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Diatribe: Prepare For More Junk Mail As USPS Advertises “Every Door Direct Mail”.

04/01/2012

I hate junk mail.  The sending of thousands of advertisements with the hope of getting a tiny percentage of recipients to respond is hardly a new marketing strategy.  Fortunately, advances in technology allow us to reduce the amount of unwanted electronic mail that we receive and reduce the time that is wasted sorting through it.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the mailboxes at our homes.

The amount of paper junk mail sent each year in the United States is unbelievable … as much as four million tons, almost half of which is never even opened.  Even if this is all recycled the environment suffers from the ink that is used, the energy to produce deliver and recycle the paper, deforestation, etc.

I have a particular problem with junk mail from churches.  There are several churches in my community that, clearly, have a marketing budget that could be better spent elsewhere.  They’re usually harmless enough … just a postcard alerting local residents to a special event that they might be holding … but there is one church in particular that I find particularly offensive.  They’re a huge group on an enormous “campus” that has a reputation for extremely literal Biblical interpretation and aggressive homophobia.

Last fall, this particular church sent a glossy mailer to my home inviting my family to participate in a family event.  “Everyone is welcome!” was what the advertisement said.  I contacted the church and asked if all families were really invited … even those families with same-sex parents … and was told, in no uncertain terms, that those families would not be welcome.  False advertising at its worst.

The US Postal Service has recently begun a new advertising campaign with a goal of creating more bulk mail business.  They’re promoting “Every Door Direct Mail”.  The target of the commercials is the businesses in the U.S. who advertise but aren’t currently using mail.  In the latest commercial, a business owner has dressed his wife as a dancing chicken to promote his business, a chain of restaurants and informs the customer how Every Door Direct Mail helps businesses find customers. They’re actually soliciting bulk mailers!

In the past, I’ve ranted about the free newspapers that get dropped at the end of the driveways and how much I dislike litterbugs.  While doing research for that post it appears that I was able to put a stop to the unsightly wastefulness because I haven’t received one since.  Now I’m on a quest to put a stop to unsolicited mailings from local religious businesses.

Do you get bulk mail from churches in your neighborhood?

Copyright © 2012 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com
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12 Comments
  1. I open my mailbox once or twice… All I ever get is junk mail and bills. LOL.. Neither do I want.

    What does amaze me is how much is spent by dentist and churches on these high gloss mailers too. That has to drive up the cost

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  2. I always check my mail on the way out to my garbage can so I only have to make one trip. I’ve gotten some from churches lately too. I can’t figure out under what scenario someone would attend a church because of a postcard, but maybe I’m just not imaginative enough! 🙂

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  3. When I lived in France, you could put up a note on your mailbox that said “sans solicitacions” — no solicitations. No junk mail. No crap. It was wonderful.

    AND they have universal healthcare…

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  4. Pinging back to you on my post for today – which, coincidentally, is on the same topic thanks to a visit by some guys on bikes this morning 😉 Your perspective just adds to my thoughts!

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  5. We get a lot of junk mail, but like someone else said, most of it never enters our house because it goes from the mail box on a short walk straight to the recycling bin. Garbage in, but garbage stays out.. I haven’t seen a church solicitation in years, but that may have sometime to do with the demographic in our neighborhood which is mostly blue collar Democratic, pragmatic Irish and Italian Catholics, and not very welcoming territory for evangelical Christians on a mission. If they were to come around here asking us where we think we’ll go when we die, we’re not shy about telling them where they can go right now.
    Still don’t like the prospect of more junk mail of any kind though…

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  6. Anonymous permalink

    The church would hardly be the worst offender…..the commercials are even more absurd….small businesses taking business/advertising advice from a 20th century dinosaur HA HA….why not more attention on the environmental effects generated by thousands of fuel in-efficient trucks lumbering thru neighborhoods dropping paper coprolites to immediately dispatched to the geological record…how about holding your GOVERNMENT accountable instead of calling out churches who have every right to exclude ANYONE they choose to!

    Like

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