Green Printing: How to Create More Sustainable Direct Mail Marketing

sustainable direct mail marketing


No matter how many times the search “Is direct mail still effective?” is typed into a search engine, the results remain the same: a resounding YES! Year after year, we wonder if digital advertising is going to overtake print, and yet, it never does. In the case of direct mail, “74% of marketers agree that direct mail delivers the best ROI, response rate, and conversion rates than all other channels used.” 

But that’s just marketers saying that…what about consumers? 82% of consumers say they trust print advertising, placing print as the most trustworthy form of advertising compared to TV, Google, social, online advertising, and pop-ups. That trust is why direct mail sticks around so long. Compared to the time spent viewing a digital ad, direct mail stays in front of your targeted consumers for exponentially longer. On average, mail stays in the home for 17 days before it is thrown away or recycled. As far as digital ads go, you’d be lucky if a consumer spends more than 15 seconds on your ad. 

Direct mail continues to get questioned, but its effectiveness is profound. Its only opponent in 2023 is sustainability. As our society becomes more and more environmentally conscious, the idea of waste and poor environmental impact weighs heavily on direct mail. The perception consumers have of a brand that sends direct mail pieces could be low or negative, depending on their ecological values. So marketers and businesses are making changes to direct mail to make it a more sustainable marketing practice. Here are ways to improve your environmental footprint when implementing a direct mail marketing strategy.


sustainable direct mail marketing represented by two hands around a recycle sign


Encourage Recycling

Most direct mail pieces are made of some type of paper. On your mailer, include language that says something like “Please recycle me.” This encourages your recipient to recycle the piece when they’re finished with it and shows that your company is trying to reduce unnecessary waste.

Seeded Mailers

Send mailers that have seeds contained within them. This takes recycling to a whole new level. Direct your recipients to plant the mailer when they’re finished to grow flowers. When the card breaks down in the soil, the seed will take root and truly give back to the planet we borrowed the paper from.

Recycle Materials

Opt for recycled materials when printing your mailers. Choose a recycled cardstock and print on the card that it was made from recycled materials so your consumers know you’re reducing waste in your advertising process.

Targeted Campaigns

Send mailers to hyper-targeted audiences to not only reduce the number of mailers that you print but also reduce the emissions used in sending them.

Prune Address Data

Be exceptionally diligent in pruning and maintaining your address data to reduce your waste of failed deliveries and increase the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. 

Choose a More Sustainable Direct Mail Partner

These strategies can be easily implemented to improve the sustainability of your direct mail campaign and consumers’ opinion of your marketing tactics. Are you looking for a new partner in your print and mail solutions? Contact us today for an estimate on your print and mailing project!

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