The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, DEFRA, has no reputation as a friend of those engaged in bulk email marketing but this appears to be about to change. They have recently published a report which shows how consumers respond to green terminology. If your product has any claim to being environmentally friendly, or even not particularly antagonistic towards it, then it will explain the likely response of those on your email lists to such words.
It is fair to say that some of the sample sizes were not excessive but the results are consistent and, more to the point, useful.
One conclusion of the report is that, rather unsurprisingly, consumers were happier with phrases they were familiar with and which they felt they understood. However, whilst ‘energy efficient’ for a washing machine was considered amongst the most meaningful, if used with abandon they could become confusing.
For instance, those on your email marketing lists are probably aware that the use of washing powders has an environmental impact so ‘environmentally friendly washing powder’ as a concept was clear. When the phrase was used to qualify products such as bank accounts there was confusion.
Another point was the use of comparisons, something which has, in the past, occupied the Advertising Standards Authority. It would appear that consumers have some degree of scepticism in the matter. Further they will not necessarily read any justification material included.
New words and the latest buzz phrase might not be familiar to those on your email lists and the obscure meanings of carbon terminology should be used with care.
The conclusion is quite clear. You need to target your marketing emails with some precision. Energy efficient is one of the most understood of all phrases. Environmentally friendly is less clear in the mind of the public and care needs to be exercised in what it is describing. When used with holidays its impact was lost.
You know the people on your email lists. If they are the kind who would have some understanding of the more obscure terms then use them. If not then you are left with more general terms.
Find the report at www.defra.gov.uk.