Thank you CRTC, they gave me one of the best presents a government agency could possible give - A Do Not Call List for telemarketers. But the end of the annoying calls is not the purpose of this post.
Over the holidays I took a holiday, for a couple of weeks, and went back home to Ottawa. I was shocked when I came back to see the volumes of catalogs and direct mail awaiting my return. None of it was wanted, needed, requested, desired nor targeted very well at all. In the end it was a bunch of paper that I really didn't need. Today I was reading a post on the Church of the Customer Blog that really outlined the impact of this unwanted direct mail. It is pretty crazy to think that people are getting close to 10kgs of unrequested mail over the period of a month, which when extrapolated across the US accounts for over 130,000 trees (not to mention all of the environmental costs of production and distribution).
So we now have a Do Not Call List, why don't we go to the next step and create a Do Not Mail list. The impact to the environment would be substantial and although it would be an incredible shift for direct marketers it would only cause the industry as a whole to embrace a key element in New Media - Permission. Market to those that want you to have a conversation with them. Develop brands, programs and products that cause consumers to embrace you and invite your communications into their lives. If you do it correctly not only will your marketing be much more effective but some of your customers will become your champions and advocates in the marketplace.
Plus the world will be much better for it.