The lockdown however bad it was has undeniably had a beneficial impact on the environment. Emissions have dropped, and the UK government are investing in more cycle lanes to encourage more people to cycle to work. The environment as a whole has improved. There seems to be a real appetite not to go back to the way we were. Although offline marketing and print is nowhere near as bad for the environment as people think (print can actually help support forests), see our busting paper myths blog. We have scoured the offline marketing industry to find you the best environmentally friendly innovations/options you can implement in your next campaign. Here are our tips to make your next offline marketing campaign more eco friendly.
At a glance
- Biodegradable Poly Wraps
- Carbon Balancing
- New paper materials
- Better targeting your door drops
- Use insert marketing
Biodegradable Poly wrap
Sometimes there is no better solution to polywrapping your direct mail. You can include inserts when posting and it keeps it clean, dry, and is very cost-effective. However, plastic is very harmful to the environment. Most polys are non-biodegradable and will be around forever. Eventually breaking down into microplastics and spreading to all corners of the eco-system.
Biodegradable poly is a substitute for common poly wraps. It is not recyclable, but after time, it will breakdown into natural components. The most common are:
- PBAT – is a compostable material made from fossil fuels. PBAT is fully biodegradable when composted.
- PLA – is another thermoplastic but made from fermented plant starch from corn or sugarcane among others. PLA is degraded abiotically by three mechanisms: Hydrolysis, Thermal degradation & Photodegradation.
Everything we do creates a carbon footprint, from driving to work or sending emails. Carbon Balancing schemes are a great and easy way to offset the unavoidable carbon emissions generated in the manufacturing process of your paper stock. Using a simple calculator to calculate how much carbon was released into the atmosphere then assigning a small surcharge.
By paying the surcharge, you will be funding the Woodland Trust who in turn invest that money into the maintenance and survival of woodland forest all over the globe. The charge is usually, on average 1.5% of the cost of the paper alone.
Carbon balancing your campaigns will give you a unique certificate and use of the woodland trust logo on that campaign, this will inform your customers of what you are doing as a company to help protect the environment. The Woodland Trust carbon balancing scheme has many big names backing the system such as David Attenborough.
New paper materials
Paper how we know it, is changing. Paper can now be made from a long list of different fibres. Before we get to those, let’s talk about how paper is made. Paper is made from stripping out the cellulose fibres from (usually) trees. The most common trees used are aspen, birch, spruce, pine and many others. The cellulose fibres are then converted to a pulp. This pulp is combined with water then flattened dried and cut into sheets or rolls. (Other steps are involved when the paper is coloured or recycled etc.)
The new more eco-friendly paper combine other materials into the pulp, so not as many trees are required to make the paper. Some of the materials are cotton, wheat, grass, even hemp! Each material has a different aesthetic that can be incorporated into the design. The grass paper, for example, is green, and you can see flecks in the paper.
Better targeting your door drops
Door drops are traditionally a blanket marketing tool, where you would blindly target houses in a geo-location. This is very wasteful and not great for the environment as the majority of mail pieces would end up in the bin without serving their purpose. However, door drops are now more targeted than ever before.
You can target now based on distance from a single point, location, demographic, plus additional tool such as CAMEO and so on. By better targeting your audience, your messaging will resonate with more people ensuring better conversions and as you are only sending to people want to see your brand/message, it’s much better for the environment.
Another option to getting your brand in the hands of people is to utilise insert marketing. You can do this in two different ways.
Number one. If you’re already sending packages to a customer then include your own inserts within that package. By doing so, you can continue the customer journey by offering discounts on repeat business or cross-selling other products.
Number two. The second way is to purchase advertising space within a third parties box to reach a whole new audience. Doing so can create fantastic conversion rates because of the perceived endorsement from the third party of your brand.
Inserts are much better for the environment because you are eliminating a huge chunk of the carbon footprint. After all, the drivers are already going to the household.
By making your next campaign better for the environment, not only are you ensuring the world is still this beautiful for our children and their descendants. You are also letting your customers and prospects know that you care. For more ideas on how to make your next offline marketing campaign more eco friendly speak to one of our friendly team. We are always innovating new ways to improve offline marketing campaigns.
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