This is a simple waste to reduce, though it took me a while to understand it.
The first step is to determine if you are a client or a prospect for the company mailing you the marketing material/mailers.
What’s the difference between client and prospect?
You’re a client when you have purchased from them in the past or you have provided your address to them yourself. This can be done in many ways, surveys opening credit cards, etc. In this case, you have to contact the company yourself via email or phone and request to be removed from their mailing list. In some cases, these companies have links on their websites where you can do it yourself without contacting customer service.
In my experience, the companies I contacted were really cool about it, and it only took a few minutes per company. I didn’t do them all at once, I just contact them as I received their mailers.
You’re a prospect for the company when they get your information from a massive mailing list. This is a bit different, companies purchase mailing routes to reach new potential clients. You can identify these mailers by finding the letters EDDM* or ECRWSH** above your mailing address. The simpler way to reduce this waste is by registering with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) choice which helps you manage your mailing preferences. Their services have a $2 fee, as of 2018. https://dmachoice.thedma.org/static/learn_more.php
What do EDDM and ECRWSH stand for?
- *EDDM = Every Door Direct Mail
- **ECRWSH = Enhanced Carrier Route Walk Sequence High-Density (USPS)
Disclosure, in order for you to see this type of junk mail start to reduce it usually takes 1 to 3 months. Also, not every junk mail provider abides by the DMA, so from time to time you will have to contact those specific companies directly.
How many pieces of junk mail do you receive within a week?
Today’s Feature Photographer: Samuel Zeller