hold the mail

Tons of everyday mail is unsolicited. Advertising people (like me) call it direct mail. Consumers (like me) call it junk. Direct mail really can be effective, but it has to be done right. And most of the time, it's just not.

Since I moved I started getting my own set of weekly salepapers, known as the Tuesday Junk. Three times now, I have received four exact same letters from an insurance company, return-addressed from four different representatives near my house. After the second instance, I wrote a letter and mailed all of the junk mail back to that company. I also tweeted it and the company replied to me, telling me where on their website I could look for help.

But help it did not, as this week, I received another set of four duplicate letters. Hilariously, I already use this company and met with a representative today about some things I needed to take care of. I brought the four letters with me, and gave them to her during our meeting. She got on the phone immediately to have them stop sending the letters. It's a waste of money and a waste of paper. And since I already pay this company money, I didn't want them spending it to send me junk mail four times over.

So. Weekly tip.

Find out how you can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. If you don't get a terribly huge amount, or you know which company it comes from, you can contact the company directly. While you are requesting to be removed from the list, you can also suggest a way for them to make their marketing more effective. I've also received multiple postcards for a home security system. The postcards were mailed to my...apartment complex. I'd suggest that they limit their direct mail to strictly homeowners. I suggested to the insurance company that they make sure their mailing radiuses don't overlap with each other, because I'm sure other renters here got the same amount as me and would just trash everything.

If you receive mail for a previous homeowner or renter, call that company to let them know that person is no longer at your address. I've stopped a couple magazines coming in because they were for previous renters. I simply told the circulation person that so and so wasn't there anymore, and I had no need for a Southern Poverty Law Center magazine, but thanks!

I looked on the USPS website to see if there was a way to stop junk mail. I found their Go Green page, and one of their tips is to update your address when moving. However, I find that doesn't streamline any mail, that just puts your actual name instead of "Our Neighbor" on the junk mail. Anyway, tangent.

If you want to cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive at your office for employees who are no longer there, check out the Ecological Mail Coalition. It's a free service that allows you to enter the names of former employees and your business address and they work to stop the mail coming to those people. I've done it for a few employees in my office and the last time I checked, the office manager had noticed a decrease in duplicate junk mail. I'll have to check again to see if there's still a decrease.

There are also ways to stop delivery of the Yellow Pages, but I have not tried any to be able to recommend any. And it's too late for this year as I received two copies of two phone books. A small and a large. Still haven't figured out the difference, or why they delivered two sets within a week. If anyone has successfully stopped phone book delivery, please share!

3 comments

donny* said...

i would love to stop the yellow pages from coming. i think we have three different ones. none of them have ever been opened.

Joshua_Delaughter said...

Red plum coupons are a paper nightmare, www.redplum.com then contact us. From there you can find the way to stop getting their mailings

Caitlin said...

donny, my parents tried to pawn their extra one off on me. i told them i already had four too many and it's high time to get off the delivery list.

joshua, thanks for stopping by! i will definitely check that out because their mailings always just end up in my recycling bin.

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