EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail® – What in the world is it? And do I need it in my life?

EDDM is a direct mail service offered by the United States Post Office.

In a nutshell, they are offering the cheapest postage available to send a mailing to every address in a single carrier route (i.e. the entire route of a mailman).

The Post Office has always had this really cheap rate (as of August 2012, $0.142 per piece). It’s called Saturation Mailing, and direct mail companies have been providing it for a long time. The Post Office has just repackaged it as a new product and is marketing it to make it more readily available to the regular Joe Schmoe.

You can mail postcards, letters, coupons, and practically anything that fits within the size and weight regulations.

Do you need it in your life?

That depends. EDDM is for business owners who want to reach out to consumers in a specific geographic area only.

Keep in mind that EDDM has actually shown to decrease overall ROI. Why is that?  Because it lacks the targeting options that you can get by getting your address lists through traditional list providers.

If you are a business owner, then yes, you need direct mail in your life. Direct mail is still the single most effective way to market a business, but…

EDDM is just one option for doing direct mail.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1.  You can’t be picky about who you want (certain income levels, single families, etc). It’s by zip code and carrier route. EVERYONE on the mailman’s route will get your mail. Traditional (non-EDDM) saturation lists let you select consumers by homes, apartments or trailers. EDDM lists require mailers to blanket an entire carrier route.
  2. Your target customers should be regular consumers. If you’re a manufacturing company who sells 3″ bolts, then regular consumers are NOT your target. If you’re a public relations firm, then regular consumers are NOT your target. If you own a pizza and sub shop, then  regular consumers are your target. Kapeesh?
  3. Also, unlike EDDM, regular saturation lists allows users to target carrier routes by their demographics, thus eliminating ones with poor performing criteria (such as those carrier routes where the average income is below the poverty level or routes that strictly serve the senior citizen community).
  4. Furthermore, as EDDM has gotten more popular, postal carriers have started bundling EDDM advertising pieces together, making them a handy package for recipients to throw out.
  5. EDDM has no names or title addressing. These personalization features are excellent response boosters and only available when using traditional lists.
  6. If you’re mailing more than 5000 pieces, you still need to go through a mail house who has a valid mailing permit.
  7. Finally, you still need to use a printer to get your stuff printed.

In conclusion, we think effective direct mail should be targeted, not blanketed.  You’ll get a much better return if you fore-go the nominal savings you would get with EDDM. Though it sounds good on the surface, it may not be for you.

Please visit the official EDDM website to get all the gory details. Or, give us a call and we’ll help you figure it out from start (the postcard, the message, the design) to finish (getting it into the mailboxes).


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Category: Marketing