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What Is Advertising Mail?

Advertising mail can be sent to every post office box at a designated location.
Advertising mail might include coupons from a company.
A particular demographic is usually targeted by advertising mail.
Sales flyers are examples of advertising mail.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 02 September 2014
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Advertising mail is a form of direct advertising where printed materials are delivered through the mail service to a target demographic. It is also known as direct or bulk mail, or by the pejorative “junk mail” among consumers who dislike advertising mail. Many postal services allow companies to negotiate special rates for mail handling and may use this to generate revenues to maintain operations. In regions where postal services are struggling to compete with package services and other methods of communication, bulk mail rates can be a good source of income.

In advertising mail, a company can include coupons, promotional compact discs, fliers, and a variety of other information. It may vary in size from a simple postcard announcing the opening of a new store to a large catalog. Advertisers have a number of options for determining which demographic to target.

Some may deliver bulk materials to a postal service and ask mail carriers to insert a circular into every mail and post office box. It is usually not legal for anyone other than a mail carrier to put materials into a mailbox, so companies must pay the post service to deliver their advertising materials. The company pays a bulk rate based on the number of materials. Others may rely on a mailing list to send advertisements to suitable customers, and can also buy a mailing list that contains members of a demographic of potential interest, like members of a specific church or customers with high credit ratings.

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Companies use advertising mail to solicit donations of funds, orders for products and services, and signups for things like credit and rewards cards. One concern with advertising mail raised by critics is that it can create a risk of identity theft. If mail is misdelivered or the recipient throws it out without looking closely, another party could use it to apply for credit or engage in other activities. Additionally, advertising mail generates a large volume of waste material and can be an environmental problem.

Some nations allow postal customers to opt out of advertising mail. They fill out paperwork asking not to receive advertising, and this can include solicitations from nonprofits. Mail from political organizations is usually not subject to such bans, depending on the law about campaign advertising in the region. Some customers may also post notices requesting no bulk mail deliveries, so they only receive packages and first class mail directly addressed to them.

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wavy58
Post 4

I think it is fun to receive advertisements in the mail from places I am actually interested in shopping at. I opened a credit card account last year with my favorite department store, and they often send me coupons good for only those people with credit cards.

In addition to this, I also receive catalogs and small posters featuring the clothes and jewelry that they have in stock. If I see something I like, I use one of the coupons to get it.

On my birthday and at Christmas, this company sends me a $10 gift certificate to their store. This is generous, and I always take advantage of it.

OeKc05
Post 3

@Perdido – I imagine it would be irksome to receive so much paper mail. I frequently get put on email marketing lists somehow, so I spend my time unsubscribing. It isn't as inconvenient as being handed a bunch of garbage to deal with, but it does get annoying, especially when you are expecting an important email.

One time, I was waiting to hear from a potential employer about a position I had interviewed for, and every time I would see that I had mail, I would get all excited. Then, I would discover it was only advertisements, and I angrily unsubscribed from their lists.

Having said that, there are a few businesses that I keep letting send me advertisements. These are the places I frequently shop at, and I love getting coupons emailed to me.

Perdido
Post 2

Apparently, my name must be on several mailing lists for marketing purposes. I get tons of junk mail each month, and I hate that they are wasting so much paper on me, because I almost never buy anything from any advertisements I receive in the mail.

It's entertaining to see what types of companies my name and address have been sold to sometimes. I ordered some flowers once from a garden supply catalog, and within a few weeks, I started receiving catalogs featuring large farming equipment!

If I receive email advertising, I can simply unsubscribe from the mailing list. With actual mail, it is harder to do. Rather than write a letter to the company and use a stamp to mail it, I usually just let them send me their advertisements, and I throw them away when I get them.

shell4life
Post 1

I am always careful about throwing out advertising mail. I have a high credit score, so I am always getting offers from companies wanting to give me credit cards. They include an application in the envelope, and my name and address are clearly printed on the outside envelope.

I have had problems in the past with my credit card number being stolen, so I am wary of identity thieves. I put anything that comes in the mail with my name and address on it through the shredder. Putting it straight into the garbage is just too risky.

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