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A world of junk

November 3, 2011

How many pieces of junk mail do you get through your letterbox each day?  I regularly struggle to open my door at night thanks to a flurry of unnamed ‘to the homeowner’ letters as well as takeaway menus and other mailings I don't want.  In fact the average UK household receives more than 370 unwanted items of paper mail each year.


To try and tackle this on 1st November the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced its plans to cut direct mail marketing waste over the next three years, as part of larger government plans to move towards a zero-waste, low carbon economy.
At the moment, if you want to block junk mail you have to register on a number of sites such as the Mailing Preference Service, the Your Choice Preference System and the Royal Mail's Door-to-Door opt-out service.

The DMA initiative will oversee the setting up of a single service for consumers to opt out of receiving all kinds of direct mail, and will encourage the use of ‘suppression lists’ to stop mail being delivered to addresses once people have moved or died.

But what about unwanted emails?  How can you opt out of receiving them?  It is estimated that 2.8 million emails are sent across the world every second the majority of them junk and go straight into your spam. 

Recently I have been trying to tackle and clean my own inbox of junk by 'unsubscribing’ from mailings that I no longer find useful or interesting.  But it’s a long and laborious process.  With each email, I have to search for the unsubscribe link (and there should ALWAYS be one of these in your emails), click through to another site and change my preferences.  As a customer I think it would be great if I could do one quick unsubscribe for everything, rather than having to go through the same process again and again for each and every email I don’t want to see again.

Infact Hotmail have just revealed some new features that will enable you to do just that.  

Thinking back to the new DMA agreement, it’s always a good time to revisit email marketing legislation and make sure that your emails comply with the latest guidelines and are a number of regulatory bodies to help you do so.

We have written some articles that might be a useful place to start such as legislation to consider when embarking on marketing via email and data protection act – do your email campaigns comply? 

For more specific detail about electronic mail regulations, turn to the Information Commissioners Office.

Looking at my own inbox, I know I’ll be more careful over which offers and brands I choose to sign up to in the future so I don’t have to go through such a heavy handed ‘unsubscribe’ cull again.

Posted by Jenni Malley
Topical email


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