Digital Marketers aren't only helping businesses with their online presence, they are helping save the environment (well, kinda!).

As we keep receiving snail mail ads, we need to understand the impact it has on the environment. According to the info-graphic created by, 100 million trees are destroyed to produce pieces of junk mail that eventually gets thrown out.

This creates 51 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. Direct mail advertising affects the environment and digital marketing agencies can save the world!

Okay, maybe not save it completely… but we can at least do our part!

(Infographic: Lauren Wade)

Direct Mail Ads VS Digital Ads

  • Digital ads reach better
  • Digital ads can be optimized better
  • Better ROI (Return on Investment)
  • Environmental Impact

How do Digital Ads Reach Better?

The reach for digital ads is limitless. With the many different social media platforms, and companies expanding more than just their local areas, you can reach people across the world with digital ads.

Digital ads can be reached globally, unlike direct mail.

Another reason why digital ads reach better, is because of time. Direct mail is called snail mail for a reason, it might not reach your audience's door step for a week (or 2).

How can Digital Ads be Optimized Better?

With digital ads, your product can be seen by the right person.

However, with direct mail, your ad might be seen by someone who would not even consider your product (considering age, gender, and other demographics).

with direct mail, your ad might be seen by someone who would not even consider your product

With digital ads you are exposed to many analytics and audience behaviors that you won't find in traditional ways of advertising such as direct mail.

The types of analytics and behaviors you find with your ads can help you re-target potential customers that see your product online. These types of analytics can help you "target people when they are most likely to buy".

Return on Investment – Direct Vs Digital

According to seriouslysimplemarketing, the cost to reach 2000 people with direct mail cost's on average of $900.

However, with online platforms it can range from in-between $50 – $75 (prices vary according to platform). The cost for a person to see it through direct mail can range from $0.30 to $10.00. On the other hand, digital ads can cost as low as $0.01 to $0.15 per view.

Environmental Impact

While all the computers used to make the digital campaigns is pretty much the same to make a print campaign, the difference in environmental impact happens when you start to deliver the campaign.

Sending a single email campaign to 10 people is about the same energy to send to 10 million.

Whereas with print or flyers, 10 million mail outs is 10 million flyers printed, boxed, and shipped to a distribution or mailing company, and then delivered to homes/businesses (usually by truck).

And then there is managing the waste and disposal, garbage bags, trucks, etc….

Multiply all that by the millions of businesses all doing this and it adds up quickly!

But if you're not convinced the environmental impact is that much greater, let's compare how digital ads do.


Direct mail still has a great impact for the right product/message/customer, and should stay in your toolkit. However, you should save this for campaigns that really matter. Your Marketing should never be commonplace, routine, or lacking purpose. Especially when it affects the environment.

If you are marketing with paper, make it count.

Save the environment!

At Marketpie, this how we feel when we deliver digital campaigns. We are saving the environment (well, kinda)