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Commentary & Analysis

T.J. Maxx Changes Its “Go Paperless” Messaging

Two Sides has reported that brands are moving away from “Go Paperless—Go Green” messaging because of negative publicity around greenwashing. As consumers start to recognize these ads as dishonest and really intended to save companies money, brands are switching from environmental messaging to convenience messaging instead. T.J. Maxx is one of them.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: October 31, 2018

Today, I opened a marketing email from T.J. Maxx and was pleasantly surprised. Not by the fashion or the discounts, but by the messaging surrounding the paperless billing option. Like every other brand, T.J. Maxx wants customers to move to paperless billing, and why not? It saves them a ton of money. But they aren’t promoting it the way they used to.

In the past, you saw, “Go Paperless—Go Green!” everywhere. Companies were pushing paperless statements as more environmentally responsible than paper. But with the increased awareness that every channel has an environmental footprint, including digital, consumers are starting to kick back. They are starting to recognize that brands are pushing electronic documents, not to save the environment, but to save a buck. More importantly, they are starting to figure out that these brands are lying to them in order to do it.  

They don’t like being lied to.

So thanks to campaigns creating awareness about greenwashing, marketers are changing their approach. According to a report from Two Sides, 107 North American corporations and 275 corporations globally (at the time of that writing—it may be higher now) have agreed to change their messaging and remove misleading environmental claims to promote digital over paper. Clearly, T.J. Maxx is one of them.

The message it is using? Convenience. It opens with, “With paperless billing, you’re always connected.”  Then it goes on to say, “Take control with paperless statements.” It then lists multiple benefits of paperless statements focused on convenience, access, and control. T.J. Maxx’s sister brands Marshalls, HomeGoods, and Sierra Trading Post, I assume, are doing the same.

It’s one thing to read about positive change happening around the area of greenwashing. It’s another to experience it in your inbox. What a nice surprise!

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”


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