Many B-to-B marketers are doing everything they can to “go green” these days, certainly the wise thing to do. Thinking green can help save money in these tough times and position your brand with your customers in a favorable light. With privacy, identity theft and the perception of “junk mail/catalogs” all being hot issues in the marketplace, everything we do as B-to-B mailers helps reinforce our positive position.
Merely going green isn’t enough, however. Find ways to communicate with your customers what you’re doing so they “get it.” Make sure your mailings are up-to-date and relevant. For instance, do you allow customers to set their contact preferences? Do you regularly update your files for companies that have moved or gone out of business?
If so, tell your customers how you do it, how often and all about your commitment to eliminating misdirected catalog mailings. Also, broadcast your recycled paper usage, your environmentally conscious inks and all the other green initiatives in your business.
Talk facts, not platitudes. Skeptical B-to-B customers want hard evidence and measures of results, not just warm and fuzzy statements of intention. Also remind them of the green advantages of shopping via catalog or online.
Both the American Catalog Mailers Association (www.catalogmailers.org) and Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) sites provide you with fodder for such communications. Being proactively green and communicating the same are critical to our industry’s self-regulation and defending ourselves against pending “do-not-mail” legislation.
That said, it’s wise to ask your customers and employees for innovative ideas to further your environmentally positive stance. Now’s the time to deal with this issue. Don’t wait for negative legislation to pass. What we do collectively will win, or lose, this battle.
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Terence Jukes is president of Ability Commerce, a 140-person firm that designs, builds and runs e-commerce and related marketing programs for catalog companies. He can be reached at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com.