SpamReduce Junk Mail

  1. Can Coupons & Freeze Fliers!
  2. Mark Mailbox
  3. Contact Companies
  4. Payback Time!
  5. Send It Back!
  6. Track The Source
  7. Eliminate The Source
  8. Business Mail
  9. Refuse Junk Mail


  • Depletes natural resources
  • Creates waste
  • Fills landfills
  • Steals tax money for disposal fees
  • Uses water for paper processing
  • Uses inks with high concentrations of heavy metals
  • Often thrown in the trash, unopened and unread

Anti-spam bannerTip #1

Can Coupons! Freeze Fliers!

Coupons, fliers! Get rid of local business and supermarket ads with NO HASSLE!

SpamTip: Contact Coupon companies directly.

It's illegal to deliver unaddressed mail. These fliers actually go along with address cards. They usually have an ad and a picture of a missing child.

Call or write the card distributors. Find the distributor's name on the card next to the bulk rate postage mark.

Use their toll free 800 number or website. Ask to be removed from their mailing list!

Tell your postal carrier you have removed yourself from the list. Ask them to stop putting the fliers in your box.

The 3 main distributors are:

1) Val-Pak
Return the actual envelope label from a Valpak mailing, signed and dated. Sending the envelope label with the standardized address will ensure ValPak enters your address in their suppression file exactly as received:

Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems
Address Information
8575 Largo Lakes Drive
Largo, FL 33773

Harte Hanks
(Pennysaver or Potpourri)
2830 Orbiter St.
Brea, CA
(800) 422-4116

Anti-spam bannerTip #2

Mark Mailbox

Put a sign on your mailbox:
Do NOT deliver 3rd Class Mail (Domestic Mail Manual Sec D 042)

Note: thanks to Axel Boldt in MN who suggested this.

This will only work if your post office is willing to adhere to this request.

Anti-spam bannerTip #3

Contact Companies

SpamTip:Someone sending you too much junk mail?
Ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Include this firm message:
I will not purchase ANYTHING from ANYONE who sends me unsolicited mail.

Note: thanks to Wynona Kelly West who suggested this.

Anti-spam bannerTip #4

Payback Time!

Nick Ferrante writes us from Sydney with an innovative approach.

He sent the following letter to a Sydney Newspaper
(Sydney Morning Herald column 8, 1/12/98)

A "no junk mail" sign on my mail box did not work. In frustration I added a sign informing that any non solicited mail placed into my mailbox would attract a $75.00 processing fee. This fee covers my time perusing, considering and disposing of the junk mail.

Results so far:

  • From 8 invoices I have sent, 3 groups have paid the fee
  • 1 cheque arrived from a get rich quick scheme
  • 1 from a "free slide night" group
  • And the 3rd was from a major political party
  • I also received one abusive phone call from an invoice recipient.
When I received the first cheque I immediately rang the Fraud Squad to hand myself in. Their advice was that these actions break no laws. My next step will be reminder notices. If payment is not received I will ask the sender to come and pick up their junk mail, failing this I will keep it and send an invoice for holding it on file.

I don't believe self regulation of mail advertisers will work. And encourage everybody to adopt the above procedures.

The letter was published, and the media went into a frenzy. Every major Sydney network asked to interview me and the story recieved widespread coverage. Because I actually made money from the junk mail senders, I figure that many people will now adopt this approach.

I figure that if some company would pay for my name and address, then I must be very valuable. They obviously want me to buy something, think something, do something or take ownership of their junk mail. In effect they want me to work for them, and that's OK, so long as they pay me for it. The junk mailers have become my target market. Just imagine if every piece of junk mail resulted in the sender recieving a bill for $75.00. We could stop junk mail overnight, and do some real good for the environment.

Nick Ferrante

Anti-spam bannerTip #5

Send It Back!

SpamTip: Return the "No Postage Necessary If Mailed In The United States" envelope along with ALL the junk mail.

Note: This tactic may make you feel better, but probably will not get the attention of the mailing

The mail is usually opened by people who aren't asked to relay complaints or count the number of replies that didn't contain orders.

So if you really want to stop getting the mail, find out who the company buys names from, and get those people to stop selling your name!

Use fluorescent orange paper, so they are certain to read it!

Include a firm message:

As you are aware, unsolicited mail is a huge annoyance to the general public.

