The Postal Service estimated the response rate for the “environmailist” campaign at 7%. But Schoenfeld said true success lies not in the number of responses generated but in the quantity and quality of conversations started.
“The statistical rate is encouraging, but what's more personally encouraging ... is that, when we meet with or speak with major mailers and mail service providers, they bring this up,” Schoenfeld said. “They ask what else they can do. They want to know more. They are talking about how they can be "environmailists.' ”
Of course, it helps that there's much more at stake for direct mail marketers than a T-shirt and handbook.
According to Direct Marketing Association research, noncatalog direct mail remains the principal direct marketing promotion method, used by 61.9% of b-to-b firms. What's more, DMA expects the channel to generate more than $190 billion in direct marketing-driven sales in 2008.
So environmental concerns could be as much of a threat to marketers' bottom lines as they are to that of the USPS—all the more reason the agency believes the two should be working together to preserve the viability of direct mail.
“Being greener now is going to save everyone money and more later,” Schoenfeld said. “This is an investment for the future.” M