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IPCC report: are email marketing and environmental awareness compatible?

While the IPCC report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) - released this Monday 09/08/2021 - is making the media rounds as a reminder of the climate emergency (well...not enough for our taste, Messi and the health pass having largely dethroned him 😡), so it's up to everyone to know where they stand and take action on their own activity, at their own scale.

We could simply resort to cognitive biases (confirmation, freeze effect...) to comfort ourselves in our practice without questioning it. Or better still: blame it on a completely different industry that would have a greater share of responsibility.

This would of course be too simple and above all counterproductive. So it's up to each of us to be aware of our impact and to know what we can and want to do to act in our daily lives and, in our case, in our jobs.

📢 First of all, Let's not forget that the best way to achieve zero carbon in emailing is not to send any email. It is clear that today emailing is a significant source of revenue (as a communication channel and awareness) for most companies and associations. However, billions of commercial emails and newsletters are sent every day and stored for an indefinite period of time in data centers around the world. What if we change the paradigm and think of our business as reasonable and sustainable rather than as an infinite growth vector?

Can you do e-mail marketing and have considerations for the climate and the environment?

Yes, and it's not just a belief or conviction, fortunately. Given that the issue is indeed to assess the impact of human activity on climate change, who else but sapiens could try to correct the situation, learn from his mistakes and try to adapt in order to preserve his environment?

We know that the industry linked to the Internet (network infrastructure: cable, fiber...) and the activity generated by the Web and Email (services and applications using the Internet network: agency, designers, users, data centers...), as well as the manufacturing of terminals allowing us to access them (smartphones, tablets, computers, watches, televisions, fridges...) is not without impact on our environment and climate With the consequences that we know well today: production of greenhouse gases, soil and water pollution...

It is possible to make e-mail marketing a little more ecologically and socially responsible, also during the design and integration phases.

At Badsender, we have been involved in these issues for a long time and we want them to be more than just "talking points".

Optimize your e-mail creations and integrations

Already in 2019 Thomas Defosez wondered and bring us his enlightened point of view on the design and HTML integration phases of emails by having an eco-responsible approach.

By default, we apply a certain number of good practices that we feel are essential today:

Accessible design

Limitation of small font sizes, consideration of contrast requirements, design of logical reading structures (left to right and top to bottom), left-hand alignments of texts, large click zones, dissociation of design / textual elements as far as possible...

Accessible integration

Use of semantic tags (p for paragraphs, hn for titles...), implementation of alt tags (alternative texts in case the images would not appear or could not be seen), limitation of animations, integration of textual elements in HTML rather than in images, use of roles (HTML attribute role="presentation" informed for nested tables), code conformity for an ideal display on 120DPI supports...

Limit the weight of the e-mail

Removal of superfluous tags, limitation of the level of nesting of tables, optimization of the weight of images, realization of minimalist design, advanced use of typography in order to reduce the use of images, additional research of optimization of the weight of code...

Dark mode

Implementation of basic good practices (transparent png for elements on a flat color, addition of borders on dark images,...), tests and systematic optimization of the Dark Mode on the main e-mail clients of the market, use of specific color themes,...

Work on your database and target your satisfied contacts

This is a lever that can be VERY sensitive for marketers or campaign managers. The reflex is still to systematically go for volume to guarantee a good number of conversions.

How to reconcile data volume and conversion rate?

Sort out and clean up in the data that you keep so preciously and yet which sometimes take up unnecessary space on your servers.

Segment and keep the Active - 6 months (=Openers - 6 months) and the Inactive between 6 and 18 months. Beyond that, it's almost useless to keep contacts who haven't opened a single one of your emails for 18 months or more (even if we won't be able to trust the openings anymore with Apple's announcement that it wants to end tracking in iOS15, but let's keep this metric for now).

Target the most engaged of your contacts. You will gain and the planet will also thank you.

How to "target the most committed"?

  1. First of all, send only to Active - 6 months your newsletters and commercial e-mails.
  2. Next, segment them ! Classify them, for example, as "New" (= Buyers - 30 days), "Buyers", "Ex-buyers"...

If we take the example of the Back-to-School period:

  • send your first launch email to all your segments except the 'New' ones. They have just bought, sometimes they haven't even received their product yet, don't solicit them again immediately
  • analyze 4 to 5 days after the results and look especially at the dissatisfaction rate. If it is higher than 40 %, it means that almost half of your contacts have opened your email to unsubscribe. So overall, your content did not appeal. Don't send a reminder to this target.

Finally, don't overdo it when it comes to the frequency of your mailings.

Data, privacy and RGPD

The lifeblood of e-mail marketing. We want visibility to know if the investments we make are profitable. But are we really looking at the right indicators, the right data?

Avoid as much as possible the bulimia of data. Only track what is useful and necessary. We have all tried at one time or another to collect data that eventually remained completely untapped in the depths of our database.

On the other hand, we often use scripts or tracking pixels from third-party resources (our ESP, our CRM, our AB testing tools, Google, Facebook...) over which we have very little control. Both to optimize them (number of resources and weight) and to know what they really collect (privacy and compatibility with the RGPD).

Especially since the subject of personal data protection is increasingly present. Whether by legal provisions (General Data Protection Regulation in Europe) or by the major digital players (service providers, webmail ...). Apple's announcement that it wants to do away with tracking and the release of iOS15 puts the subject back on the table.

Green IT for a responsible and sustainable digital world

Use, as much as possible tools and services committed to a responsible, eco-design and sustainable approach.

More and more digital companies are publishing their carbon footprint, providing visibility on infrastructure (server location as well as resource consumption) as well as social responsibility.

New indicators and standards are appearing in order to establish norms that federate and identify commitments around subjects such as software eco-design, responsible and reasoned purchasing of equipment as well as reuse and recycling, the use of electricity from renewable energy...

Taratata! We are not fooled or naive by this

None of this will significantly reduce the email industry's carbon footprint

That's all very well and good. And we are convinced that everything we recommend above should be put in place for more ethical e-mail marketing. However, what would REALLY make an impact in the e-mail industry is to remove these newsletters and promotional e-mails stored on servers for nothing.

Who among us re-opens a promotional e-mail a week after receiving it?

Who among us reads a newsletter 15 days after receiving it? Honestly!

If advertisers added an expiration date to their emails and those emails were semi-automatically deleted from our email boxes, it would be great for the planet and for us: citizens (who, let's face it, are overwhelmed by commercial emails 😰)

Email expiration date and Zero Carbon Email

So, for those who don't know yet, at Badsender we have launched theinitiative Email Expiration Date which aims to add an expiration date in order to be able to remove "expired" resources on the server side and thus reduce the carbon footprint of e-mails.

Support this project! Give us your consent to put your company logo on this site. This small action has a lot of value in proving that there is a real willingness in the email industry to improve the carbon footprint of email by deploying expiration dates in commercial emails. Technically it's possible, so let's make it happen together!

LePatron in all this?

It is at the heart of the values we wish to convey !

In our recommendations, during the development of your custom template, we are committed to sharing with you all our knowledge and experience in eco-design and best practices for a sustainable digital.

Just as in the evolution and development of our application, that is why now that we released the source codeWe are working on another project that is top priority on the roadmap for this year: finalizing the migration of our entire infrastructure to independent, European servers with a proven green policy!

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