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Monthly Archive for September, 2007

Which Direct Mail Companies are DMA Members?


A question that a lot of ask is, “When I add my name to the Direct Marketing Associations’ Mail Preference Suppression List, what companies am I stopping?”

There are over 3600 direct mail companies that are members of the DMA, but there maybe more than 9000 direct marketing companies in the direct marketing business today and many more that are starting up or are thinking about direct marketing as a tool to reach more and more consumers.

Here is a sample of some of the industries that are members of the DMA:
Financial Services and Insurance companies
Book and Music Clubs
Advertising Agencies
Computer Services
Software Developers

This doesn’t mean that all non-profits are members or all Publishers are members, it means that there are some companies from these industries that are members. But who exactly are members? Here are some in the list. Yahoo!, IBM, Time Warner/AOL, Kodak, Google, JCPenny, Capital One.

So if you stop the DMA these are some of the companies your name will be removed from. The DMA encourages all direct mail companies to become a member or use their Mail Preference Service. The DMA does not cover all direct mail companies and it is a subscriber only service by the choice of a particular business who pays to be a member. A direct mailer may chose to be a full DMA member or just subscribe to the Mail Preference Service on it’s own.

The DMA is a marketing company that helps it’s members better target their marketing dollars and the Mail Preference Service is but one of the services. The Mail Preference Service portion helps their members better target consumers so they don’t waste money sending advertising to consumers who do not wish to receive it.

The Mail Preference Service is run by a subsiduary of the DMA called Interactive Marketing Solutions. The company was setup in 2001 to comply with consumer requests with regards to Privacy and Consumer Opt Out Legislation. They charge $1 for an online or by mail to add consumers names to the Suppression list.


Direct Marketers and the DMA Fight Back!


Earlier this week I was referred to an article about the DMA fighting back against the anti-Junk Mail movement. It appears that the DMA is worried that “Do Not Mail” laws may catch on nationally the same way “Do Not Call” did, so the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and other mailing and fulfillment businesses are fighting back with a lobbying group called Mail Moves America. Mail Moves America intends to head off at the pass the growing number of bills introduced in state legislatures to permit residents to opt out of getting junk mail — or, as the direct mail industry calls it, marketing or advertising — in their mailboxes.

The Article mentions that …”If marketing mail, which DMA says provides more than half the revenue for the U.S. Postal Service, were to be curtailed or eliminated postal rates would soar and delivery may be shortened”… This may be true but most other countries costs of posting a letter is actually more than double that of the USA. Maybe the general consumer would be happy to pay a higher postage in order to reduce their direct mail.

The article also mentioned that the average Household gets 14 pieces of direct mail per week. I find that a low number given’s own quarterly Junk Mail Report indicates at least 20% of households get more like 15-20+ catalogs per week. This does not cover other types of junk mail such as credit card offers, magazines or non-profits. is not out to eliminate direct mail, but we are here to help consumers more clearly define their direct mail preferences. Our service also helps consumers protect their privacy by reducing the number of times their private personal information appears on mailing lists.

In turn we help catalogers more directly market to the groups of individuals who actually want to receive a specific type of direct mail. Why would a direct mailer want to send advertising to a consumer who immediately walks to the recycling bin and discards it. Our quarterly Junk Mail Report shows that nearly 50% of consumers do just this every day.

I for one would like to see an “opt in” approach to direct mail rather than having to “opt out” of everything I don’t want. Let’s put it another way, if a stranger walked into your house and sat down to have dinner with your family, would that be an intrusion of privacy? Usually we invite our guests to dinner, don’t you?


Compare Services for Stopping Junk Mail


When you want to opt out of postal junk mail and you would like to use a service, which service should you chose? Well there are a few services out there now that will help consumers opt out of postal junk mail. Of course is one of them but there are 2 more that are new to the business since 2006. So let’s take a look at, and I found all the information on each company website.

What is the Cost?
Stopthejunkmail is $19.95 per annual household subscription. greendimes has 2 annual subscription levels, the first is a mail reduction kit for $15, the 2nd is a mail reduction kit with add-ons for $36 but there are hidden extra costs such as $1 for the DMA and stamps for postcards. 41pounds has a one time payment of $41 for a 5 year membership.

How long have you been in business?
stopthejunkmail was established in 2001 and we launched a new logo and updated website this June 2007. greendimes is a silicon valley startup that launched their service in Sept 2006 and since then have relaunched their website an additional 2 times, including as recently as August 2007. 41pounds is run by 3 brothers from Michigan and launched their site around the same time in 2006.

