Cutting junk mail requires you take action: Ask to be removed from lists, demand privacy, don't register your name for products or contests, or return items to sender. This way, you'll curb the piles of mail that you never seem to get through.
Do you have piles of mail that you can never seem to get through on a daily basis? One of the ways to get through it quicker and more efficiently, is to have less coming into your mailbox in the first place. Here are 7 secrets for cutting down on junk snail mail.
- Ask to be removed. Write to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, N.Y. 11735. Be sure to provide your name, street address and zip code. Request that they instruct their members to remove you from their mailing lists. Once you write, you'll remain on the opt-out list for 5 years, at which time you'll have to write again. The Direct Marketing Association estimates that listing with their mail preference service will stop 75% of all national mailings. You should notice a reduction of your junk mail within 6 months.
To complete your registration online, go to http://www.the-dma.org/cgi/offmailinglist#optoutform. Please note: there is a $1 processing fee.
- Ask for privacy. Every time you provide your name and address to receive a product, magazine or service, there's an excellent chance you're being added to one or more mailing lists. Whenever you have to give your contact information to anyone, always request that your information is not to be shared or sold. Most reputable companies will respect your privacy.
- Watch out for the phone book. If you're listed in the phone book, your contact information for all practical purposes is public record. Consider an unlisted number. Or, at minimum, request that the phone company publish just your name and phone number, and exclude your address.
- Return to sender. When you receive mail that is clearly junk mail that you don't want, write to the companies and get yourself removed from their mailing lists. Most will comply, as it's expensive to keep mailing to you if you're never going to buy. Envelopes with 'Address Correction Requested' or 'Return Postage Guaranteed' can be returned unopened by writing 'Refused-- Return to Sender' on the envelope. The company will have to pay the return postage.
- Don't register. Avoid sending in product registration cards, unless there's a good chance the product may be recalled on a safety issue. In most cases, when you register a product you purchased, the information you provide is used for direct mail purposes.
- Contact your credit card company. They probably sell your name and address more often than any other company you deal with. Call and tell them that you don't want them sharing or selling your contact information with anyone.
- Avoid contests. Anytime you fill out an entry form to win something, your name and address are likely being sold to other companies, which is going to result in unwanted mail.