With a majority of Americans now doing their utility billing and banking online, the US Postal Service is now primarily in the business of distributing direct-marketing, or ‘Junk Mail’.
For people wanting to minimize their volume of unsolicited mail, there are fortunately plenty of options that are reasonably effective, compared to the scourge of Robocalls & phone-scammers. Direct-mail organizations, unlike email-spammers or phone-solicitations, tend to be legitimate businesses that have little interest in being blacklisted by USPS.
The following are DeleteMe’s top-tips for reducing junk-mail:
1. Use the tools provided by the Direct Mail industry itself
The Direct Marketing Association provides its own service to opt-out of any of its members marketing campaign: DMAchoice.org
There is, sadly, an associated $2 fee to register. However we can assure users that it is money well spent if you are serious about reducing the amount of paper-mail you receive. The main benefit over the long term being that it ensures your address remains off of future marketing campaigns.
There is a free alternative: https://www.catalogchoice.org – however it only allows you to remove yourself from one catalogue/publication at a time. If you know specifically what it is you want to stop receiving, this is the way to go.If you specifically get an undue amount of insurance and credit-card offers, there is a separate, specific organization that works with financial services industry-related marketing: https://www.optoutprescreen.com
Acxiom is one of the largest sources of consumer data for direct marketers, and cutting your information off at the source can be extremely effective.
3. Stop Coupon-Mailings
While the DMAchoice.org website will help you get off the radar of national marketing campaigns, the next main source of direct-mail is from localized retailers, which offer coupons and special-offers to locals to encourage store-traffic. Most of these bulk-coupon mailings are done via the ValPak system, and you can remove yourself from their mailing lists with a few short clicks.
4. Try PaperKarma
A phone app that automates the above-mentioned catalogchoice.org opt-out process; we can’t attest to the consistency of its functionality, but some DeleteMe users have mentioned finding it helpful.