Together we save: sustainable marketing

Introducing sustainable marketing with BNZSA Opportunity Finder. Reduce your carbon footprint and stay on the right side of the law.

While most marketeers regard the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as legal compliance and administrative requirement, it has reduced the number of marketing emails by an estimated 1.2 billion per day, according to a recent report. In terms of CO2 emissions, this is the equivalent of 360 tonnes per day or 650,000 trees. This can be considered a major win for sustainable marketing.

However, despite the growing awareness by companies to introduce more environmentally sustainable policies, in 2022, the number of emails that are expected to be sent worldwide is set to rise 4% from 2021 to 333bn and by 8.4% by 2023. This figure may rise further with the increased numbers of employees that are remotely working.


Sustainable marketing is about more than just climate impact

As well as the environmental impact of emails, an aspect of sustainable marketing to consider is the noise factor of inbox saturation and also the impact to personal productivity involved in processing and replying to emails. When the average daily total of emails sent and received tops 140, people simply do not have the time to respond or even delete them. Many are simply ignored.

It is small wonder then, that a digital-only approach to email marketing and lead generation not only has a negative impact on overall ESG goals it can be very wasteful when trying to attract your ideal customer with your solution.

In addition, it is sometimes hard to tell that an email open was the ‘right’ person at a company or if the ‘open’ was content inspection from a spam checker or firewall. A personal assistant may also be covering the inbox of a busy IT director or C-level director.

But when marketeers are under pressure to help generate pipeline, remain in budget and see measurable return on investment, the lure of algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning is sometimes too hard to ignore. And many companies wittingly or unwittingly are sailing very close to the wind when it comes to GDPR and other privacy regulations.

Mass mailing your database is not legitimate business interest! Scanning user inboxes for intent signals without consent is not a sensible approach and making it hard for users to opt out of cookies is also being more tightly regulated as Facebook found out this year by getting fined in January for €60m (£50.5m).

But this fine seems like a slap on the wrist compared with the fine Amazon received last year. Although little is known of the exact details of the case, privacy regulators in Luxemburg last year issued a £636m GDPR fine to Amazon purportedly around “free consent”, the largest GDPR fine to date.


And it seems the main reason why we are not seeing more companies being fined since the regulation was introduced, is that there are too many infringements happening for the teams at the privacy organisations to deal with. The investigations are often too slow, presumably, as large corporates can rapidly lawyer up and throw down a legal minefield. Nevertheless, the fines in Q3 last year alone were not far from €1bn (£840m) and set to follow a similar course this year.

And with growing email volumes set to rise and the clamour to use more digital channels to acquire customer behaviour and intent, how do today’s marketeers remain not only compliant but also sustainable?

As well as introducing data processing agreement (DPA) assessments, privacy policies, cookie consent and other regulatory compliance methodology to your marketing strategy, one approach to reduce privacy concerns, email saturation and “carpet bombing” advertising is to use more outbound calling in your lead generation strategy.

When the two work effectively together, the awareness goals are hit, and the lead generation activity is more effective than it would be without the digital ‘air cover.’

But the most common challenge with this approach is that the digital activities are targeted at audience that might not be reachable.  Or the digital audiences are different from those targeted by phone.

BNZSA's Opportunity Finder: reducing waste in the marketing cycle

This why BNZSA has built Opportunity Finder that combines data, digital and calling with our Warm Hand OverTM process.

Opportunity Finder starts with building a database of on-spec companies that we know can be reached by phone and more importantly get and validate consent. We then focus all our digital, social, programmatic activity and tele activity solely on those companies. 

We then do the heavy lifting internally to assess if the prospect is sales-ready and then broker a three-way call between the client, the prospect and our Sales Development Resource.

The outcome our clients are finding is that we are targeting the right audience at the right time with measurable improvements on media efficiency, reduced carbon footprints, increased conversions, up by 70%. With these metrics, don’t you think it’s time you gave us a call to talk about sustainable marketing?

Paul is the Director of Global Corporate Development at BNZSA. He is also certified GDPR Foundation compliant with ISO 17024 from the International Board for IT Governance Qualifications.

For more information please contact: