I am not joining the Do Not Mail campaign, and neither should you. First, we had the opt-in and opt-out clauses in our e-mails, then we needed a double approval to get our e-mail messages past all of the firewalls, and then we had the Do Not Call Registry to cut out the telemarketers. Now, the newest assault on our freedom is this proposed Do Not Mail campaign.
I am all for magazines cutting back the number of issues per year as well as trimming their sizes and number of pages. I am all for catalog mailers and other big direct mailers utilizing more recycled paper stocks for their products. But this Do Not Mail registry is going too far. More than 100,000,000 pieces of mail are delivered each year, and a vast majority is un-solicited — but I like my mail, solicited or not.
The DMA did a test a few years ago with a group of people who stopped getting any mail at all, except the bills and other important mailings. Do you know what happened? Those same people wanted to get back on the mailing lists after three short months. Why? They felt lonely.
I have a vested interest in my direct mail, and so should you! Not only will this campaign stop the presses, but jobs, careers and your favorite mailings may be cut back, scaled down or shut down completely by this campaign. The Do Not Mail campaign would stop Rolling Stone from rolling on. My home designs would be out of reach. I would not be able to find things that really are cheaper than dirt anymore. That’s not good for me, mailers, catalogs or credit card solicitors.
What I do want to see is more magazines, such as ODE, taking the high road and using more recycled stocks in their publications. I want to see the recycled logos on my magazines, catalogs and all of my direct mail packages. I am willing to pay that extra buck or two, but I am not willing to give up my 4-color, 82-page catalogue, perfect bound or my Metro weekly saddle-stitched so that some of these “save the trees” non-profits can make “mailings” tree-free. That’s going too far for my tastes. Rather than joining the Do Not Mail campaign, I am going to contact the catalogue and direct mailing lists that I am on to tell them that I am willing to pay more for a recycled product.
James E. Sullivan is the project director at Optic Nerve Direct Marketing. Reach him at [email protected].