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Want More Trees? Buy Paper!

Did you know? In North America, it takes less than two seconds to grow the fiber for a standard #10 envelope. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. According to Two Sides North America, here are some little known facts about paper and trees.

• The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds.
• The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours.

Growth rates are based on 100 acres of managed forest in North America.*
The fastest growth rates are for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen. The slowest are for Black Spruce. Climate and temperature play a large role in growth rates.

Here are some other fun facts:

• A forestland owner or tree farmer with 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce 15.8 million #10 envelopes or 4,000 reams of copy paper (500 sheets each) in a single year.
• Any market for paper products also benefits local communities, given that a portion of the income is re-injected into local businesses and services.

Unfortunately, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is environmentally damaging, as well as a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it is not. In fact, paper supports the growth of North American forests, and well-managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities. Forests are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.

Want to learn more? Check out Two Sides’ Fact Sheets or Myths and Facts series.

* Results are based on type of tree species used and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada.

URL: http://www.twosidesna.org/

3 Areas Where Direct Mail Beats Email

Don’t get us wrong—we love email. Like every marketing channel, email has an important place in the marketing mix. But with the pressure that marketers often experience to go all digital, it’s important to remind ourselves of some of the unique benefits offered by direct mail.

1. Direct mail doesn’t require an opt-in.
Before you can send a marketing email, you need to get the recipient’s permission. If people don’t want to receive your emails, they can block them. If they have opted in and later change their minds, they can simply opt back out. Direct mail doesn’t have these restrictions.

2. Direct mail doesn’t land in the spam folder.
Direct mail doesn’t have spam restrictions. If you send direct mailers to accurate physical addresses, your target audience will receive them.

3. In a B2B environment when the recipient moves onto a new job, direct mail still finds a target.
When your contact leaves the company for a new position, their email addresses are no longer valid and your marketing emails will bounce. However, direct mail still ends up on the desk of the next person to take their job. Not only does your message still find a target, but you have just introduced yourself to a new contact.

Both direct mail and email are powerful marketing tools, but they are not replacements for one another. Each has a role to play and offers benefits unique to that channel. Use direct mail and email individually, or better yet, create an integrated campaign in which they work together. But don’t think of either as a replacement for the other.

Want to learn more about the differences between direct mail and email? Give us a call!

Create Sales Literature That Sells

Looking to freshen up your sales literature? Think carefully and create a plan. Sales literature stands in for you when you’re not around, carrying your brand identity and reputation to the marketplace. It plays a critical role in your business and needs to be planned out carefully.

Start by investing in good design. Eye-catching layouts grab attention, and provocative headlines and compelling text convince the reader to hear you out. Keep your production cutting edge and the marketing content fresh. If you cut corners on printing or circulate out-of-date information, your prospects might subconsciously conclude that you produce cheap, outdated products too.

Tie each printed piece to a goal in your overall marketing plan. Is the objective to drive new sales, cross-sell to existing customers, or communicate better with your stakeholders? The appropriate format (postcard, circular, product data sheet, package insert, newsletter) will naturally follow. Combinations of different elements—paper types, colors, repetition—can produce powerful subliminal effects, so it is important that you work with a professional designer.

Consider portability. An oversized piece might gain attention, but what will make someone pick up your piece and take it with them and then pass it along to others?

Communicate directly and succinctly about what you are offering, what is in it for the reader, and what action the reader should take. It’s tempting to overload your documents with every capability and feature you offer, but this can overwhelm and disengage someone who is just learning about you. As they move through the sales funnel, you can introduce more complex printed collateral. At this stage, however, the content should be just intriguing enough and the call to action persuasive enough to inspire the reader to initiate further discussion.

Even the best sales collateral isn’t going to close the sale by itself. What it will do is provide outstanding sales support, reinforce your message, and stay behind as your brand messenger. So pay attention to your sales literature and give it the attention it deserves.

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