How green is too green?

Is there such a thing as too green? I’ve been listening to a lot of my peers discussing cost-cutting measures, then shifting to the guise of environmentally friendly. Now, I’m not against going green but I’d rather not force folks into bad decisions by hiding the true motivations. Specifically, I’m targeting printed versus e-communications.

While it’s true that discontinuing print can save you money and make Mother Earth smile, it does have a real cost to the business. Printed pieces offer a real tangible value and e-communications can be quickly blocked and/or discarded at will. Before you start slashing print, consider that the economy directly impacts your ability to deliver e-communications to customers.

Don’t believe me? Consider the fact, that a down economy increases the number of people out of work, thus creating e-scams. It’s been reported that over 31,000 new threats are discovered daily, and that number is on the rise. People attempting to protect others from these scams go into security overload and tend to begin blocking more and more to compensate for greater threats.

E-mail penetration will continue to decrease as the threats rise. The number of people capable of adjusting systems to allow legitimate mail will decrease as budgets decline. So if you didn’t run a white-listing campaign in 2008 you’re likely to have real issues with e-communications in 2009.

If you’re looking to go green, by all means go for it and use recycled materials. If you’re looking to save money, discount the less-flashy route, and heed more targeting, but if you’re looking to get information to customers, I’d suggest you keep some printed materials.

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