The United States Postal Service (USPS) is trying to generate more revenue, and they’ve finally figured out something that works better than just increasing postage rates! In addition to driving up revenue, their new “Every Door Direct Mail” (EDDM) program is designed to help local businesses reach out to potential local customers via direct mail much easier and cheaper than in the past.
- Promote sales and events
- Announce grand openings
- Send coupons and special offers
If you have a business which serves a local community, you need to try EDDM.
For less than 15 cents per household, you can saturate areas of your choosing right down to postal carrier routes. This means that when you do your research right (USPS provides tools to help) you can target apartment complexes, neighborhoods, zip codes, etc. around your business and get your marketing materials in the hands of the local people who are most likely to buy from you.
Statistics show that 85% of people read all of their mail, which is why direct mail has always been a powerful method of generating leads and sales. But a complaint about direct mail has been it’s too expensive. And while this really is far from the truth when a marketing campaign has been properly researched and implemented and the marketing piece itself has been professionally designed, EDDM makes direct mail even better. How? In addition to postage rate discounts and focused geographic targeting, it cuts costs by eliminating the need to purchase a mailing list and print individual addressee information on each piece.
We’ve been handling direct mail projects for clients for over 20 years, so we can say with confidence that this program (it’s actually 2 programs — keep reading) simplifies local saturation marketing campaigns. It’s easy for us to become your EDDM provider. There’s more than just printing involved. We can also help you identify your target areas, design and print your pieces, bundle them, and take them to the post office.
The USPS has two (2) methods for EDDM customers to get the word out about — Every Door Direct Mail (for those who have a bulk mail permit) and Every Door Direct Mail Retail (for those who don’t).
Every Door Direct Mail
This program is good for larger mailing campaigns, and it provides a little more flexibility in targeting than the Retail program. If your mailing consists of more than 5,000 pieces, or if your piece is something other than a standard “flat” you’ll need to follow the rules for this program. You’ll need a Standard Mail permit imprint (the annual fee for this permit is $175). You can purchase your own or run your job through a shop like ours. With this program you have the option of targeting either all postal customers (residential and business) or just the residential addressees. Mail gets submitted at the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) rather than the post office front counter, and because the BMEU keeps more limited hours than the front counter, make sure you get your materials in on time if you have a time sensitive mailing.
Every Door Direct Mail Retail
USPS is trying to make direct mail easy for everybody, and one neat thing about the EDDM “Retail” program is that you can walk right up to the front counter at the post office, pay for your mailing, and be done with it. No postage permit is required. The “Retail” program is for mailings of up to 5,000 standard flat pieces per day. Mail is delivered to all postal customers (both residential and business) in the targeted area. If you’re just testing the direct mail waters, the Retail program is a great starting point.
The same steps are followed with each EDDM program:
- research the carrier routes you wish to target
- design and print your marketing piece, including the correct EDDM indicia and addressee information
- bundle the materials properly for each carrier route and include the proper paperwork
- submit and pay for the mailing at the right place
But be careful! This process is not as simple as the USPS’s EDDM literature would have you believe. The program is quite new and we’ll probably see some updates to materials which clarify the process and requirements. Also, many USPS employees still don’t understand how EDDM works, and that can make it frustrating for do-it-yourself business owners. If this sounds like you, give us a call. We can help. We’re here to answer any questions you have about about EDDM or direct mail. Stop by any time during the week.