Reduce Junkmail

Office Junk Mail

"Thirty percent of the mail that comes to the San Mateo County offices is junk mail." - Larry Pinckney, San Mateo County Lead Mail Services Driver

Junk mail costs time, money and natural resources. Whenever you order a product, attend a conference, donate money, or fill out a warranty card, your name, address and preferences are compiled by direct mailing companies and sold to various advertisers. To reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, you must actively remove your name from these lists.

Junk mail at your business or organization must be dealt with differently than junk mail at home. Certain direct mail companies focus on businesses and others focus on residences; therefore, you must be sure you are contacting the appropriate direct mail companies in order to reduce the flow of junk mail into your business. Also, because mail is generally addressed to individuals in the office, that individual must take steps to reduce their mail, or notify an appointed junk mail champion. Following are some effective approaches for reducing junk mail at your office.

  1. Getting the Job Done!
  2. Direct Mail Contacts.
  3. Get off lists for free or using a fee for the service
  4. Make it a habit!
  5. Junk those faxes!

Getting the job done

Junk Mail Costs ... Time
At one office mailroom in the Seattle area, a six-week study showed that the mailroom staff was spending 25% of its time sorting Standard Class advertising mail (junk mail).
Source - National Waste Prevention Coalition


buried in papers

There are two basic approaches for getting employees off junk mail listings: appoint a Junk Mail Champion who will compile information and contact direct mail companies, or develop a system for individuals to contact the companies they receive mail from directly.


  1. Junk Mail Champion Approach:
    This person will send letters to the three direct mailing contacts listed in the next section on behalf of a particular department, gathering necessary names and signatures. This process should be done on an annual basis. To take it a step further, have employees give their unwanted junk mail to the Champion, who can then contact these mailers (using the 1-800 number listed on the mailing) with the names of all individuals who want to be removed from their mailing list.

  2. Individual Approach:
    At a staff meeting, inform staff that they will be responding personally to the junk mail they receive on an on-going basis. Provide postcards for employees to mail to catalogues and other companies that send unwanted mail. A postcard template (Word) can be printed and copied on cardstock. Employees can also contact companies by calling the 1-800 number on unwanted mailings and requesting to be removed from their mailing list.
Direct Mail Contacts:
(Companies that compile addresses of businesses and employees to sell to advertisers)

Junk Mail Costs ... Money
At the Minneapolis office of a major financial services corporation, they receive more than 40,000 pieces of advertising mail every month, and discard almost 88% of that mail. They dispose of more than 68 tons of unwanted mail every year. The company estimates that it costs them more than $75,000 a year to deal with this unwanted mail.
Source - National Waste Prevention Coalition


Contact:

Ecological Mail Coalition

Services:

Ecological Mail Coalition helps business-oriented marketers "clean" their lists by informing them of former employees.

Method:

Send a list of former employees to Ecological Mail Coalition via their website.

Web:

www.ecologicalmail.org

Phone:

1-800-620-3975


Contact:

Dun & Bradstreet

Services:

Compiles information from over 60 million business establishments and creates and sells business marketing lists.

Method:

To remove your department from Dun & Bradstreet's lists, have a representative from your department call requesting that your organization be "delisted." In a large company, addresses are compiled by department, and each department must make the request separately. If you write, provide your company name, phone number, department and department head.

Email:

custserv@dnb.com

Phone:

1-800-234-3867


Contact:

Info USA

Services:

Compiles information on over 14 million business establishments and creates and sells business marketing lists.

Method:

To remove employees at your business from Info USA's lists, send a letter including the complete company name, address and phone number as well as the name, title and signature of each person requesting deletion. At the top of the letter write, "Attention - Content Feedback Department." Changes will go into effect in 30 days, and full removal will be complete in 90 days.

Mail:

Info USA
Attn: Business Update Dept.
1020 E. 1st St.
Papillion, NE 68046

Email:

contentfeedback@infogroup.com

Phone:

1-800-321-0869

Fax:

(402) 836-3993 (Please send on company letterhead)

Get off lists for free or using a fee for the service


Contact:

Catalog Choice

Services:

Acts on your behalf to stop requested junk mail of all types, either through on-line registration or via purchased envelopes to mail in requests.

Method:

Sign up at website.

Web:

Catalog Choice

Make it a habit!

Junk Mail Costs ... Natural Resources
100 million trees are ground up each year to produce junk mail.
Source - Native Forest Network


Ordering products:

Whenever you order a product, make sure to tell them, "DO NOT SELL MY NAME."

Purchase Orders:

On all purchase orders, attach a standard form stating: "In the interest of reducing waste, do not add this name or address to your mailing list." You can order a rubberstamp or print up a sticker to use on order forms.

Registration:

When registering at conferences, trade shows or large meetings give your name, phone number and email, but not your address.

Writing checks:

On the bottom of checks write, "DO NOT SELL MY NAME."

Subscriptions:

Share magazine and catalogue subscriptions in the office.

What to do with junk mail that you do get:

RE-USE: Use blank return envelopes for outgoing mail. Re-use large envelopes in the office. Re-use one-sided letters for scrap paper.

RECYCLE: 39% of what California businesses throw away is paper. It's easy to recycle! To set up a recycling program in your business, please call RecycleWorks at 1-888-442-2666.

Junk those faxes

The transmission of unsolicited faxed advertisements has been illegal under U.S. Federal Law since 1991. Junk faxers use the resources of the recipients including paper, ink, personnel costs, and the time that their equipment is tied up receiving ads instead of being available for business purposes. Nonetheless, junk faxing continues because enforcement, which is largely in the hands of individual consumers, has been minimal. To stop junk faxes from coming to your business file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission.


Contact:

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Method:

You can file a complaint at no charge with the FCC using an online complaint form. You can also file your complaint with the FCC's Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY or faxing 1-866-418-0232. For more information, please see the FCC website.

Mail:

Consumer Information Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
445 Twelfth St. SW
Washington, DC 20554


For information on how to reduce junk mail in your home, please see our Reduce Residential Junk Mail page .