- Personal Finance
Stop Junk Mail and Save Your Budget
Direct mail marketing has more purchasing influence than any other marketing channel. Stop junk mail and save your budget.
Junk the Junk Mail
Did you know that direct mail marketing has more purchasing influence than any other marketing channel?
A 2009 ExactTarget study found that three out of four Americans make purchases based on mail solicitations. Nearly 60 percent are influenced by email marketing.
Unwanted junk mail is stuffed into U.S. mailboxes every day. Unsolicited mail is annoying, wasteful, and harmful to the environment and your pocketbook.
Do you want to control your spending and save your hard-earned cash? When you stop junk mail, you save your money, sanity, and natural resources, too.
1. Stop the Paper Trail
If you want to stop junk mail, stop the paper trail to your mailbox. This means blocking unsolicited mail.
Here are three FREE services that can help you do this. (And shred the papers that do arrive in the mail, to protect your identity from thieves.)
DMAChoice is an online tool from Direct Marketing Association. It divides junk mail into four categories: catalogs, magazines, credit offers, and other offers. Block mail from one or more categories, or select certain marketers within a category.
Are you a caregiver? DMAChoice lets you control the mail marketing to those in your care. It also allows you to remove a deceased loved one's name from commercial marketing lists. An email preference service controls the number of commercial emails to your inbox.
Opt Out Prescreen
Opt Out Prescreen lets you opt out of credit card and insurance offers. The online service is run by the major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experion, Innovis, and TransUnion.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit bureaus can include your name on lists that are used by insurance companies and creditors to make firm offers of their services. If you opt out, the credit reporting agencies cannot provide your credit file to these companies.
Catalog Choice is a nonprofit organization that helps you reduce unwanted mail, protect your privacy, and save the environment. It stops catalogs, coupons, phone books, and other junk mail from flooding your mailbox every day.
Most unsolicited mail has a phone number printed on the paper or envelope. Call the marketers directly. For just a few minutes of your time, a representative can take you off the mailing list for good.
Call the 800-number on the back of your debit and credit cards, too. Ask the bank to remove your name from their marketing lists and those of their partners. This will also stop junk mail.
2. Stop Junk Email
To trim the junk email, use filters and keep your inbox invitation-only. Unsolicited bulk email, better known as spam, gives hackers access to your personal data and financial information. An attack could drain your bank account.
The ExactTarget study showed that 58 percent of Americans buy based on email marketing. Junk email may convince you to buy something you don't want or need, which can break your budget.
Opt out of commercial email lists, and unsubscribe from mail you no longer read or didn't sign up for. These helpful tools won't cost you a cent.
Email Preference Service
Email Preference Service is a free consumer service from DMAChoice. It allows you to remove your email address from national lists that use the service. While it cannot stop all commercial email, it will trim the junk from your inbox.
Unsubscribe allows you to manage your email and social media applications so you can stop spam and control access to your online identity. The tool has applications for GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and several major social networks.
Extensions and plug-ins are available for Apple Mail, BlackBerry, Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and Windows Mail. Send your unwanted emails to Unsubscribe for automatic processing.
How do you stop junk mail? Leave a comment below and join the discussion. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.
- Barlow, Tom. (March 4, 2011) "More Junk Mail Coming Soon: How to Stop it." DailyFinance (AOL Money and Finance). Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- DailyWorth writers. (January 18, 2012) "Skinny Mailbox, Fat Wallet." DailyWorth. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Federal Trade Commission. (March 2011) "Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing, and Email: Where to Go to 'Just Say No'." Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Alert. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
- Zelman, Joanna. (March 11, 2011) "How to Stop Junk Mail." The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
© 2012 Annette R. Smith