Here’s a subtle example of the "forces" aligning to diminish the future viability of direct mail.

Seth Godin writes here about "Profligate." He makes the point that consumers increasingly will be offended by wasteful packaging. It will affect their purchase decisions.

Apply that to "wasteful" direct mail.

Environmental groups in particular have always felt varying degrees of guilt about "cutting down trees to send junk mail." And in the past, there has been an acceptably tiny percentage of mail recipients who have complained along these lines.

But that percentage will grow and grow.

Production cost considerations aside, nonprofits will need to contend with an expanding and deepening anti-waste psyche on the part of consumers. The days of multi-component, insert-filled packages — however well perfoming in the past — are definitely numbered.

Yes, Roger and I still insist: Don’t throw away your postage meter! But the clock is ticking.


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