Think Personalization, Think Green

When you think about personalization, do you think about lower cost per lead, higher per order values and increased ROI? You should. But you should also get excited about how 1:1 printing helps you go green.

1:1 printing is green? Absolutely. Here are three reasons why:

  1. Targeting means you send out fewer pieces of mail—saving trees, chemicals and fossil fuels.
  2. A cleaner database means that your recipients deliver fewer pieces right to the trashcan.
  3. Digital production has many green benefits, including no plates, no chemicals and no spray powders.

Let’s look at three examples of how 1:1 printing can transform the “greenness” of your campaign.

Personalized booklets: Say you are a small college, printing four-color catalogs to mail to prospective students. Each catalog is 252 pages, covering the full range of disciplines and extra-curricular activities. Only 25% of the material is relevant to the prospective student, who never reads the other 75%. Especially if your catalogs are coated, those pages are destined for the landfill. What happens when you personalize these catalogs instead? Now, instead of printing 252 pages, you print 64 pages. Not only does this increase the relevance—and the effectiveness— of the booklets, but you’ve just reduced your consumption of paper, ink and chemicals by 75%.

Then there are the ripple effects. You have eliminated the energy used to produce those unread pages, the gas used to distribute them and all of the other associated raw materials, fossil fuels and associated energy costs along the way.

1:1 direct mail: In a static, untargeted mail campaign, you might send out 15,000 postcards to a generic mail list. With 1:1 personalization, you are likely to select only a percentage of that list. This might be the top 10% of your customers, customers who are most likely to purchase certain products, or customers who, based on defined triggers (such as an upcoming expiration on an auto lease), are likely to be in the market for a new purchase.

Now, instead of mailing 15,000 pieces, you might mail only 1,500. Or you might send only a few hundred at a time. Not only are these offers more targeted and relevant, but you’ve just reduced your printing and mailing volume by 90%—a huge slash in your carbon footprint.

Database cleansing: Even if you still choose to mail to your entire list, you can experience powerful “green” benefits by simply doing a basic consolidation and cleanse on that list. You might have many duplicates, misspelled names and undeliverable addresses. One cataloger recently slashed its print volumes by 50% simply by cleaning up its list!

It pays to be green. Not only should you consider green alternatives simply because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it’s good business too. Consumers want to do business with companies that are good stewards of the environment.

So double marketing dip—personalize it!