EDDM: What it is and How to Prepare for it

We’ve all received mail from time to time that is addressed to “Current Resident” or “Postal Customer”. While this may seem impersonal, it’s actually a great way for a local business to reach its audience. After all, have you ever thrown away a coupon just because it wasn’t addressed to you by name?

What is EDDM?

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM®) services are provided by the U.S. Postal Service for small businesses to advertise in their local community. EDDM can send announcements, menus, flyers, coupons—pretty much any promotional material that fits into the size requirements. (See below.)

The USPS has an online tool to help you map specific ZIP codes (or even neighborhoods) and you can even filter by age, income, or household size that is on record from the U.S. Census.

Most businesses even qualify for postage discounts by using the EDDM services, because the addresses are sorted in a way that is easy for the post office to process and deliver. (Remember our discussion on mailings?) When working with Master Print and our mailing partners, you can pay as little as $0.164 per mail piece—a giant savings considering First Class mail is $0.50 per piece!

How to Prepare For an EDDM Mailing

There are several things you need to consider when planning an EDDM mailing. (Notice how we once again stress planning?) Just like all direct mail jobs, you’ll need to consider your quantity of pieces to be mailed. A quantity higher than 5,000 mail pieces can qualify for the lowest postage rates because of the bulk mailing process. Along with this process, however, you or your mailing partner will need a bulk mail permit in order to pay the postage. Master Print takes care of these considerations for you.

To get your quantity to print and mail, you’ll need to consider your target audience and the neighborhoods where they live. The EDDM Online Tool can help you map out exactly which houses get your mail piece and will give you a tally of your final quantity. Remember, you can target customers by specific demographics from the U.S. Census data within this tool!

If it sounds daunting, that’s because it can be. But Master Print and our mailing partners have access to similar tools that allow us to determine these neighborhoods using USPS databases. So no stress—if you don’t want to tackle this part, we can!

Next comes the part you’re more familiar with: designing and creating your mail piece. A clear call to action (a directive telling the customer what they should do next) yields the best results from any direct mail piece. Make sure you have their next steps clearly marked, whether it’s to call you with a coupon code, stop in with the flyer, or other action.

Content aside, you need to make sure the technical aspects are in line with the postal regulations as well. You’ll need to confirm that your mail piece fits the specifications for a Marketing Mail Flat piece (see this helpful guide). However, it gets even more technical regarding where the postage indicia is placed (the what?), how large the mail panel is, and even how many pieces should be bundled together for delivery to the post office. Again, Master Print takes care of all of this for you!

Using the EDDM services at the U.S. Postal Service can be challenging, but with a partner like Master Print on your side, you’ll be advertising locally in no time. Ask your sales consultant or account manager to help you get an EDDM job started.