When Is EDDM Right for You?

EDDM (every door direct mail) has gained in popularity. EDDM, as defined by the USPS, is designed to help you reach every home, every address, every time. You can map out a target area, use demographic data (e.g. age, household income, and size) to select a delivery route, choose a mailing drop off date, and pay online—all from your computer. And, you can create your mailings up to 30 days before you plan to mail them. Simply enter an address, zip code or city and state for your target area to get started. Sounds great right? So how do you know if EDDM is right for you?

EDDM (every door direct mail) has gained in popularity. EDDM, as defined by the USPS, is designed to help you reach every home, every address, every time. You can map out a target area, use demographic data (e.g., age, household income, and size) to select a delivery route, choose a mailing drop off date, and pay online—all from your computer. And, you can create your mailings up to 30 days before you plan to mail them. Simply enter an address, zip code or city and state for your target area to get started. Sounds great right? So how do you know if EDDM is right for you?

EDDM is right when:

  1. Your Business can Appeal to a Large Number of People:
    In other words, since you are selecting a geographic area that has a wide variety of people in it, you will need to be offering a product or service that most of them want or need. A few examples of broad appeal are dry cleaners, restaurants, general stores, delis, lawyers and other small business in local neighborhoods.
  2. Small Business:
    The reason that this works better for small businesses is because they do not have marketing departments or people who can handle more complex direct mail campaigns, nor do they have the budgets for them. Small businesses benefit from the ease of use and low cost of postage with EDDM

So, if EDDM is right for you, you have a couple of choices. EDDM Retail is designed for the small business to do it all themselves, while EDDM for BMEU is for a commercial mail service provider to do it for the small business. The benefit of having a mail service provider is that you can mail more than 5000 pieces per day and they can help you avoid problems with design, paper stock and any other issues you encounter. If you need help finding a provider you can visit https://mymailconnection.com/ to find one.

One of the key benefits of EDDM is all the space you have on the mailer to put your compelling message, add coupons and drum up interest in your business. You only need to leave enough room to fit the Postal Customer info and the indicia. This means on an 8.5 x 11 sheet you get to use almost all of the 11 inches. Take full advantage of the space with great graphic design. Make sure that your offer is clear and concise so that it is effective. Coupons are a great way to introduce people to your business and an easy way to track your responses. Even with EDDM you need to know what is working, so finding ways to track who is responding and with what coupons is very important. The only way to continue to improve your response rates is to know what works and what does not.

EDDM can be a great way to get into direct mail for small businesses. It is not cost prohibitive, can be done by the business if they wish to without too much trouble and allows for more room to advertise. Take advantage of EDDM and find a cost effective way to market your small business to potential customers near you. If you need any help with design, copy or have questions about EDDM a mail service provider near you can help.

Is Every Door Direct Mail Right for You?

Every Door Direct Mail is a service designed by the USPS to help businesses reach every address in a neighborhood. With a simplified form of addressing that does not require an actual list of addresses, this is meant to make mailing easier and cheaper for individuals at a company

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a service designed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to help businesses reach every address in a neighborhood. With a simplified form of addressing that does not require an actual list of addresses, this is meant to make mailing easier and cheaper for individuals at a company.

When you mail with EDDM, you only need room for the EDDM indicia, endorsement and the address block (which would say postal customer and the city, state and zip code it is mailing to). All the rest of the area can contain your images and messaging. This leaves you with a lot of room for design. EDDM works best for retailers and service-based businesses in a local area, such as pizza restaurants, small neighborhood stores, dry cleaners, etc.

As with anything, EDDM has some drawbacks as well. One of the big ones is that you cannot personalize the mail. Everyone in a carrier route will get the same piece addressed to postal customer. That means that the imaging and messaging must be more generic in order to appeal to more people. Another drawback is that the size of the piece is larger for this program, so printing costs more and can eat away at any cost savings. Take the time to consider if EDDM is right for you. In many cases you will get a better return on your investment if you use a targeted list.

The following types of mail are allowable as EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail):

Flat: Mail size is between 6.126 x 11.51 to 12 x 15. A minimum of .009 thick and a maximum thickness of 3/4 inch.

Irregular Parcels: Must weigh less than 16 ounces and includes parcels such as:

  • Rolls and tubes up to 26 inches long and merchandise samples not individually addressed.
  • Unwrapped, paper-wrapped or sleeve-wrapped articles that are not letter-size or flat-size
  • Articles enclosed in envelopes that are not letter-size, flat-size or machinable parcels.

