I hate junk mail. The sending of thousands of advertisements with the hope of getting a tiny percentage of recipients to respond is hardly a new marketing strategy. Fortunately, advances in technology allow us to reduce the amount of unwanted electronic mail that we receive and reduce the time that is wasted sorting through it. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the mailboxes at our homes.
The amount of paper junk mail sent each year in the United States is unbelievable … as much as four million tons, almost half of which is never even opened. Even if this is all recycled the environment suffers from the ink that is used, the energy to produce deliver and recycle the paper, deforestation, etc.
I have a particular problem with junk mail from churches. There are several churches in my community that, clearly, have a marketing budget that could be better spent elsewhere. They’re usually harmless enough … just a postcard alerting local residents to a special event that they might be holding … but there is one church in particular that I find particularly offensive. They’re a huge group on an enormous “campus” that has a reputation for extremely literal Biblical interpretation and aggressive homophobia.
Last fall, this particular church sent a glossy mailer to my home inviting my family to participate in a family event. “Everyone is welcome!” was what the advertisement said. I contacted the church and asked if all families were really invited … even those families with same-sex parents … and was told, in no uncertain terms, that those families would not be welcome. False advertising at its worst.
The US Postal Service has recently begun a new advertising campaign with a goal of creating more bulk mail business. They’re promoting “Every Door Direct Mail”. The target of the commercials is the businesses in the U.S. who advertise but aren’t currently using mail. In the latest commercial, a business owner has dressed his wife as a dancing chicken to promote his business, a chain of restaurants and informs the customer how Every Door Direct Mail helps businesses find customers. They’re actually soliciting bulk mailers!
In the past, I’ve ranted about the free newspapers that get dropped at the end of the driveways and how much I dislike litterbugs. While doing research for that post it appears that I was able to put a stop to the unsightly wastefulness because I haven’t received one since. Now I’m on a quest to put a stop to unsolicited mailings from local religious businesses.
Do you get bulk mail from churches in your neighborhood?
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