Junk mail makes up over 80% of the mail you receive. Yet, you never read through it and more often than not, ends up in a trace can (at worst) or your recycling bin (at best.) Dealing with junk mail is more than just about frustration; because of our regard to it being spam, it causes tons of paper going to waste (and therefore millions of trees being cut down for no good reason.)
How To Get Rid Of Junk Mail
There’s nothing worse than opening up your mailbox to find it overstuffed with nothing but junk mail – credit card offers, insurance discounts eat, catalogs from companies you have never heard of and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, having to deal with junk mail is a cold reality of our modern world. Each and every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of mail are sent through the USPS unsolicited by their recipients – almost all of it completely unwanted, too. In fact, according to researchers at EcoCycle.org (one of the largest nonprofit recycling operations in the United States) the average person in the US is going to spend eight months of their life just sorting and disposing of junk mail.
Think about that for second. That research says that we’ll spend almost the same amount of time dealing with junk mail that woman will spend pregnant with the child. Craziness. On top of that, the New York University School of Law recently published research highlighting the fact that 5.6 million tons of junk mail ends up in US landfills every year, that 44% of all junk mail is tossed without ever being opened, and that only about half of all junk mail gets reused or recycled after it is disposed of.
Worse, the average American gets 848 pieces of junk mail every year, almost 3 pieces of junk mail every day. That’s enough paper to eliminate 1.5 trees annually (and 100 million trees in the US alone every year) – causing more greenhouse gases than nearly 4 million cars along the way.
Thankfully though, there are more things you can do today to opt out of junk mail – with or without the help of the USPS. Below we dig a little deeper into a couple of approaches you can take to stop junk mail USPS employees aren’t at all shy about sharing with the general public as well as a couple of tips and tricks you might not have heard about before. By the time you are done with this quick guide you’ll be able to eliminate 90% or more of all the junk mail you’ve been getting, cleaning up and decluttering your mailbox almost overnight. Let’s dive right in!
Best Way To Get Rid Of Junk Mail
One of the most important things you can do right now – this very minute – to stop receiving unwanted and unwelcome marketing and advertising messages through the mail is to get off of commercial mailing lists ASAP. Now, this can be a little bit easier said than done simply because there are so many mailing lists out there. We are talking literally thousands and thousands of commercial lists being sold and rented to businesses every day, with your name, address, and contact information attached. Getting your contact details scrubbed from these lists is a bit more involved than using the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry but it is still something you should be able to knockout in an afternoon.
DirectMail.com operates their own National Do Not Mail List that you can join 100% free of charge just by filling out a quick email form and sending it in. This company is run by direct marketers that own and operate a lot of the most popular commercial lists, so by submitting your name to this organization your scrubbing your details the most popular lists out there. You’ll be able to cut down on the amount of mailbox spam you get almost immediately with this approach.
Call OPT-OUT Today to Slow Down Unwanted Offers
Another quick tip you want to use to eliminate a lot of the USPS junk mail you would have otherwise received is to call the OPT–OUT outline directly and request that you be taken off of their lists as well.
Anyone that has ever purchased a home or vehicle, used their personal information to sign up for a credit card, have filled out a product warranty card, or submitted their details to a business for a credit check inevitably end up on pre-offer lists. This is why you are constantly bombarded with a lot of credit card and insurance offers, multiple offers coming in every month or even every week – even from the same companies that are just trying to hammer you with marketing until you eventually signed up.
By contacting OPT-OUT via their toll-free number 1-888-567-8688 you’ll be able to request either a five-year removal from these lists for a permanent removal that guarantees you won’t have to worry about receiving these kinds of offers ever again. You also have the chance to request to be placed on the “in-house” list from this company only, guaranteeing that you only ever receive offers from companies that you already do business with. You’ll get offers from your current credit card company, home or car lender, or the insurance business that you are working with as opposed to being overloaded with offers from anyone and everyone in these industries.
Spend $2 to Dump Junk Mail for a Decade
This approach is going to require you to pony up a little bit of spare change to stop junk mail from coming in, but it’s going to detox your mailbox for at least a decade.
