8 Ways To Opt Out Of Junk Mail Lists

Direct mailers don’t believe in the concept of opting in, so if you want to cut down on the amount of straight-to-the-trash mail you receive, you’ll need to contact them directly and request that your name is removed. ForestEthics—the group behind the Do Not Mail Registry petition we blogged about earlier, has gathered several ways to contact the offending parties.

1. Use their form to generate 17 ready-to-mail requests to different direct mail companies. DoNotMail will take the data you enter and create a PDF document with all 17 letters ready to print and send. If you don’t want to enter your personal info into a random site, you can use fake data and then download the PDF document for a reference to create your own letters.

2. Contact Opt-Out Prescreen online or at 1-888-567-8688 (888-5-OPT-OUT) from your home telephone .

3. Email your removal request to Abacus Direct at optout@abacus-us.com

3. Remove your name from ADVO Inc. by calling 1-888-241-6760 or completing the form at www.advo.com/consumersupport.html

4. Fill out the form on the Direct Marketing Association’s website at www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing

5. Email your removal request to Publishers Clearinghouse at privacychoices@pchmail.com

6. Get off Val-Pak’s list by filing out the form at http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm

7. To remove yourself from Acxiom’s list, you must request a mail-in opt-out form by calling 1-877-774-2094.

8. DoNotMail.com notes, “Catalogs may stop coming when your other removal requests are processed, but you can always call the catalog company.”

“Stop getting junk mail” [DoNotMail.org]
“Phone numbers and websites to opt out of junk mail” [DoNotMail.org]
(Photo: Joe Shlabotnik)


Edit Your Comment

  1. geeky_reader says:

    dma link is broken, redirects to this post

  2. CorporateTool says:

    At the risk of sounding anti-environmentalist, opting in doesn’t work as a marketing strategy. How do you opt-in to something you’ve never heard of?

  3. outinthedark says:

    #4’s link is incorrect at the moment to the DMA’s website

  4. Chris Walters says:

    @apronk: fixed! should be working at next cache refresh. Thx.

  5. outinthedark says:

    Quick question the donotmail site is not letting me download any pdf [says to refresh but nothing is happening]…

  6. homerjay says:

    Why not just burn it on your stove?

  7. dotcomrade says:

    [url=http://www.catalogchoice.org/]Catalog Choice[/url] is another good option to have your name removed from catalogs.

  8. dotcomrade says:

    Oops! Sorry about that. One great feature about Catalog Choice is that you can enter in multiple names and multiple addresses in one profile. (it’s great if you’re receiving catalogs for former roommates or previous tenants).


  9. sickofthis says:

    We just refi’d our mortgage with Regions Mortgage, and when I sent back their “customer care” survey, I gave high marks to the originator, closer, etc., but RAILED on them in the comments section about how they sold our names AND mortgage amount to everyone under the sun who sells mortgage-related products, like disability/life insurance, etc. The volume of junk we’ve gotten is unbelievable.

  10. NotATool says:

    @tmccartney: Are you sure they sold your info? In some states, mortgages are recorded with your county government. This is public record and shady companies pay your county for lists of new mortgages.

  11. spanktastic says:

    Calling DMA asks for your SSN??? Call me skeptic, but why do you need my SSN to remove me from a list? Name and address should be enough.

  12. Raignn says:

    Don’t forget CatalogChoice.com!!


  13. sir_eccles says:

    @CorporateTool: I think you misunderstand.

    Opt-in means that when you’re filling out a form and it has one of those tiny boxes that says in teeny tiny text “don’t not tick to never not receive future mailings from us not never” you don’t have to carefully wade through the umpteen negatives to work out if you need to tick or not tick it to stay off the list.

    The default becomes you must tick the box to be added to the list.

  14. CorporateTool says:

    @sir_eccles: Right, to opt-in, you must have conducted business with a company. They can’t just send you things. At some point you must choose to recieve their marketing materials.

    This means that companies can only market to you after you have conducted business with them. So how are they supposed to acquire new customers?

