Direct Marketing

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): Postcards Reach Customers Near You

Bill Nichols

February 12, 2019

Bill Nichols

February 12, 2019

When you need to reach customers in a neighborhood or a specific part of town with an offer or message, Every Door Direct Mail USPS (EDDM) postcards are an effective way to do it. Whether you’re a local business or service provider, targeting a particular location is made easy with localized direct mail. EDDM postcards are an excellent option for developing new business. Any leads you gain through EDDM mailings can be added into your targeted mailing list for future direct mail campaigns!

EDDM postcards are an economical marketing tool that works well when your business or service is aimed at customers or clients who live in specific geographic areas. A good example is a neighborhood pizza parlor.

EDDM allows you to aim at an audience based on where they live. It uses the postcard, which is an economical attention-getting solution.

How EDDM postcards work

With EDDM, your business’s postcards are delivered to specific postal carrier routes within a zip code. You select the carrier routes and the USPS then delivers the postcards to every household on those routes. Each mailing is limited to 5,000 addresses in a zip code. The mailings aren’t personalized and are sent to “postal customer.” That means you save money because you don’t have to invest in a mailing list to do a mailing.

As a customer acquisition solution, this provides broad, local coverage. Which can be followed up by personalized direct mail campaigns to your new leads or customers.

EDDM mapping tool allows you to choose routes

An easy-to-use mapping tool on the EDDM website makes it easy to choose the best postal carrier routes for your mailing. I recommend that you hop online and try using the mapping tool. It allows you to pinpoint an area of first by zip code, then by carrier routes. The tool also supplies valuable information about each carrier route including the number of residences, number of businesses, percent of residents between ages 25-44 and average household income.

Your familiarity with neighborhood or area, combined with the mapping tool, helps you ensure EDDM postcards are delivered to residents who are most likely to need your service. For example, if you offer a service that isn’t of interest to renters, like home remodeling, you should avoid those carrier routes that include a lot of rental properties.

As you choose carrier routes, the mapping tool calculates the number of residences that will receive your mailing. It also calculates the total cost of the mailing. The per piece rates for EDDM postcards are between $0.0187 and $0.0162.

Your mailing must also meet EDDM requirements, including postcard size and mailing preparation. The USPS’s user’s guide to EDDM spells out all of these requirements in detail and provides step-by-step instructions. Instructions are slightly different for retail businesses.

Know when to use EDDM

EDDM postcards don’t work for every direct mail campaign. Before you decide to give them a try, I recommend you think about the following:

Does your business come mostly from people within a defined geographical area?
If your business does a significant amount of its business online, EDDM postcards are not a good tool for your direct marketing project.

But if your data shows that the majority of your customers come from a tight geographic radius, an EDDM postcard is a good way to connect with them.

Do a significant number of residents within that area need the product or service that you offer?
You don’t want to waste paper, time and money on an offer or service that isn’t of interest to the people who receive it. For example, everyone who lives within a mile of your high-end women’s clothing store is probably not a potential customer, but you can use the EDDM mapping tool to pinpoint carrier routes where residents have high average incomes.

Am I communicating information that is valuable in some way?
Your EDDM postcard must have a point, presented in an attractive and professional way. If you want to get new customers in the door, offer a free item or a discount. If you want to announce your office has moved, make the new address prominent and include a small map that includes important details like available parking.

Watch your mailbox for EDDM postcards

There are many good examples that show how EDDM postcards can be used to make a sale or secure a customer. If you pay close attention to your residential mail, you will see examples of EDDM postcards nearly every day. Here are just a few I’ve seen…

A new dental practice has moved into the neighborhood and announces it’s accepting new patients.

  • A restaurant opens and wants neighbors to drop in to give it a try. Their postcard entices them with a buy one, get one free introductory offer.
  • Spring arrives and so does a postcard from a lawn service, with a reminder that it’s time to get their grass mowed or sign up for seasonal lawn service.
  • As cold weather hits, heating and air businesses nudge homeowners about furnace checkups and car wash businesses mail postcards with coupons for $5 off their deluxe wash, guaranteed to remove road salt.
  • Valentine’s Day means it’s time for the candy shop on the corner to tout its boxes of chocolates with a $5 off offer.
  • With Easter around the corner, the neighborhood church aims to boost attendance by publicizing dates and times of its Easter season services.
  • The realtor who’s just sold three homes in one neighborhood spreads the word in case other homeowners in the area are thinking about putting their houses on the market.
  • Come January, the CPA whose office is in the neighborhood reminds that its time to get taxes prepared.

Those examples are just a start. If your business could use EDDM postcards to achieve its marketing goals, give us a call. We can help with every step of the process, from designing and printing attention-getting direct mail postcards to navigating the mailing process.


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