How to opt-out of junk mail

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Are you suffocating under a mountain of unwanted junk mail?  Did you know you can opt out of much of it?

Once again this morning I had to chase the postman down the road to hand him back a bundle of unaddressed marketing leaflets.  Fortunately I don’t have to do this too often as we have opted out of such leaflets with Royal Mail but sometimes he forgets.  The “no junk mail” sign on the door is of little assistance to him as almost everyone has one. Did you know that even if you put a “no junk mail”  sign on your door, Royal Mail is still obliged to deliver it to you unless you have specifically registered with them to opt out?

To reduce the amount of unsolicited mail you receive requires several different approaches but it is relatively simple to reduce it significantly by filling in a few forms.

  1. Opt out with Royal Mail  How do I opt-out?.  They will send you a form to complete which you need to return by post.  It will take a few weeks to come into effect, but should soon make a noticeable difference.
  2. Register with the Direct Marketing Association’s Your Choice Scheme.  Again you will need to complete a form.   Telephone: 020 7291 3300 or email for details: yourchoice@dma.org.uk
  3. Register online with the Mail Preference Service

The above opt-out schemes deal primarily with unaddressed mail. So there are a number of further things you may wish to do.

4. Contact your local electoral registration office to  opt out of the open electoral register

5. Remove yourself from mailing lists.  It’s easy to end up on a mailing list these days when you buy something – particularly if there is a loyalty card involved.  We tend to still get the occasional catalogue from places we have shopped at once and are not likely to visit again.  It’s worth taking the time to phone them up or have a look at their website to remove yourself from these lists because as it is addressed to you, it will still be delivered.

6.  When you sign up for something, look for the box you have to tick or untick relating to marketing and other information – this should minimise you getting on other unwanted email lists.

7.  Letterbox sticker – this is still useful to discourage the leaflets that are delivered directly by local tradespeople and businesses or anyone else not covered by the measures above. You can buy ready made stickers or make your own, but unless your door is sheltered you’ll need to ensure it is weather resistant – the ink kept washing off my first DIY effort so I bought a notice in a local hardware store, but even that has since been moved to inside the glass.

8.  If you still receive unsolicited mail try to either return it or contact the sender to ask that they don’t send it again. If we all did this they might start to get the message.

Simple steps but ones that might save you from a mountain of takeaway menus.  And if you do actually need the menu you can generally find it online.