Periodicals: Periodicals consist of newspapers, magazines, journals or newsletters. To qualify for Periodicals prices, they must meet the following criteria and the publisher must be authorized.

  • The publication must be published in a serial format (such as volume 1 issue 1, volume 1 issue 2, volume 1 issue 3, etc.).
  • The publication must be published at least four times a year with a specified frequency.
  • The publisher must have a known office of publication. This office should be accessible to the public during business hours for conducting publication business.

Bound Printed Matter: An economical service for sending permanently bound materials, such as catalogs and phonebooks, up to 15 lbs in two to eight days. Sheets must be permanently bound by secure fastenings, such as staples, spiral binding, glue or stitching.

To get started with EDDM, go to this website:

  • Enter your desired ZIP code or codes.
  • Select if you want just residents or businesses, too.
  • Select the carrier routes you are interested in, or select them all.
  • There are also some general demographics for each route that you can choose from if you want to.
  • In order to process the request, you will need to set up an account.
  • Once you process the order, the website will furnish you with all the paperwork you need and the amount the postage will cost

There are two forms of EDDM: commercial (using a mail provider) or retail (you do all the work and take it to the post office). If you are using the retail version, you can only mail 5,000 pieces per ZIP code per day, and your postage rate will be $0.175 each. If you are doing commercial, there is no quantity limit and the postage is $0.157 each. If you need to mail more than 5,000, contact a service provider to help you. If you do not already have a provider you can find one near you here.

Flag on the [Mobile] Play

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you already know that I’m a cheapskate. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve always downloaded the free mobile apps and games. But recently I surprised myself by actually being captivated by a mobile ad from Buffalo Wild Wings and took the bait—only to be deeply disappointed by the lack of, what I like to call, experience management.

If you’re a regular reader of this column, you already know that I’m a cheapskate. So it should come as no surprise that I’ve always downloaded the free mobile apps and games. I’ve found that I don’t have a problem staring at an ad for 3 seconds, waiting to return to my next round of Scramble With Friends (SWF).

But recently I surprised myself by actually being captivated by a mobile ad from Buffalo Wild Wings and took the bait—only to be deeply disappointed by the lack of, what I like to call, experience management.

Here’s what got me hooked: The ad was brilliantly designed for this mobile user who had just spent the previous two minutes rolling my fingers quickly across the screen in different directions to connect letters to form words and score points.

The visual, in the center of the screen, was a circle with a thumb print in it.

The headline was very inviting to this 49er fan: “Football fever is spreading fast. Take a quick test.” And the call to action was “Press and Hold Your Finter [sic] for an Instant Scan.”

Aside from the typo (doesn’t anyone proof anymore??), I was hooked. Great call to action and great visual—especially for an ad inside a mobile game where my fingers do all the work.

Naturally I pressed my thumb over the thumbprint, and a little “scan” visual swept back and forth, seemingly scanning my print. The next screen was a file folder labeled “Results.” A red “stamp” stated “Further Testing Required”—and a call to action to “Get a Complete Fever Diagnosis” kept me motivated to continue to the next screen. So I clicked, and that’s when the brilliance of the campaign all came crashing down.

It seemed that I had landed somewhere within the Buffalo Wild Wings website. Nothing more about football fever. Nothing more about my scan or my fever diagnosis. Nothing even closely related to my previous experience. What was most prominent was a “Find a B-Dubs” (I figured out this is insider lingo for Buffalo Wild Wings) with a place to enter my zip code. Sigh …

If I hadn’t been a marketer, I would probably have hit the “x” button to go back to my game. But being a glutton for punishment, I entered my zip code, hopeful that the B-Dubs folks might tie the action back to my football fever. But instead, I wait a second and … and … I get a message: “Results (0).” Really?

I get that there may not be a B-Dubs within 25 miles of me, but according to the website (which I visited separately), I found several in my SF/Bay Area geography.

So here’s my advice: Instead of telling me there were none, how about programming your site to say “Oh no! There isn’t a B-Dubs in your neighborhood, but we’ve found 5 that you might enjoy as you travel around Northern California.” And then provide those pinpointed on a map.

And what happened to that football tie-in?

All digital advertising and landing pages are an opportunity to optimize a series of thought sequences, and it’s critical that marketers understand how to help a consumer connect the dots.

In this case, the game ended with Buffalo Wild Wings: 0, Consumer Purchase Opportunity: 0.