Direct Mail ~ Take Me Off Your List

At the dental office, we do a lot of direct mail marketing. We have bought a mailing list, had a postcard designed, printed and mailed them out by ourselves. We did the same with a neighborhood letter offering the community, a special offer of free teeth whitening. We hand addressed all the envelopes during downtime, using a pen with blue ink. We’ve had companies send postcards and each month we send the people who move into our area, a million dollar bill.

Direct mail works for the office, these ways have brought us new patients, but it is also brought us some complaints. Believe it or not, people have taken the time to call us and ask that we do not send anything to them via snail mail.

The other day a gentleman called, he was terribly angry he said, “I want you to take me off of your mailing list”. After gathering his information, I asked him what the problem was. He replied “I do not like to get mail”.  I asked him if we had sent him too much. He said, “No, this is the first piece that you have sent me; it was mixed in with all of my bills”.  I apologized, and explained to him that I would be able to control the in house mailers. I explained to him that when an outside company mails the flyers for us, we do not have much control.  I politely suggested that if that should happen, maybe he could just throw it in the trash.  He again stated “I do not like to get mail” but this time he added, “I have to walk all the way to the mail box to get it, it is nothing but junk and bills, just a waste of my time”. I apologized again and told him that I would do my best to make sure that he does not get any more mail from us.

As I hung up the phone, I wondered if now that I told him that my one little postcard would never darken his door again, would he just stop walking to his mailbox. What about the bills that the mailman had delivered with the postcard that we sent? Did he call his creditors and tell them that he did not like to get mail?

This is not the first ask we have had to stop sending mail, but possibly the oddest.  I have had someone tell me that the person on the envelope had moved or passed away. I have heard lectures on how direct mail not the green, but never have I had a caller tell me that they just did not like to go and get their mail. Upon reflection of this call, I wished that I would have asked him if I could send him email instead!

With your success in mind, 



  1. Cathy Warschaw, Director | | Reply

    Hi Nomi,

    We experienced the same thing with a mailing we did but it was a dentist that did not want to receive the postcard. Isn’t it amazing that it takes so little effort to just throw it away but they felt the need to call.

  2. Steve Shapiro | | Reply

    Regarding “Did he call his creditors and tell them he didn’t like to get mail?”

    That’s exactly what most creditors want to hear. They want you to pay online! In fact, some of them will add a surcharge for paper billing. I don’t know if this guy has a computer and the Internet, but it would surely save him a lot of walks to the mailbox.

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