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US Postal Service EDDM: Is it a Good Fit for Your Business?

A residential street with mailboxes in foreground

What is EDDM?

EDDM stands for "Every Door Direct Mail." It is a special direct mail program offered by the US Postal Service.

Instead of traditional direct mail campaigns that target individual recipients, mail sent via EDDM will be delivered to every address along your selected mail carrier route(s).

As such, EDDM provides a cost-effective way to distribute promotional pieces to specific neighborhoods and zip codes without having to create or purchase a mailing list.

Bear in mind that EDDM is a good fit for certain types of businesses, but not all. Understanding the pluses and minuses of EDDM will help you determine if it is compatible with your company's marketing strategy.

That said, below is an overview of EDDM's benefits and limitations…

A mail carrier in a truck  inserting mail into a mailbox
EDDM delivers to every address on your chosen mail carrier route(s)

The Benefits of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

Reduced Postage Rates - Compared to traditional direct mail, EDDM offers lower postage rates. The rates are lower for several reasons. One reason is that the US Postal Service requires EDDM mail to adhere to certain size and weight limits. This helps to streamline processing and delivery. Also, delivering to every address on a postal route eliminates the need to individually sort each piece by address, simplifying the mail carrier's workload. Plus, a bulk discount is still in play as EDDM requires a minimum of 200 pieces.

No need for a Mailing List - When using EDDM, every address located within the chosen delivery area receives the mailing. As such, the address panel on each mail piece will simply be printed with a generic phrase like "Local Postal Customer" or "Residential Customer." Because specific addresses are not needed for EDDM, there is no need to go to the expense of purchasing a mailing list or endure the hassle of creating and maintaining a list. This also eliminates the issue of mailing lists becoming out of date as people move in and out of an area. EDDM ensures all your mail pieces get delivered.

Doesn't require a Postal Permit - Bulk mailings, such as direct mail marketing campaigns, typically require a postal permit. The permit allows commercial mailings to be printed with an indicia instead of having to apply stamps or needing to run the pieces through a postage meter. An indicia is a small imprint that signifies the postage has been prepaid. As mentioned, EDDM mailings require a minimum of 200 pieces, but up to 5,000 pieces can be sent per day without needing a postal permit.

Can limit delivery to Residences Only - When using EDDM, you will have the choice of having your mail piece delivered to every address within your selected geographic area(s), or you can choose to only have your mail delivered to residential dwellings. This is a nice feature for companies that want to do a localized bulk mailing but the products or services they offer don't apply to commercial businesses. For example, it wouldn't make sense to send a postcard promoting garage door tune-ups to a hair salon or ice cream parlor.

An EDDM direct mail piece showing the Indicia and Address Panel
Example of an EDDM Indicia and Address Panel printed on a tri-fold restaurant menu

The Limitations of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

Limited Targeting - Targeting helps a mailing reach the consumers who are most likely to respond to an offer. EDDM allows you to target certain demographics of a geographic area, such as age or income. However, these are median values. So when looking at age, half of the people will be older than the median and half will be younger. Likewise, when evaluating income, half of the households will be earning more than the median and half will be earning less. So, sending out a mailing based on the median values of a geographic area will not be as effective as a mailing that is targeted at individuals who fall within a specific age or income range. In other words, because EDDM does not allow for individualized targeting, some people receiving your print materials may not be the ideal fit for your offer.

Restrictions on Dimensions and Weight - The US Postal Service has specific size, weight, and formatting guidelines for pieces being mailed using EDDM. Adherence to these standards is important to ensure successful delivery and cost-effective postage rates. To learn more about the EDDM guidelines, please visit the USPS quick reference guide. Because of the relatively strict requirements, most businesses find tri-fold mailers and large postcards to be the most effective choice for an EDDM mailing.

Unable to Personalize Content - With EDDM, each mail piece is the same for every household on a chosen postal route. Because EDDM does not allow for personalized messaging, the printed offer will be generic rather than tailored to the recipient. This will not be suitable for businesses that rely on personalized content (such as variable data printing) to increase engagement and response rates. However, EDDM is ideal for local businesses that cater to a very broad audience, where one or more occupants of any given household could be potential customers. For example, everybody has to eat. Hence, EDDM will likely prove effective for places that serve food, such as pizzerias, bakeries, and restaurants. Likewise, auto repair shops, dentists, barbers, pharmacies, dry cleaners, plumbers, and other local service-related businesses are often a good fit for EDDM marketing.

A postal customer reviewing direct mail pieces while standing by a mailbox
EDDM is a cost-effective way to deliver promotional printing to specific geographic areas

Designed for Local Campaigns Only - Because EDDM is based on physical location, it is primarily designed for local and neighborhood-focused marketing campaigns. For example, EDDM would work well for promoting retail stores, realtors, churches, and politicians who serve specific areas. However, if the intended audience is spread over a large geographic area, a traditional mailing that uses specific addresses will do a much better job of reaching these people. It really comes down to carefully considering your audience and marketing goals before deciding whether or not to add EDDM to your direct mail strategy.

Let Color Vision print your next Direct Mail campaign!

Whether you plan to use EDDM for your next marketing campaign or prefer a more traditional direct mail strategy, Color Vision can print your promotional materials and assist with the mailing.

Color Vision has been a full-service provider of commercial printing services since 1984. So whether you are looking to print postcards, flyers, mailers, menus, or any other types of direct mail pieces, give us a call at 800-543-6299 to discuss your printing and mailing needs.

Or, if you'd like to use our Quote Request form to send us your project's specifications, we will be happy to email you a quote. We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to assisting you!

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