I used to love getting the mail. When I was younger, a friend of mine moved away to Tennessee and we became pen pals.
This was before the internet, let alone Facebook, so we'd write each other letters.
I would love to get the mail because every once and a while I'd get a letter from him.
That feeling of joy is still what I feel today, though it's been diminished somewhat because I don't have any pen pals and because of all the freaking junk mail! I've signed up for OptOutPrescreen.com (and DMAChoice.org and the FTC's National Do No Call Registry), so that has curbed the junk mail significantly, but I still get a lot.
Easily half of my mail is some kind of solicitation. Sometimes it's the entire delivery. 🙁
Then one day, I learned that you can sell your junk mail to market research companies. Even your junk email.
The most prominent company is SBKC – Small Business Knowledge Center.
Sign up as a Panelist, get accepted, and then send them mailers and get paid for it. Limited space is available but this is the most reputable company of the bunch. They will pay for all kinds of direct mail and even email you forward them. You earn points that can be used for gift cards – don't expect to get rich but a little extra money never hurt anyone.
Here are a few more.
- The Hauser Group – Sign up to become a decoy. As a decoy, you are put on mailing lists and report when you receive certain pieces of mail. It helps companies quality test the mail to see how long it takes for a letter to reach its intended destination. The Hauser Group, as of July 2016, is only looking for people in limited area codes.
- US Monitor – Another decoy/mail monitoring company.
- Quotas – A German company that does international marketing research on mailers.
Have you ever tried one of these services?