Advertising mail

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File:Junk mail collection.jpg
Typical advertising mail

Advertising mail, also known as direct mail, junk mail, or admail, is the delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail.[1][2] The delivery of advertising mail forms a large and growing service for many postal services, and direct-mail marketing forms a significant portion of the direct marketing industry. Some organizations attempt to help people opt out of receiving advertising mail, in many cases motivated by a concern over its negative environmental impact.

Advertising mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, CDs, “pre-approved” credit card applications, and other commercial merchandising materials delivered to both homes and businesses. It may be addressed to pre-selected individuals, or unaddressed and delivered on a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood basis.[3][4]


Postal services

File:Frank E. Davis Fish Company marketing letter, 1928.jpg
1928 direct mail advertising letter offering mail delivery of fish and seafood

Postal systems have enacted lower rates for buyers of bulk mail permits. In order to qualify for these rates, marketers must format and sort the mail in specific ways – which reduces the handling required by the postal service.[5]

Income from advertising mail represents a significant and growing portion of some postal services' budgets, and it is a service actively marketed by them.[6] In Canada, addressed and unaddressed advertising mail accounted for 20% of Canada Post's revenue in 2005,[7] and the share is increasing.[8] Postal services employ the terms advertising mail, admail, and direct mail, while avoiding and objecting to the pejorative term junk mail.[9][10]

In many developed countries, advertising mail represents a significant and growing amount of the total volume of mail. In the United States, "Standard mail: advertising" comprised 29% of all mail in 1980 and 43% in 2003.[11]

Direct-mail marketing

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