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What to Do About Junk Mail

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Communications Expert

Many companies rely on the old fashioned postal service to provide their customers with information about new products and services they have to offer, running comfortably along side new technologies such as Electronic Mail and Text Messaging.

One of the most common ways to do this is to send out printed literature to existing customers or potential new customers whose information has been purchased from an outsourcing marketing company.


Flyers - or Mail Shots to give them their industry term - are designed usually as one page documents which can be slotted into newspapers, magazines or indeed delivered alongside normal items of mail by your postman. These flyers can be small (A5) or large (A3) and often contain a list of products that are being sold on special offer or at a vastly discounted price.

Although smaller than catalogues and brochures flyers still use up a considerable quantity of paper and ink to produce and can cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds to distribute among existing and new customers. You should be aware that the percentage of new business generated by the sending out of flyers is usually only around two per cent. This equates to roughly two customers per hundred flyers sent out.


Most high street chains now offer their customers to option to pick up a catalogue in store or to have one delivered to them at home. These catalogues can range from fifty to several thousand pages in thickness and often cost a lot of money to post - however many high street chains consider this money well spent if a new customer makes a purchase from them.

It is important to note however that once a catalogue has been printed and distributed the prices can often change without warning and you may sometimes pay more or less than the prices originally indicated in their literature. To this end where possible checking their prices online is always a good idea.

I Receive A Lot of This Literature Through The Post, What Can I Do To Stop It?

In the first instance you should contact the company responsible for sending it to you and ask them to stop. Most companies will have an address to which you can write or a telephone number specifically dedicated to cancelling subscriptions to such literature.

If you have asked for information to be stopped and it continues to be sent to you your next option is to simply write 'RETURN TO SENDER' across it and put it back into a post box. The items will them be returned to where they came from and this return of mail is charged to the company. The returning of mail is sometimes enough to dissuade them from sending you any more.

Mailing Preference Service

If you find that the aforementioned options are not working for you then you should try the Mailing Preference Service. This service allows you to subscribe to the Mailing Preference Service's databases which are then distributed to outsourcing marketing companies so that they can removed your details from their databases should they have them listed.

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