How to Stop Junk Mail

February 27, 2012

Did you know that the average American will spend 8 months of their lives dealing with junk mail8?

If the time suck doesn’t make you crazy, how about the fact that each year American households receive a total of 104.7 billion pieces of junk mail5 or 848 pieces of junk mail per household6, requiring 6.5 million tons of paper7

If you are ready to save time, save trees and save your family from identity theft, there are some ways to reduce your junk mail.

  1. Register with OptOutPreScreen.com which will remove you from lists that mortgage, credit card and insurance companies use. This is the most”opt-out” as it is tied into and run by the major credit bureaus of Equifax, Experian, Innovis and TransUnion. By registering, you will be removed from pre-approved credit offers. This kind of junk mail is what identity thieves love to steal from your mailbox and can get you in the most trouble.  If you do only one of these options- do this one.
  2. Register with the Mail Preference Service of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). When you register,  you will be in the DMA’s  database of “Do Not Mail”. Most companies use the DMA service and those that do will see you are on the “do not mail” list.  You can also go to their Mail Preference Service and click on the orange box that reads “remove my name from mailing lists.”
  3. To stop those incessant catalogs that are piling up in your mail box you want to reach out to Abacus, a consortium of catalogue and publishing companies. Send an e-mail to optout@abacus-us.com to ask them to take you off their mailing list.

References

5United States Postal Service (USPS). “The Household Diary Study: Mail Use & Attitudes in FY2006.” March, 2007, pp. 1.
6Ibid, USPS. March, 2007, calculation from pp. 7 and pp. 36.
7Abramovitz, Janet. “Junk Mail Research—Report of Initial Findings.” May 24, 2006. Data sources include: USPS Annual Reports, USPS Household Diary Studies, USPS Strategic Transformation Plan, Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Statistical Factbook (various years), DMA Response Rate Report (various years), DMA Economic Impact Report (various years).
8Swenson, Richard. Margins: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Americans. Navpress Publishing Group.  March 1995.

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