Sometimes we end up with counters, tables, or other areas of our house just full of junk mail. Mainly because since we didn’t request these solicitations we just don’t give them our immediate attention and that leads to the big pile up. If you are also experiencing a problem with junk mail, you are not alone. Over 41.5 billion pieces of mail advertisements get sent out every year in the U.S! That’s a staggering amount of mostly junk mail! We put together these 10 useful tips to help you minimize the amount of junk mail you have to deal with on a regular basis.
Tip 1 – Contact the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and register with their mail preference service. That’s a great way to stop a lot of junk mail from the source. While the DMA doesn’t provide anyone with your contact information they do supply your mail preferences to some of the largest direct marketers. You can register with their service here. You can also contact them via mail at the following address:
Direct Marketing Association
Mail Preference Service
P.O. Box 282
Carmel, NY 10512
Tip 2 – When you are filling out forms just pay really close attention to what you are agreeing to and if it is a paper form be sure to write the following phrase on it: “please do not rent, sell, or trade my name or address” One other interesting fact is that in a lot of companies will provide a warranty card with the product you purchased in general filling that out and returning it is only a marketing tactic as in very few cases does the form actually validate the warranty (usually the warranty is good regardless of the warranty card). Reading the warranty or contract to be sure is really the only prudent answer to this one.
Tip 3 – One of the best ways to combat junk mail that takes a bit of extra effort is to call the 1-800 numbers on the junk mail and tell them to take you off of their list. This is sort of a double-edged sword as you are in fact at least once giving them exactly what they wanted (you to contact them). Just be prepared, keep it short, and tell them to put you on their do not contact list. Since this takes quite a bit of effort you may want to reserve this option for only the repeat offenders or a company that you find particularly offensive.
Tip 4 – Stop getting all of those credit card solicitations by making a quick phone call to: (888) 567-8688 and have them take you off the list that is circulated to the credit card companies for them to solicit you. Another really important task is for you to contact the credit card companies and let them know that they need to put you on their “in house” list and that they shouldn’t share your contact information with any other companies.
Tip 5 – Start using the “RETURN TO SENDER” more. If a company has sent any mail item to current resident, resident, or current occupant and it also contains one of these phrases: return service requested, address service requested, forward service requested, or change service requested then just mark it “RETURN TO SENDER” and send it straight back. If you get unsolicited email from a charity then you can simply do the same.
Tip 6 – Catalogs are frequently stuffed in our mailboxes and this is one of the easiest types of junk mail to get rid of. You can and should first contact the catalog company and ask to unsubscribe to their catalog list. In addition to that you can try out a free service which we are in no way affiliated with called catalog choice. This service is one of several that will help you get rid of the steady stream of catalogs in your mailbox.
Tip 7 – Reach out to smaller direct marketing firms and request to suppress their mail and to be taken off of any of their distribution lists. Here are some examples:
R.L. Polk & Company
Name Deletions, List Compilation Dept.
6400 Monroe Blvd
Taylor, MI 48180-1814
1 Valpak Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Mail Suppression Form
Attn: Consumer Requests
1020 E. 1st St.
Papillion, NE 68046
Tip 8 – Contact companies that produce phone books by calling them up and just asked to be removed from their phone book. Here are some contact numbers:
Yellow Book: 1-800-929-3556 — renew every two years
Tip 9 – Believe it or not, there are several companies out there that will do all the dirty work for you. They refer to themselves as junk mail removal services basically taking the trash out of your mailbox. One example organization is 41pounds.org. We are not affiliated with any of the services that offer junk mail removal but it is highly likely that they are using some of these very same tips.
Tip 10 – Contact your State representatives as well as your congressional representatives and let them know that you want them to do something about all of the junk mail you are receiving. There are usually bills out there floating around, but given everything else going on in our government (State or national) they never seem to get around to addressing junk mail.