If you enter sweepstakes, the chances are that you'll start receiving catalogs, sales brochures, and invitations to visit various hotels and resorts in your postal mail. Learn how you can reduce the amount of junk snail mail that you receive as a result of your sweepstakes entries.
1. Be Picky About the Sweepstakes You Enter
Image © C Squared Studios / Getty Images
Some sweepstakes are more likely to deluge you with unwanted bulk mail than others. For example, many of the sweepstakes drop boxes that you see at local malls are notorious for the amount of junk mail that they'll send you. Before you enter a sweepstake, read the sweepstakes rules to see how your personal information will be used. If the fine print says that you are giving your permission to receive mails, or if no information about privacy is included at all, you can be pretty sure that you'll start seeing junk mail arriving in your mailbox quickly.
2. Call the Company That is Mailing YouMost companies will stop sending you unsolicited marketing mail if you explicitly ask them to do so. Oftentimes, you can call the 800-number included to make purchases and tell them you want to be removed from their mailing list. Make sure that you keep the label of the mailing handy, because it often includes information, such as your customer number, encoded in it.
3. Use the Pre-Paid Envelope to Request RemovalMany marketing mailings will send a pre-paid envelope so that you can place your orders or otherwise contact the company. Sending the label back to the company in their envelope along with instructions to remove you from their list can sometimes be effective.
4. Contact the Direct Marketing Association
If you activate the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, you can stop up to 75% of the junk mail that you receive from arriving at your doorstep. This costs $1 paid by credit card, check, or money order, and it lasts for five years. For more information, see the DMA website
5. Create a Prohibitory Order Against the Organization
If all other methods fail, you can make it a criminal offense to continue to mail you by creating a prohibitory order against a specific organization. To do this, download a 1500 form
from the USPS, attach it to an opened letter from the company in question, and drop it off at your local post office. This needs to be done for each company mailing you.