I love old fashioned snail mail. When I was growing up, I spent every summer on a remote island in northern Minnesota. My only contact with my friends at home was writing letters and postcards, which were delivered to me via mail boat. I would spend hours writing novels to my friends, pasting collages together, and creating interactive fun pages to send to them. I would anxiously await the mail boat every morning in hopes of receiving an equally elaborate letter in return.
As an adult, snail mail kind of loses it’s luster. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home, grabbed the mail, then turned around and threw the entire stack directly into the recycling bin. Beyond this being a complete waste of paper, it’s also a total bummer! When did mail stop being special?
Last year I got fed up with the endless stream of junk mail, and decided to hang on to it all in order to measure how much we actually get.
It turns out, over the course of a year, I received more than 90lbs of junk mail!! The worst offenders were credit card companies, political ads, and strangely, local dentists.
In the age of the internet is direct mail even still a valid form of advertising? I can’t imagine that it’s very effective. I certainly have never changed my vote based on a political postcard. If anything, wrecking my mail experience makes me want to vote for someone less.
Can we just get snail mail back to the fun and personal medium it was meant to be?
I did a little research online and ended up being able to opt out of a considerable amount of junk mail by registering HERE and HERE. In the last 3 months I have noticed a substantial difference in the amount of junk mail we’ve received.
In the meantime I thought I’d have a little fun by sending some smile inducing mail back to the very companies that have been bugging me, in order to remind them that snail mail should be fun and personal. I collected all sorts of fun odds and ends from around my house, and I asked my friend Jen to bring me all her household “scribble pages”. Instead of Jen throwing all that funny, faux kid art away, I stuffed them into the postage paid envelopes the credit card companies provided to me and sent them back.
No thank you on that new credit card you’re offering me.
Doesn’t it suck to receive something you don’t want in your mailbox, but isn’t it fun when you get something that makes you smile?
Now every time I get a new offer in the mail, I send it back with a scribble page enclosed. I think it’s a win-win for all parties involved. Kid art and envelopes don’t get wasted. Cheer is spread, and snail mail has been returned to the fun and personal experience it was meant to be.