Consequently, my family has a policy of NO PURCHASE from anyone who sends us unsolicited mail.

In addition, we cancel any orders or subscriptions from those who have used our name and address without written authorization.

Please remove our name from your mailing list. You are wasting your money and our time.

Note: thanks to Kelly West who suggested this.

Anti-spam bannerTip #6

Track The Source

To find out where each mailer is getting your address, use false middle initials or add phony suffixes to your name.

Give each business or organization different permutations and track which mailings are from which sources.

I subscribe to many magazines. This method works great.

Anti-spam bannerTip #7

Eliminate The Source

SpamTip: Don't fill out Contest Cards and Product Warranty Cards

1) Contest Cards
Don't fill out contest cards in stores, they are mechanisms to compile mailing lists.

2) Product Warranty Cards
All you really need for your product warranty is your receipt. So do not fill out the product warranty card!

Warranty cards are usually sent to National Demographics and Lifestyles, not the manufacturer. This is the organization that collects mail-in warranty and product registration cards and sells the lists compiled from them.

Write or call to have your name and address removed from their lists:

National Demographics & Lifestyles
List Order Department
1621 18th Street Suite 300
Denver, CO 80202
(800) 525-3533

Anti-spam bannerTip #8

Business Junk Mail Reduction

SpamThese tips are directed at small businesses!

I. Prevent Direct Mailers From Putting Your Business on Their Mailing List
  • Write on purchase orders "In the interests of reducing waste, please do not share this name or address with other mailers, through mail list sales or trades."
  • Create a standard form for: registrations, subscriptions, conferences, events, trainings, donations, etc. Include a message such as, "Please do not share this name or address with other mailers."
  • Ask businesses who you deal with not to share your name.
  • Screen callers who ask for your company's address, zip code, name of the senior buyer, etc. Many callers want to add your business to a mailing list. Say no thanks!

II. Get Off Major Sources of Business-to-Business Mailing Lists

1) D&B

They collect information on over 60 million businesses in 217 countries.

Delistingcan be requested orally or in writing.
Customer Service Tel 800-333-0505

2) InfoUSA

They collect information on more than 12 million businesses in the U.S.

The letter should say: "Attention - Business Update Department." Include complete business name, address and phone number; name and title of person requesting deletion and their signature.

Fax 402-331-0176.

Regular mail:
Attn: Business Update Department
P.O. Box 2734
Omaha NE, 68127

Anti-spam bannerTip #9

Refuse Junk Mail

SpamDon't accept any junk mail - REFUSE IT!

Most junk mail is "Presorted Standard", which is a third class service. It can be REFUSED.

It's handled by the post office as UAA (Undeliverable As Addressed). Thus, it's handled no differently than any other UAA piece of mail being "returned to sender"

What happens to Presorted Standard junk mail when it's marked REFUSED? This depends on what level of service the junk mail sender wants:

  1. Sent back to the sender, postage due. The postage will be taken out of an account that the sender maintains with th post office. This account is used to pay for the junk mail in the first place. The cost: 70 cents per piece. 20 percent chance this will happen.
  2. It is sent to CFS. (Computerized Forwarding System). They will then make note of the UAA address in their computer, then throw away/recycle the mail. At a predetermined time, a list of UAA addresses will be sent to the sender electronically. The sender will then remove you from their junk mail list. The cost: 20 cents per piece. 60 percent chace this will happen.
  3. The sender doesn't care about list maintaince, and people's privacy. They don't instruct the postal service to do anything. The UAA piece will be thrown out at the local post office. 20 percent chance this will happen.

There is an 80 percent chance that REFUSING junk mail will get you REMOVED from junk mail lists.


1a) Write "REFUSED" across your address on the envelope.


1b) Purchase an "official" RETURN TO SENDER "finger" rubber stamp. Stamp it on the junk mail so the the finger is pointed in the general area of the return address.

If the return address is on the back, put another finger stamp on the back of the envelope also.

Make sure the finger stamp you buy is the one that says "REFUSED" for the reason for being returned to sender.

2) Put a line through the receiver address, and black out the barcode.

If the junk mail has no return address, refuse it anyway, becuase either CFS or the "Dead Mail Office" will figure out what to do with it.

3) Drop it into the nearest collection box, or just leave it in your mailbox for the carrier to take it back.

Note: thanks to Jason Mangiafico who suggested this.