We work with a number of businesses, and a lot of the reasons people use for moving a lot of their communication online, is that’s is ‘good for the environment’ or ‘paperless is more green’. Whilst we all agree that hacking the rain forests down for our own personal gain is not the way to go, paper production, particularly in Europe isn’t like that. The paper and wood industries has grown sustainable supplies to the point that European forests have increased by an area the size of Switzerland in 10 years.

To go even further, the emails, tweets, Instagram posts / online communications are sat somewhere in the internet, or on the cloud, and the computer or phone you’re reading it on had to be made and disposed of (41 Million tonnes of computer waste according to the UN). The internet sits in huge power hungry data centres across the globe, and in fact: “If compared with the electricity demand of countries in the same year, the cloud would rank 6th in the world, with demand expected to increase 63% by 2020” Greenpeace 2014.

Clearly paper production, printing and distribution will consume a lot of energy, but using the ‘email is green’ argument just to move to online isn’t necessarily the best move. It’s what works for your business, but there’s certainly a good few reasons to include print into the mix:

How many emails do you get from a sender you don’t know (or even one that you do) that you don’t read?

People’s mailboxes are a lot less busy than they used to be. If you send creative Direct Mail to their doormat or in-tray, you’re much more likely to be noticed over your competition competing for the one line of text in the Inbox.
Print certainly has a good reach and engagement and will give your brand authority to the reader.

You can be more creative with print, and certainly justify spending a bit more time on a printed item as it’s going to generally cost more than a digital, throw away communication.

Using it correctly with digital, print can increase engagement from 31% to 45% compared to just print alone.

If you’d like to look at how to make a print campaign successful and engage with new audiences, then get in touch.

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This email is ‘green’, right?

Written By Kim Burrage
Managing Director at Trident

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