Thursday, March 8, 2012

When Customers Want Their Name Off a Mailing List

I recently had a client that contacted me wanting to know how to respond to a phone call they had from someone that received their mailer - upset that they were receiving the mail and worried that their personal information was being shared.

As I told my client, "there will always be people who will complain about the things that get mailed to them - and they are rightfully concerned about lack of privacy - especially in these days of identity theft.    Just because she has received mail from you and from others, does not mean that her private information about her health problems was leaked by the health institutions". 

Most mailing lists comes from public records - like home ownership records and US Postal records - but lists  also come from the census bureau, telephone directories and other places where they may have even given information themselves - like signing up for a free registration, magazine subscription, or a product purchase.  The credit bureaus track purchases and sometimes mailings are received merely because the mailing is going to every resident - regardless of any thing going on with them personally.

People can limit the mail that comes to their house by registering with the DMA (Direct Mail Association).  The DMA maintains a list of people who do not want their names on direct mail offerings.   Most legitimate list compilers bounce their mailing lists against this file routinely and should reduce the amount of mail they receive.  This is one of the best reasons why I routinely recommend that companies let me run their own internal files against the DMA lists to flag people who do not want to receive mail - and this also removes deceased names.

No company wants to spend money mailing to people who have no interest in their product or service. 

Here is a link to the DMA that explains almost everything you would need to know about getting your name removed from mailing lists:

http://www.dmaconsumers.org/offmailinglist.html#6

The DMA - Direct Mail Association

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