MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s one of those daily annoyances: a mailbox filled with a bunch of worthless stuff.
Advertisers call it direct mail but most people call it junk. If you hate getting all that junk mail, you’re not alone and now there’s something you can do about it.
Amy Blythe-Whipkey and her husband said they received a ridiculous amount of junk mail at their new house, including unwanted catalogs, credit card offer, and other solicitations.
“It is frustrating because you can’t keep up with it,” said her husband, David Whipkey.
More than 250 million pieces of direct mail are delivered by the US Postal Service every day. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, half of all that advertising mail gets tossed right in the trash without being read.
That’s frustrating, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
“Certainly marketers and fundraisers don’t want to send a marketing offer or a fundraising offer to a consumer who doesn’t want to receive that,” said Xenia (Senny) Boone, DMA’s Senior Vice President for Corporate & Social Responsibility.
The DMA advises consumers who want to opt out of junk mail to go to www.dmachoice.org to register. They receive between 10,000-15,000 requests a month.
“What we have cited in the past is an 80 percent reduction in marketing mailed offers,” said Boone.
Initially, Blythe-Whipkey opted for a shredder to tackle her stack of unwanted mail.
“Then, it was like I’ve had enough. I need to figure out a way to deal with this massive amount of mail,” said Bythe-Whipkey.
Now she is using a free app called ‘PaperKarma’. A user takes a picture of the mail with the name and address showing. The app then contacts the company with the information to stop the mailings.
Blythe-Whipkey has seen a reduction in the amount of unwanted mail since using PaperKarma. Direct mail is big business for the US Postal Service, which made about $16 billion of it last year.