Maximizing junk mail from the receiver’s viewpoint

I got sixteen individual items of junk mail through my letterbox this morning.

Home furnishings, credit card offers, pizza restaurants, insurance… it goes on and on.

Much of it has the pseudo-personal approach of “specially delivered to you by hand,” etc. Is anyone really fooled by that?

Today’s quantity is more than usual. The usual daily deluge is three to five items. If you replicate that across the country, I bet it’s the equivalent of half a rainforest being chopped down every week just for junk mail direct marketing.

Much of it no doubt is from recycled paper. But all that paper started in a forest somewhere.

If companies who do this are really concerned about the environment, how about stop doing it and save a rainforest?

Or move it all online.

There’s a growing trend to that, according to Brand Republic:

Email marketing has overtaken print direct mail by volume for the first time, as companies maximise the targeting and cost-saving potential of digital direct marketing.

The average number of emails rose by 50 per cent in the last quarter, according to the latest Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Email Benchmarking report.

Email marketing volume is set to grow by another third, predicted all respondents. The report highlighted the channel’s ability to react swiftly to market opportunities, its short production cycle and low production costs.

Great, please do more of it electronically so that my spam filters can trap and delete it all before I even see it.

Thank you.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Shel Holtz

    I don’t know about the UK, but the junk mail that lands in my letter box is generally more relevant and targeted — at least by geography — than spam. Local hardware stores having sales, for example, is something in which I might actually have an interest. Discount coupons for the local pizzaria are also worthwhile. But mortgages and male enhancement products from dubious vendors I’ve never heard of? Thank God my spam filter captures that!

  2. neville

    I get the targeted stuff too, Shel. Local restaurants, car servicing that’s for my particular car, discount offers at the neighbourhood supermarket, the local vet, etc.

    Many of those also advertise their offerings in the local newspapers, so I see the messaging if I want to get the paper.

    It’s the unsolicited aspect of it all that bothers me, as well as the wastefulness of resources to print and produce the copious amounts of this stuff.

    I wish they’d just stop.

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