What is included in the service?
1. Access to a list of 1000’s of direct mail companies
stopthejunkmail has a list of over 9000 direct mail companies, greendimes has around 3000. 41pounds says that they can stop any other catalog you wish if you contact them via email.

2. Unlimited usage for the whole household
stopthejunkmail is a full online service that allows you to opt out of junk mail for the whole household all year long. greendimes I am not sure whether the online service is for the whole household but you can opt out at any time. 41pounds has a slightly more limited service for the whole household requiring you to contact them for additional removals.

3. All types of direct mail:
stopthejunkmail and greendimes carry all types of direct mail companies in their databases and can reduce your junk mail by up to 90%. 41pounds will stop any type of direct mail except non-profits reducing your junk mail by 80-95%.

4. Account history:
stopthejunkmail and greendimes allow you to create your own accounts. You can login at anytime to see what catalogs you stopped. I am not sure if 41pounds has this ability.

5. Postcards:
greendimes sends you a mail reduction kit which includes postcards to stamp and mail out. 41pounds will contact 20 to 35 direct marketing companies, some of which they send you stamped, pre-addressed postcards that you sign and mail.

6. Refund available:
stopthejunkmail offers a 100% money back guarantee, I could not find this information about greendimes and 41pounds.

7. Canadian Service:
greendimes offers this service.

What about changing addresses?
stopthejunkmail and 41pounds members can change their address when they move at no extra cost. greendimes requires a new account to be setup which requires a new payment of $15.

Can you add other household members to your account?
stopthejunkmail and 41pounds offer this service online at no extra charge. I cannot confirm whether greendimes offers this service or whether it is an extra cost. Maybe Kendra can confirm that for us?

Can you handle businesses?
stopthejunkmail has 3 levels of membership for small businesses up to 25 employees.

What charities do you give to?
41pounds gives over 1/3 of each membership to a selection of charities. greendimes plants 10 trees per reduction kit but not sure what $ value that equates to. stopthejunkmail has been giving $1 per new membership for planting trees with American Forests Organization since 2001.

Are there other services?


Why are Baby Boomers Targets for Direct Mailers?


As a follow-up to our Press Release this week about the 2nd quarter 2007 Junk Mail Report it appears we have created some discussion about Baby Boomers and who exactly is in this demographic and why are they one of the most targeted groups of shoppers.

According to Brent Green from and Author of “Marketing to Leading-Edge Baby Boomers”, Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, the youngest being 43, the oldest being 61. Our over 65 group is usually referred to as the Silent Generation or G.I. Generation.

When we wrote the article we were looking at our entire demographic of over 45’s, which includes the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation and makes up for 63% of consumers who were polled in our survey report this past quarter.

In our surveys we are seeing a definite increase in the numbers in these age groups and Brent very studiously points a few reasons why.

He says that the Baby Boomers are a group who actually fueled the growth in the Direct Mail industry in the 1970’s… ” The reality is that Boomers are among the most direct mail responsive of all demographic groups. Nobody likes “junk mail,” but well targeted mail is a delight to most Boomers who, for example, fueled the growth of the catalog industry from the mid-1970’s onward.”

He also says that “Busy Boomers love catalogs, as long as those catalogs dovetail with their shopping and lifestyle preferences.” and “The influential over-50 segment has $2 trillion in annual spending power and today controls 50% of all discretionary income. Even more staggering is an unfolding demographic truth: more than 30 percent of Americans will be over 50 by 2010”. So what does this say about the direction of Direct Mail industry? Are we in for a dramatic increase in the amount of junk mail we receive?

At we want to help these demographic groups define their preferences more clearly and in turn help catalogers more directly market to the groups of individuals who actually want to receive a specific type of direct mail. In general we get far too much direct mail we do not want and immediately throw it out. According to our report nearly 60% of our consumers polled throw it out before the day is up. They walk from the mail box to the recycling bin and don’t even open the catalogs in a lot of cases.

I myself love catalogs because my life is so busy with kids and work, but I only like to receive the ones I prefer to shop from. I have used to achieve this in my own household. In actual fact I greatly prefer to find a catalog company online for shopping purposes. Why bother with paper when it is all online. Our survey actually shows that 41.1% of consumers polled would rather shop online too.

Brent also has an important point about getting in your car to shop at the mall, a further waste of resources getting there and, “…have you considered that retail shopping also creates a carbon footprint…” I do agree but what about supporting our local businesses and towns city taxes? These valuable $’s go towards creating more parks, schools, bike trails, etc… Can we not create a balance between the two? tries to empower the general consumer, including the Baby Boomers and Silent Generation, to do their part for the environment in any way we can. We do not want consumers to stop shopping all together, we just want to create a balance between the marketers and the shoppers.