Direct Mail Using Seeded Paper

When I say seeded paper, I am not referring to some type of fancy marketing buzzword. I literally mean, using paper with seeds in it. The type of paper that you can plant in your backyard, (insert photosynthesis here), and grow into a plant. For the new era of eco-consciousness, advertisers are increasingly looking for new ways to get their messages out, while reducing the consequential carbon footprint. I can’t think of a bigger perceived environmental impact than the millions of direct mail pieces that are sent out annually. So, with that said, let’s look at an impactful delivery method that does not leave a lot of damaging impact on the earth.

There is no shortage of paper options and printing techniques when it comes to sending direct mail; and, breaking through the clutter is no easy task when the average American receives 848 pieces of ad mail each year. Seeded paper is one option.

You don’t have to work in the printing industry to know that printing on anything other than good ole white paper could pose a challenge. You have to account for the creative intent of the piece versus the production capabilities of your vendor, which can sometimes be far from a perfect match.

Often times, the art director will be the one to suggest a type of paper in conjunction with a unique concept. So, the first step is researching if this type of paper even exists. If so, then you have to find a printer who can work with it. You can contact a local dependable commercial printer to review the project details.

With specialty projects, the fear of the untested can be a costly journey. Fair warning – if the vendor has not printed on this type of paper before, do not assume that it will be a no-brainer. Why? Here’s the type of challenges you could encounter with seeded paper:

Seeded paper requires printing on an ink jet press – any ole press won’t do.

  • Have your vendor test on their presses with the exact paper long before you commit to using them for the project.
  • Make sure the vendor has an in-depth conversation with the paper supplier to determine best practices for production. In fact, insist that you are on this call if you have any doubts.
  • Another option is going to the paper supplier first and asking what company they used to create the sample. You might be able to avoid untested waters by using the supplier’s preferred vendor. The downside is the shipping expense if they are located out of state.

The bottom line: continue to push the envelope of production techniques. After all, the same ole process will get you the same ole results. But, be sure you do your homework beforehand.