There’s seemingly no end to the amount of junk mail that the average person receives each year. When you own your own business, you can nearly double the amount of junk mail that you’re receiving. Not only is junk mail annoying, but it’s a huge waste of paper and resources. It takes 17 trees to make a ton of paper, which means that 100 million trees get used for junk mail each and every year.
By reducing junk mail for your business and your personal life, you can save paper and save time. Sorting through junk mail when the mail arrives can be a real waste of time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can stop junk mail from ever reaching your mailbox. Follow these five steps to stop junk mail for good.
Step #1 – Contact the biggest direct mail companies and request to be removed from their lists.
Most companies that send junk mail go through one of several major companies. Valassis Direct Mail, Inc, Harte Hanks Direct Marketing and DMA Preference Service all handle direct marketing for the vast majority of companies in the United States.
In order to contact Valassis Direct Mail, send a request to:
Valassis Direct Mail, Inc., Consumer Assistance
P.O. Box 249
Windsor CT 0695
To reach Harte Hanks Direct Marketing, write to:
Harte Hanks Direct Marketing, Attn: Consumer Preferences
C/O Pennysaver, 2830 Orbiter Street
Brea, CA 92821
You can contact these companies with a simple letter, or use one of the postcards available in the free Stop Junk Mail Kit.
DMA Preference Service can be contacted by email at http://www.dmachoice.com. If you’d like to contact them by mail, you’ll be charged $1 and need to send a request to:
DMA Mail Preferences Service
PO Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512
Make sure that you list all of your known name variations (such as maiden names, or inclusions of “Jr/Sr”) on your request form.
Step #2 – Remove yourself from credit card offer lists.
Credit card offers originate from credit reporting agencies. You can call them all at once by calling 1-888-567-8688. You will normally be asked to input your social security number, but if you stay on the phone and sit through all of the options, you can be removed without giving your social.
Step #3 – Stop getting unwanted catalogs
Who hasn’t requested a catalog only to regret it later? If you want to remove yourself from several catalog lists all at once, visit http://www.catalogchoice.com. You can also call the number on the catalog and request to be removed.
Step #4 – Let your service providers know you don’t want promotional mail
Your bank, insurance company, wireless provider, cable company and credit card companies will often send you promotional junk mail. You can contact them each individually to request that you be removed from email lists.
Step #5 – When you sign up for something new, make sure they know your preferences.
When you request new catalogs or information through the mail, make sure the company knows that you do not want your address sold to other companies. Most companies that have sign up forms have a way for you to note that you’re not interested in other material. (Don’t worry, the privacy of anyone who gives us their contact information is assured.)
The most important thing to remember when reducing your junk mail is to be patient. Sometimes it will take up to a year to see the full effect. However, most people start seeing a reduction in their junk mail within eight weeks.
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)
Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and office space infrastructure.