The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is one of the largest list brokers and junk mailers on the planet, responsible for helping companies all over the world mail hundreds of millions of pieces each and every year. For the price of just two dollars (so long as you register your contact information online) you’ll be able to stop the DMA from selling your information for 10 years – guaranteeing that your details aren’t going out on lists to companies that are built entirely on junk mail. You also have the chance to register your details through the mail, though you’ll have to spend three dollars with this approach, but you’ll get the same 10 years of protection from DMA.
Prevent Marketers From Sharing Your Information
Whenever you sign up for a product, subscribe to a service or provide any information on your location of residence you are most likely being added into a mailing list. That list gets used over and over again, either from the company you signed up with or through 3rd party companies that have purchased or rented a mailing list with your name & address on it. In order to reduce the amount of exposure and the re-use of your information, you can write them a note requesting that. Something in the lines of “Please do not use my mailing information, or add me to any mailing list.”
Cancel The Subscription To Any Catalogs
If you are receiving unwanted catalogs, spend an evening getting the names of the most frequent spam mailers, and reach out to the catalog company directly. You can request to be removed from their mailing list. Make sure to keep note of your mailing label and reference it either in your conversation over the phone or tape it to the postcard you send in with the request. This will help the company identify how you are listed in their files.
Do It Yourself Manually
This one is very similar to what we discussed earlier, but a bit more labor intensive. Typically, a mailer will have a phone number at the bottom of it which is dedicated to answering calls requesting an address is removed from the list. By doing so, you can greatly reduce the amount of credit card offers, magazines, catalogs, donation requests etc. If you are looking for a more automated way to get rid of junk mail, try using the Paper Karma app; this lets you take a photo of the unwanted mailing with your phone and then works on your behalf to get you un-subscribed.
Avoid Mail Intended for previous residents
When you decide to move to a new home, most likely you will get mailings that belong to the earlier resident of the home. Eventually you can expect the volume of such mail to slow down a bit, but initially; it can be a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, not everyone is great about completing their change of address with the USPS.
Whatever you do, please do not get rid of that mail that comes in. Not only will this not help with your mailing issues, but it is also illegal. What we would recommend you do instead, is cross out all the bar codes in order to avoid an automatic sorting, and write “Return to sender: Recipient moved”. This will send the mail item back to the post office and eventually back to the original sender. This way the sender will “get the message” and stop sending you mail in the future. If you see things getting out of hand, you may want to consider completing a change of address form for the previous occupant with “Left No Forwarding Address” in place of the new residence.
Switch Bill Payments & Newspaper subscriptions to Online Delivery
Many times, the junk mail we get, comes from magazines that we actually have subscribed for (willingly or unwillingly.) That means that not only is your address the target of mailing agencies, but you have endorsed this by subscribing to their list. In many cases, you need this unecessary junk mail coming in, but yet it still causes issues with the amount of mail you end up getting.
The remedy? Online bill payment and magazine delivery. If you want to switch your magazines to a digital subscription format, most likely you will just need to download an app. From within the app, you will be able to verify your subscription; just enter the address and subscription number and you’re good to go. Once this step is completed, visit the website and cancel from physical mail deliveries of that specific magazine. Instead, you will be able to get upcoming and prior publications electronically. If you do not see that option, reach out to the support team for the particular magazine, as you may have not signed up for the digital version; they should be able to change your subscription from physical mail delivery to digital.
You Can’t Block All Junk Mail
Unfortunately, although there are several steps you can take (whether personally or by using a 3rd party service,) to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, you cannot completely block all incoming mail. That is due to the fact that your address has most likely been shared with a large network of marketing agencies, who will keep recycling your address and keep adding you onto endless mailing lists. The less you have used your address during checkout processes and the less subscriptions you have signed up for, the less your address is shared around the different direct mail agencies. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that can be controlled & reduced but not eradicated.
US Global Mail Eliminates Junk Mail From Your Life Forever
Of course, if you want to guarantee that you never have to see junk mail again for as long as you live – without having to jump through any hoops, without having to deal with any headache or hassle, and without having to do any of the steps we outlined above – you’ll want to register for a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail.
The fastest, easiest, and most consistent way to eliminate junk mail permanently, on account with US Global Mail not only stops spam and junk mail from ever hitting your mailbox but it also provides a whole host of other benefits you won’t get with the traditional USPS mail service.
For more information and details, check out US Global Mail today!