Every homeowner’s mailbox gets inundated with junk mail. Catalogues, credit card ads, weekly coupons. Marketing materials you never signed up for fill up your mailbox and go straight to your recycling. It’s annoying, and even worse, it’s bad for the environment (follow that link for a insightful/depressing infographic about the impacts of junk mail). Most people accept this as one of life’s inescapable inevitabilities. Death, taxes, and junk mail.
Fortunately, this isn’t true.
You CAN opt-out of junk mail. Almost all of it. Here are the resources I’ve discovered over the years to make life a little easier and a little greener. Each service is different, and using all of them will give you the best results.
CatalogChoice is managed by a non-profit organization that works with over 8,000 companies to encourage them to voluntarily honor your opt-out requests. Use the service to stop unwanted mail and catalogs that you currently receive.
DMAchoice allows you to remove your name from the marketing lists of 3,600 companies and organizations that are members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). DMA represents about 80% of the total volume of marketing mail in the U.S., and they require their members to honor opt-out requests. Use the service to keep your name off future prospecting lists.
National Do Not Mail List is managed by a direct mail company. They offer a free online service to help you remove your name from marketing lists used by mass mailers. Use the service to keep your name off future prospecting lists.
OptOutPreScreen.com allows you to remove your name from lists that the consumer credit reporting companies Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and TransUnion sell to companies for prescreened and preapproved credit card and insurance policy offers. The consumer credit reporting companies are required by law to honor your opt-out requests.
RedPlum Direct Mail will let you opt out of their regular mailings. Removing yourself takes approximately five to six weeks (because mailing labels are often printed in advance of mail distribution dates).
While you can greatly reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by using opt-out services, you unfortunately can’t stop all junk mail. Some mail goes to all households in your area (like political mail and advertisements from local stores). These mailings may not have opt-out options. You’ll also keep receiving mail from companies you currently do business with. To stop these types of offers, you’ll have to directly write or email each of the senders.
Home ownership is about so much more than buying and selling. I try to make my clients lives better however I can. Sometimes that help looks VERY different than what I expected real estate would be like, way back when I first got into this business 26 years ago. But along the way, I’ve picked up more than few tips and tricks I’m always happy to pass on—like the secrets of escaping junk mail.