EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail – Should You?

EDDM or Every Door Direct Mail is exactly what it sounds like.  Every mailbox on a postal workers route receives the mail piece.  This unique direct mail strategy, like all others, has its advantages and disadvantages.  But is it a good fit your operation?

EDDM Advantages and Disadvantages

Every Door Direct Mail is one of the least expensive postage options available to individuals and business. In fact it rivals the Charitable organization rate.  Because every mailbox on the postal route receives the mail piece, no list is necessary.  This provides the advertiser an additional savings as good data can be expensive and bad data even more expensive. Instead you pull up a map of the geographic area you want to advertise to and choose which streets you want to hit with your message.  When you choose a street, the entire postal route is highlighted which probably has other streets within it.  The map will give you a count of how many recipients reside on the postal route and a mail piece needs to be provided for every address.  So the marketing list consists of streets rather than individual names or business names.

Because you are mailing to an address rather than a name, it’s impossible to meaningfully personalize the advertisement.  Personalized offers usually have better open and response rates than offers that do not personalize.  However that shouldn’t be an automatic disqualifier for EDDM as for some business and offer types can be very successful.

Let me get this out of the way early.  If your operation is a B2B entity, EDDM is not for you.  While you can target industrial and business areas geographically, more often than not, you will be sending a B2B offer to a consumer, wasting both party’s time and your money.   Additionally B2B  entities usually need to carefully target their audience for peak effectiveness. This is not possible for EDDM.

Every Door Direct Mail, however, can be very effective for B2C entities.  For business that service homeowners like landscapers, roofers, painters, pest controllers and the like it can be a very good match.  Take a roofer for example, that has a lot of familiarity with the neighborhoods in his town.  The roofer can target neighborhoods with a high concentration of older dwellings increasing the odds for an effective campaign.

It can be great for landscapers that want to cluster their accounts in a somewhat confined area for operational efficiency.  The same holds true for any business that regularly visits the dwelling for servicing of some sort.

EDDM – What It Costs

There are two rate schedules for EDDM. One is a retail rate that doesn’t require a permit or that the mail be dropped at a Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU).  It was specifically designed for small to medium sized business and simplicity.  The postage rate for EDDM retail currently is $.178 per mail piece as opposed to $.157 for BMEU rates.  The difference being $21 per thousand pieces mailed. It may not seem like a big difference but if you are mailing tens of thousands of pieces, the extra cost can add up quickly.

What You Can Send

With EDDM Retail, you are “limited” to sending flats.  Limited is too harsh a word because a flat can mean a lot of things.  Here is how the USPS defines a flat…

The Postal Service uses the word “flats” to refer to large envelopes, newsletters, and magazines. The words large envelopes and flats are used interchangeably. Whatever you call them, flats must: Have one dimension that is greater than 6-1/8 inches high OR 11-½ inches long OR ¼ inch thick.

As you can see, that leaves you with many options but the most common type of piece sent with EDDM is post cards.  And I’m not talking about those little 4″ by 6″ plain white post cards.  The seasoned EDDM marketers use huge, 4 color, high gloss post cards to garner the attention necessary for the offer to get read. I’ll get into that more in a bit but here are the common post card sizes used with EDDM…

EDDM eligible postcard sizes:

  • 4″x11″
  • 4.25″x11″
  • 4.5″x11″
  • 6.5″x8″
  • 6.5″x9″
  • 6″x11″
  • 6.5″x12″
  • 8″x10″
  • 8.5″x11″
  • 9″x11″
  • 9″x12″

Gaining attention is very important with EDDM because you don’t have the luxury of personalization with this type of mailing.  Personalized offers usually have a higher “open rate” than none personalized offers. But a big, beautiful and relevant photo can make up for some of the lack of personalization when it comes to grabbing attention.

Recipe for a Successful EDDM Campaign

Every campaign, EDDM or otherwise, should be built upon the foundation of an outstanding offer.  The next step is to get noticed and that is where size and eye appeal come into play.  But once noticed, you need to lure the reader to copy of the advertisement and that will take a compelling headline.

The headline needs to create enough interest to at least view the rest of the copy. Which means the copy has to be organized and laid out in such a way that is easy to read and compels one to read further.  The “call to action” is the next piece of the puzzle.  You need to make clear what you want the recipient to do whether it be call you, visit your website, email you or visit your retail location.  Make it clear what you want them to do and give them a good reason not only to do it but to do it now.

All of this happens within 15 seconds of the mail piece first being observed by the recipient.  If you fail with any of the above steps, you have just thrown postage and production costs out the window.  An offer must be compelling, noticed, read and acted upon in order to have a chance at being successful.

More Information

You can find out about the mechanics of using Every Door Direct Mail right from the source, the United States Postal Service.  Here is the EDDM USPS page.  And here is the mapping tool that you would use to choose the carrier routes for your mailing.  Check it out, it’s pretty cool.

The internet also has ton information on EDDM, mostly from printers who would like your post card business.

Both sources will make EDDM appear simple and it is.  On the other hand, having a successful EDDM campaign isn’t so simple.  Putting together an effective campaign is both an art and science and the littlest nuances can make or break a campaign.  It takes years of testing and experience to know what works and what to avoid.  And even if you put all of this together and get a great response rate, your campaign can still fail if the back end isn’t effective. By back end I mean the method of follow up for the responses.

This is where GainBiz Marketing is uniquely positioned. Not only do we have decades of marketing experience we also have the sales skills and experience to make sure the back end of your campaign is as effective as the front end.

It isn’t necessary for busy business owners to learn EDDM and effective EDDM techniques. Reach out to us or a company like ours to put the success odds in your favor.   Remember, just because you know how to use a pair of scissors doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to give yourself a haircut.  You may also be interested in our article on Coop Mailings as they often use EDDM rates and techniques.


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