Finding objects to include in your lumpy mail promotions is easy. Companies such as Oriental Trading Company and 3Dmailresults.com offer many options for inexpensive and interesting mailable items to spice up your promotions. However, the vast majority of these objects are unacceptable from a sustainability point of view. Most are made from plastic or other unsustainable materials. They are not compostable or biodegradable, and therefore pose a waste disposal problem and threaten the integrity of our environment. And many of them serve no real purpose other than boosting your open rate, so are not likely to be reused.
Clearly, if we wish to honor our own values and avoid alienating our eco-conscious customers, we need to avoid such objects. Ideally, the 3-D objects we include in our mailings need to fall within these guidelines:
- They should be made of materials whose production places minimal stress on the environment.
- Their disposal should not degrade the environment: they should be compostable, recyclable, and/or reusable.
- They should offer enough value to their recipients that they will be used or passed along. (An exception might be natural objects such as acorns which can simply be returned to Nature.)
It’s a little harder than just opening a novelty toy catalog. But following these guidelines will help you come up with sustainable direct mail ideas that will not only attract interest from your prospects, but admiration. And, sales!