Every Door Direct Mail: Opening New Opportunities

The Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program from the USPS is quickly becoming a popular way for small business owners—as well as those interested in localized promotions—to take advantage of lower postal rates, no mail-list costs, and fast delivery. Printers are finding it easy to use…and it’s a dependable door opener. 

“EDDM has given us another way to introduce the use of direct mail to small business owners who want their message to stand out,” says Cam Swegman from iPresort. “It gets your print company in front of small businesses that do not use mail or marketing,” adds Jamie McLennan, account executive at The Seibel Group: Creative Print Solutions. John Kublank, marketing coordinator at Wes-Tex Printing concurs: “EDDM can boost your slow times, help you find new clients, and get larger opportunities.” The big benefit? “An additional revenue stream!” said Patricia Schmidt, owner of DPI Print.  

EDDM basics

Every Door Direct Mail allows businesses to send mail into a target area without having to know any addresses. It’s simple and easy to use: Marketers select a carrier route, and their direct mail piece is delivered to all addresses within that specific route without needing to address the pieces individually. Cost for delivery is less than half the typical bulk rate, and delivery is within one or two days. 

There are actually two versions of EDDM: “regular” EDDM and EDDM Retail—the latter being the most popular option. EDDM Retail allows for up to 5000 mail pieces a day per zip, and no postage permit is required. Regular EDDM is for use with a mailing permit and entry into a Business Mail Entry Unit. 

One not so small detail of the program is that “your mailer doesn’t get beat up, stamped or torn as it does not go through the USPS equipment. It goes from your hands to the postal carrier” said Schmidt. 

Where you’ll find the best opportunities

Here’s a guide to identifying the best prospects. Look to:

• Companies that rely on neighborhood businesses. “If you have the type of business that depends on local traffic, the savings from not having to purchase a mailing list is just one of the components that make EDDM an economical choice,” says Swegman. 

Real estate companies. Swegman does monthly mailings for a real estate team that “has earned them such great brand recognition that they get 38% of the real estate business in one of their regularly targeted neighborhoods and 32% in another.” 

• Restaurants. McLennan works with a number of restaurants on regularly scheduled mailings as well as special promotions. “When the elements restaurant wanted to get the word out about their Farm to Fork week, we suggested EDDM for greater impact at an affordable price. And they didn’t have to skimp on design!” 

• Larger businesses that want to run geo-targeted advertising campaigns. “We have a client that sells expensive audio equipment,” said Schmidt. “With EDDM, we targeted areas where the most expensive homes are located with an open house promotional piece. Not only was the client happy with the results, but he even got an immediate sale from the mailer.” 

Saving money on postage frees more budget for creative

“Money saved on the purchase of a mailing list can be put towards a more expensive and powerful mailpiece,” observes Swegman. Now, there is one restriction: Every mailpiece must be of the same shape, size and weight. The USPS specifically states that the piece has to be “flat size” mail. The most popular formats are: postcards, oversized postcards, and tri-fold brochures. But according to Swegman, you still have “a lot of room to present information without having to pay for typical flat size postage.” Show your customers real samples of the available sizes. “The USPS helps with size ideas and info to share with clients,” reminds McLennan. 

Even with size restrictions, digital printing can take the value of a piece over the top. “A business can use the versatility of digital print to create a single mailing with various offers to test,” says Swegman. Or, recommends McLennan, “tie this in with QR to track results or to measure against another promotion.” And even though you can’t use variable data printing to personalize to the individual prior to sending, Kublank suggests you “make sure you have a clear, relevant call to action and have a landing page directly associated with your EDDM mailing.” 

TIPS for EDDM success
– Have your printing company listed on the USPS EDDM website. EDDM is a nationwide program, and the USPS is actively forming professional alliances with the digital print community.
– Patricia Schmidt: Find your local Business Solutions Specialist and team up with them. Ask them to do co-op a presentation with you to organizations such as your local Chamber.
–  John Kublank: If you’re using a coupon as the offer or a promo code, make sure it is only being used on the EDDM, so you can track the status.
Jamie McLennan: Generate your own mail list from EDDM responses and send a more personalized mailing to this group.
Jamie McLennan: Ask questions of The Direct Mailman @TheDmailman and get the USPS EDDM kit from their online site.

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Comments (3)

  1. Posted by Katherine (PrintFirm) on 11.1.13 at 12:17 am

    Great article! We just added EDDM to our services, and we’re already seeing a good response from our clients. I didn’t know that the mailers go straight to the postman instead of being sorted like everything else. That’s a nice selling point.

    I’m having trouble with the USPS site, tho. I listed us yesterday, and I do see our company when I search our brand name. But it doesn’t appear in a local search. Weird!

  2. Posted by Joe Schember (Mohawk) on 11.1.13 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks, Katherine! We were excited to share info on the program once we learned about it. We also just heard there were some updates to the program relative to demographic overlays for targeting, so there might need to be a part two of this article!

  3. Posted by Israel Bohonik on 4.16.17 at 5:34 am

    The things you just don’t think of. Many thanks.

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