Hi. I'm Jason Zimdars a web designer in Oklahoma City, OK and this is my website.

Sending Junk Mail Back

junk1.jpgWhile the world continues to fight unsolicited email, I find myself just as inundated with junk mail of the paper variety. Each week, our family receives dozens of pieces of unsolicited mail from advertising circulars to special mortgage offers.

However the worst offender has to be credit card offers. I literally get 2-4 of these every day — often in duplicate as we will receive the offer twice, addressed to both my wife and I. The most frequent name I see is CapitalOne. Not a week goes by that I do not receive at least one offer for the coveted CapitalOne Visa.

I have never had a CapitalOne account, never responded to one of their offers and yet they continue to arrive with religious regularity.

I have not found a way to remove myself from their lists, but I have been able to exact a small amount of revenge: the business reply envelope. For those unaware, the business reply envelope is a pre-addressed postage-paid envelope that allows you to reply to their offer on their dime. Every credit card offer comes with an application and business reply envelope.

The cost of these credit card offers has to be fairly high to the soliciting company. CapitalOne, for instance, regularly ships glossy stickers and other such expensive printed materials; some even ship plastic dummy credit cards! So what I try to do is make sure that when they send one to me it costs even more. The business reply mail postage is not paid by the soliciting company until you use it so be sure that you do. That likely doubles their cost right off the bat, but I’m sure it is a small price to pay for them if it contains my credit application.

But it doesn’t. My envelope contains junk mail. See I keep all of the junk mail I get and all of the business reply envelopes and then I match them together; CapitalOne gets some American Express offers, Sears Siding gets a coupon book for Lil’ Caesar’s Pizza, etc. And I use every bit of it including weekly newspapers, magazines, and the Wednesday grocery store advertisements. I fold, cram and stuff as much as physically possible into each envelope adding many times the weight (and cost) to each envelope and then drop them in the mail. Most of them cost upwards of $2.00 each in postage. Subtract that from your marketing budget, CapitalOne!

I know this probably doesn’t amount to much in the grand scheme of things but it is extremely rewarding knowing that I could be a tiny thorn in the side of a large corporation filling my mailbox with crap. And if thousands or millions of people would take the time to do this, you might see a change. The cost of the original mailing, the excessive postage on return, and perhaps even the time spent by some poor worker opening my letters and searching through the mess for my application has to add up. Maybe we could force them to find another way. Even if nothing changes maybe someone will get fed up and at least remove me from a few mailing lists.

That would be satisfaction enough.

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