This week marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for earth and the environment. Even those not born then, or too young to remember the first Earth Day, have probably seen the iconic television commercial created for the event. It featured the powerful image of a stoic Native American shedding a single tear at the pollution he sees around him.
Over the years, awareness of the environment and man's impact on it has grown tremendously.
Today, there is a laundry list of tax credits, rebates and financial incentives to encourage both individuals and businesses to "go green." These include tax credits for green home repairs, tax rebates for the purchase of a hybrid car, and significant business tax deductions for making energy-efficient improvements to your place of work.
While those are important efforts, businesses often overlook a very easy way to make a real impact on the environment, while improving marketing and saving a lot of money: converting all or a portion of direct mail to email.
Email is a green choice because it eliminates the use of paper and fossil fuels used in delivery. Our research shows that marketers save 60% to 80% by switching their paper-based marketing programs to email. Email also generates a return on investment greater than any other marketing channel, according to a study by the Direct Marketing Association. That study shows email returns $43.62 for every dollar spent.
Nearly every business can benefit from switching to email marketing:
· Nonprofit organizations and associations can send newsletters and donor information via email and can stay in touch with members via email.
The decision to go green eventually should come down to what your customers want. Does mailing catalogs or letters have the detrimental effect of angering an environmentally-conscious customer? If the answer is "yes" or "I don't know," perhaps it's time to switch to email.