I have to tell you that as a marketing director for a publishing company in my previous life I fell in love with direct mail. I love everything about it! From the planning, package creation, list selection and mailing to finally watching all of the responses come in! Even testing packages and lists! Loved.That.Too. One of the more difficult parts of the whole process was navigating all of the USPS rules, regulations and postage rates. So, I was very pleased to see the USPS create a user-friendly and cost effective mailing program called Every Door Direct Mail. They even produced a one-page fact sheet which is a huge improvement from the hundred-page manuals I used to navigate!
Actually, this program isn’t new. It’s been around for a while and previously identified as carrier route mailings. There is one difference between the old carrier route mailing program and EDDM… the mail pieces for EDDM have to be a specific size. Other than that, the program has basically been repackaged, re-branded and heavily promoted.
Every Door Direct Mail can be an affordable USPS service for your business by providing you with an easy way to reach potential customers in specific mail carrier routes. If your business doesn’t require demographic targeting then this program may work for you. The positive aspects of this service are:
The downside is that you won’t be able to target other demographics like income, age, gender, etc., nor can you personalize your mailing. It will be addressed to “Local Postal Customer” instead. Without personalization, recipients will definitely see the mail piece more as adverting rather than a special personalized message or offer for them. How important is personalization? Well, consider what Dale Carnegie said,
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”
Some businesses can benefit from this program and yours may be one of them. One way to check is to consider what type of business you have. Will most people or businesses in a specific neighborhood or area want your products or services? If you are a dentist, florist, lawyer, accountant or a restaurant (to name a few) you’ll probably benefit by this type of mailing. If you require more targeting than just location or neighborhood it may not be a good fit for your business. Here’s a simple way to check it out:
Let’s say your ideal customer has household income of at least $50,000 per year and you’d like to mail a postcard to potential customers that live within a 20-mile radius of your business. You run a count with those criteria and find 8,000 potential customers that match. You then run your EDDM counts and come up with 8,500 names. Your business will most likely benefit from an EDDM mailing. But, let’s say you run your EDDM count and come up with 16,000 names instead for this example. In that case you’ll probably benefit more by mailing to the targeted list of 8,500 names rather than the entire group of 16,000.
There are specific guidelines for creating an EDDM approved postcard that you can view on the USPS website or the Every Door Direct Mail fact sheet but here are some standard printer sizes you may want to consider:
The nice thing about these sizes is that they are larger than a standard size postcard and will stand out from the rest of the mail.
Mailing List: You can select the mailing list yourself off of the USPS website. Or, you may find that your printer can also select the names for you.
Print Postcards: Get quotes from several printers so you can compare prices. Make sure the printer can print your postcards on EDDM approved paper stock.
Prepare Mailing: You’ll need to deliver your postcards to the Post Office in a specific order along with the proper documentation. It can be tricky, especially if you’re targeting mail routes in another city. You may want to see if your printer can handle the preparation and delivery to the post office for you or find an EDDM mailer.
Mail Postcards: Pay for the postage online or at the Post Office when you drop off your mailing.
Lastly, you’ll want to track your mailing to see how it does and determine your ROI (return on investment). You can do this by asking customers how they heard about your business when calling in or include a code on your mail piece that customers need to submit when ordering. You could also initiate call tracking and include a special call-tracking phone number on your mail piece. Regardless of how you do it, it’s important to track the results.
We can help you determine if Every Door Direct Mail is right for your business and/or coordinate the entire mailing for you from start to finish. Call us at (937) 419-0075 or email us to get started.
Please share your comments or let us know if you have any questions. We’d love to hear from you!