of paper produced in the U.S. today comes from trees grown for that specific purpose. The forest industry ensures that the number of trees each year is increasing, so trees aren't a depleting resource. In fact, forest land in the U.S. has increased by 5.3 million acres in the past three decades.
5. Direct mail is critical to the economic well-being of communities, businesses and charities throughout the U.S. Last year it represented more than $686 billion in sales, supporting jobs at more than 300,000 small businesses across the country.
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you to act today, before the precedent is set! Even if you don’t live in Florida, please make your voice heard.
The following is a list of contacts you can reach out to (again, courtesy of the DMA). Committee contacts follow; try the district office first, then the Capitol:
- Trudi Williams, chair: 850.488.2047 (Capitol); 239.433.6775 (District); Trudi.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ralph Poppell, vice chair: 850.488.3006 (Capitol); 321.383.5151 (District); Ralph.email@example.com
- Mary Brandenburg, minority ranking member and bill sponsor: 850.488.0260 (Capitol); 561.540.1157 (District); Mary.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leonard Bembry: 850.488.7870 (Capitol) ; 850.973.5630 (District); Leonard.email@example.com
- Debbie Boyd: 850.488.9835 (Capitol); 386.454.5407 (District); Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dwight Bullard: 850.488.5430 (Capitol); 305.234.2208 (District); Dwight.email@example.com
- Rachel Burgin: 850.488.9910 (Capitol) ; 813.740.7655 (District); Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Steve Crisafulli: 850.488.4669 (Capitol); 321.449.5111 (District); Steve.email@example.com
- Faye Culp: 850.488.2770 (Capitol); 813.272.2920 (District); Faye.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brad Drake: 850.488.4726 (Capitol); 850.892.8431 (District); Brad.email@example.com
- Greg Evers: 850.488.8188 (Capitol); 850.983.5550 (District); Greg.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rich Glorioso: 850.488.0807 (Capitol); 813.757.9110 (District); Rich.email@example.com
- Mia Jones: 850.488.6893 (Capitol); 904.924.1615 (District); Mia.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Debbie Mayfield: 850.488.0952 (Capitol); 772.778.5077 (District); Debbie.email@example.com
- Mark Pafford: 850.488.0175 (Capitol); 561.682.0156 (District); Mark.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jimmy Patronis: 850.488.9696 (Capitol); 850.914.6300 (District); Jimmy.email@example.com
- Ron “Doc” Renuart: 850.488.0001 (Capitol); 904.270.2550 (District); Ronald.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ron Schultz: 850.488.0805 (Capitol); 352.860.5160 (District); Ron.email@example.com
Back to our regularly scheduled programming next week. Thanks! Got comments? Please post them below.
Jim Gilbert is president of Gilbert Direct Marketing, a full-service catalog and direct marketing agency. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed at www.linkedin.com/in/jimwgilbert or you can post a comment here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Jim on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gilbertdirect. Read Jim's personal blog at http://gilbertdirectmarketing.wordpress.com/.
Jim Gilbert has been creating direct marketing programs that drive superior ROI for almost 30 years. Fluent in consumer or B-to-B, creative, operations, and analytics, he marries the strategic and tactical sides of direct and social media marketing in a seamless fashion that gets results. He's CEO of a multidiscipline direct marketing agency, Gilbert Direct Marketing, Inc., which focuses on direct mail, catalogs, DRTV, telemarketing, print, alternative direct marketing media and social media marketing. Jim has been involved in start-ups, expansions and turnarounds, and is an expert in helping multichannel marketers get to the "next level." He's a former adjunct professor, teaching direct marketing at Miami International University, and is President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. Jim loves to talk direct marketing, and has done many lectures on direct and social media marketing.