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How to Beat the Junk Mail Frenzy

Credit card and insurance companies are in a frenzy to get your attention and your business. So much so that American households receive an average of three “pre-approved” or “pre-qualified” offers per day! (You might be interested to know that your junk mail alone equates to 1.5 trees in a single year.)

Chances are, you stand over the trash can and throw away over half of your unsolicited mail.

Why do I receive so much junk mail?

With the increase in paperless statements and electronic bill pay services, less and less mail is related to utility bills and bank statements. The mail that is on the uptick includes “prescreened” or “prequalified” credit card and insurance offers.

Why? Some of the credit goes to giant consumer reporting agencies like Equifax, Transunion, and Experian; these companies admittedly sell information to interested parties. But they’re not alone. Sources estimate that more than 2,500 companies are gathering and brokering as much data as a they can—including yours and mine.

Here are some helpful websites:

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 free 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. There is a $2 processing fee when you register for the service.

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.comis a free service that 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.

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