LOL, BRB, LMAO, and now EDDM… WTF? Don’t be alarmed that there’s now another acronym creeping into mainstream vocabulary. EDDM is as simple to understand as any of the above-mentioned abbreviations. Well, kind of. It stands for “Every Door Direct Mail,” and it’s a relatively new service from the United States Postal Service that allows you to hit everyone in a certain zip code with a marketing mailer for your business at a reduced per-piece postage cost. EDDM is an excellent choice for some small businesses and a less-than-ideal choice for others, for whom specifically-targeted mail campaigns are a better fit. We’ll explore both options here so you can decide which one is best for your business, and we’ll give you some pointers on how to choose a service provider who can help you get the job done.
EDDM is a rebirth of carrier route mailing, a service the USPS has offered since the days of carrier pigeons. Just kidding. But seriously, they have offered the service under a different name for a very long time. The difference between carrier route mailing and EDDM, besides the name, is that EDDM requires the mailer to ship very specific size mail pieces. So yeah, the service is not really brand spanking new, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. For certain businesses, it can generate a huge boost in clientele, in fact.
The businesses that can benefit the most from EDDM include restaurants (especially those with mass appeal, like sandwich shops, pizzerias, Chinese restaurants, etc.), general stores or department stores, gyms, coffee shops, law offices, doctors and dentists – basically any business that might appeal to people from all age groups and economic brackets. The reason for this is that EDDM does exactly what it sounds like it does – it hits every door, regardless of who is behind the door. It makes sense then that certain businesses would do better to use targeted direct marketing initiatives instead of EDDM. If you run a bikini shop for teens, for example, and only 20 percent of your neighborhood has teenagers living in the household, EDDM would probably be a wasteful marketing strategy with regard to both paper resources and postage costs. Even though EDDM does offer a savings over targeted direct mail campaigns, the cost difference is not significant enough to make up for an 80 percent miss rate, like in the above example.
If your business is more specialized – like, for example, a clothing company that caters to men above the age of 35 – you can still benefit from printing postcards to market your business and mailing them out within the neighborhood. But you’ll want to ask your printing company to generate a mailing list that targets the specific ages, income brackets, and sexes of the clients you seek. This way, just about every postcard you print and every penny of postage you purchase will go toward getting your marketing message in the right client’s hand.
So to recap, EDDM is a great way to increase awareness about your business the whole neighborhood over. You can print in sizes that range all the way up to 8.5” x 11” and send out thousands of mailers for a very low per-piece price. It’s a great and economical way to send an offer or promotion to every home in your zip code or in several zip codes. And it’s super easy to use since some printing companies offer a turnkey service whereby they help from the conception of the marketing materials’ design to the printing of the postcards, to the actual mailing of the product.
Targeted mail marketing campaigns, on the other hand, may be better for businesses that have a very narrow and specific clientele. Your printing company can still assist with the design of your postcards, the generation of your mailing list, and the actual mailing of your printed materials, and in many cases these targeted campaigns can save you money on printing and postage because they eliminate unnecessary printing and mailing for households for whom your product or service would not be relevant.
For specific rates and sizes, check with your chosen printing company. If you’ve read this and you’re still not sure which of the direct mailing services best fits your business, call or write your printer. They can use their prior experience to help steer your decision-making. And remember, it’s in their best interests to make sure you’re satisfied with your return on investment when it comes to direct mail campaigns. They know if you’re happy, chances are you’ll come back to do another promotion with them when the time comes.