You might think that because it is so easy for catalogers and Direct mailers to obtain our names and addresses that it must be just as easy and quick to be removed from a mailing list….. not so!
If I tell you that it takes 3-4 months to be completely removed from one mailing list, you might be shocked but it is true and there are 2 very good reasons why.
The first reason is that direct mail companies bulk mail their publications at least 3 months in advance and sometimes longer in holiday periods. The catalogs you get before Xmas are mailed in August and September. In fact we just finished the school year and I have already received 2 back to school catalogs! When you use stopthejunkmail to request a cataloger to take your name off their mailing list, they will do it immediately, but the back log of catalogs that have already been mailed to you will take another 3 months to clear from the postal system.
The second reason, is that removing your name using the DMA’s Mail Preference Service can take up to 4 months. Catalogers who subscribe(not all catalogers subscribe) to the DMA will receive the full MPS suppression list quarterly (January, April, July, October). The quarterly file is a complete file of all consumers who have registered with the service in the past 5 years and costs a direct mailer $560.
When you register with the DMA your name will be added to the MPS suppression list, the cost is $1 (included in our membership). Therefore, if you add your name to the list in January it may take as long as 4 months to be removed from a catalogers mailing list.
What happens if you order an item from a catalog again, it’s Fathers Day, back to school week, you have a camping trip coming up? Your name and address will be back on that mailing list. I had a member a few months back that told me all she did was order one item from a catalog for a Xmas present and now she receives nearly 30 catalogs a week!
If the direct mailer is a member of the DMA then you can be assured you will be removed on the next cycle. If the direct mailer is not a member of the DMA then you will start to receive catalogs all over again! Oh No!
But what about credit card solicitations you ask? You can opt out of Credit Card solicitations by stopping Experian, Equifax, Transunion and Innovis(a new one) and they will remove your name in 6-8 weeks.
To safely remove your name from most mailing lists it is best to stop the DMA, and stop every catalog or direct mail item you do not want when it comes to your mail box. After that is completed you should have successfully accomplished your task in about 6 months to a year from now depending upon how thorough you are!
So, what do you do now you have stopped your postal junk mail? My personal advice is to go shopping the old fashioned way…down to the Mall and local shopping centers. This way you are supporting your own local businesses and boosting your local sales tax which enables your town to expand a park, create bike paths, build a playground, build a Recreation Center or budget for more schools! Stop junk mail by shopping locally!
Food for Thought,