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Green mail!

Looking for ways to become an even greener mailer? Check out these suggestions from the USPS and the Direct Mail Association.

Scrub your list

Every year, North American businesses send billions of pieces of mail that are undeliverable as addressed (UAA). The irony is that a simple, effective list hygiene process can minimize or even eliminate this process.

Your strategy begins with Zip Code correction, address standardization and change-of-address services. Consider these suggestions for fine-tuning your list:

  • Make sure you update your address when you move so you (or your customers) get your mail
  • Mailers take note that the USPS "Move Update" requirement is now in effect
  • Merge and purge mailing lists often to remove invalid names and addresses
  • Provide frequent, clear opportunities for customers to opt-in and opt-out
  • Maintain a Do-Not-Mail list to prevent unwanted communications
  • If you mail conventionally and via email, allow customers to specify their preferred method of contact
  • Target mail efficiently using segmentation and modeling to select recipients
  • Personalize your message to increase relevance and reduce waste

Paper practices

Marketers can reduce their environmental footprint by working eco-friendly practices into the mix.

  • Focus on paper manufacturers that place an emphasis on sustainability
  • Consider environmental certification for your projects
  • Remember, print generates a net positive impact on forestry. Check out www.printgrowstrees.com for the real story!

Design and print production

Marketers, mailers and other publishers seeking to improve their green footprint can save on design and print production.

  • Take advantage of our resources to help you save money and time while maximizing your piece's environmental friendliness
  • Collaborate with us to ensure the best use of press size; sometimes a slight alteration of the mail piece or catalog can allow more to be produced from each press sheet
  • Use production methods that reduce print overruns, waste allowances and in-process waste

Recycle and reuse

When it comes to print, there are many ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes all mail as recyclable mixed paper waste — add yours to the local recycle bin
  • Reuse or recycle boxes whenever possible. Old mail can be shredded to use as packing materials
  • Donate pieces of interest to hospitals, clinics, doctor waiting rooms and retirement communities (remember to remove the mailing label if possible)


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