  15. AMetamorphosis says:


    ” So how are they supposed to acquire new customers? “

    Not our concern … but if they really DO want to connect with new customers there are many proven methods that work better than irritating possible customers by swamping them with unsolicited junk mailings …

  16. jplanet says:

    I love catalogchoice.org! I use it at work all the time to cancel junk catalogs for employees who don’t want them or former employees.

  17. dodonnell says:

    @CorporateTool: Companies have plenty of ways of informing possible customers of new products and services. The ‘free’ broadcast media, for example (television, radio), are generally ad-supported. There are billboards and advertising kiosks all over the world that can be used. The best way is to spread the news by word of mouth–nothing sells a product or service better than an informed consumer of it who tells his or her friends, relatives, cow-orkers, and so on. The *best* spam-based marketing methods (junk mail, junk e-mail) can expect to see is a positive return rate under 10%, and most likely well under five percent. That means for every sale, ten to TWENTY or more times as many people have been annoyed, inconvenienced, irritated, had their time wasted, and so on; and don’t forget the environmental cost of junk mail!

    Opt-in marketing is far more intelligent and gets a much higher return rate versus piss-off rate. Why don’t more marketers adopt it? A mixture of arrogance and laziness, I suspect; why work at making only happy customers when you can still make a profit with a few happy customers, and have a large number of neutral consumers (or consumers too lazy to complain)?

  18. Bender says:

    I’m lovin that mailbox photo. I’m pretty sure those things come standard with every house in the FL Keys. Makes me want to go back again.

  19. ghettoimp says:

    I just tried to use the OptOutPrescreen thing, and it’s pretty deliberately sucky.
    – You can only unsubscribe for 5 years at a time online.
    – They claim you can unsubscribe permanently if you mail in printed copies of your unsubscribe request, but they don’t tell you the addresses to mail them to. (In fact, their contact page only lists addresses you can’t mail them to.)
    – They want personal information like your SSN, but to their credit they say you don’t have to provide it.
    – There’s no way to actually talk to a person. If you have a question or comment, you have to literally write it out and mail it in.

  20. pigeonpenelope says:

    i use greendimes.org. you must pay a bit but they stop a lot of junk mail and they plant tree and stuff.

  21. prameta1 says:

    this is terrible advice. sending those forms in is a bad idea. in the end you’re just putting yourself on more lists. how exactly are these opt-out services any different from naively clicking on every unsubscribe link in your email spam folder? food for thought.

  22. Cliff_Donner says:

    I get almost NO junk mail — mostly because I’m VERY resistant to giving out ANY personal info whatsoever.

    However, ANY piece of junk mail that I receive that includes a postpaid reply envelope, I write “NOT INTERESTED — TAKE OFF OF MAILING LIST” on the form, cram it back in the postpaid envelope and send it back to them. This seems to have (only eventually) worked in most instances.

    I was ASTONISHED a week or so back when I actually received a response from Wells Fargo, telling me they’d take me off their list, but it might take month to accomplish it. The first time this has ever happened.

    PS, for reasons not made clear in this post, I hate Wells Fargo.

  23. MyEasyTV says:

    ayaya be careful when opting-out, some opt-outs are cleverly used to illegally add you to lists of active readers/purveyors.

  24. dirk1965 says:

    @MyEasyTV: I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this. Sounds like an easy way to add people to their mail list! Call me skeptical. Only until the government creates a site something similar to the “Do Not Call List”, I won’t trust these other sites. The State of Texas tried to get a law passed similar to this, but guess who had it overthrown… yep, that’s right, the US Postal Service. Of course, if you took away junk mail, USPS would be practically out of business. I contacted the USPS to see what could be done to prevent “Bulk” mail from being delivered to me, and they stated that they are ‘obligated to deliver mail that customers pay to have mailed’. What about our right to privacy?!?! I consider it an invation of my privacy to be mailed all this SH^T and my name/address being on numerous database systems that I haven’t given authorization to.