- David Smith
Take Advantage of This Marketing Gift from Your Friendly Local Post Office!
If you operate any type of neighborhood business that serves a broad customer base, the Post Office has a bargain-rate marketing tool you should absolutely be using: Every Door Direct Mail. Every Door Direct Mail, known as EDDM, allows you to economically saturate selected carrier routes in your area with mailers at discount postage rates.
Talk about bang for the buck: for as little as 17.9 cents apiece, you can mail a postcard to every address in any residential carrier route you choose! This type of blanket neighborhood coverage is great for any type of local service like:
Auto Repair Shops
The Post Office gives you such a bargain rate because there is no sorting involved on their end. The mail carrier simply places one of your postcards into every mailbox on the route. That also means you don’t have to worry about creating a mailing list or printing labels. While it’s true that you can’t pick and choose (since you are required to send to every address in a carrier route) you do have some options when it comes to targeting which routes you want to use. Simply go to https://eddm.usps.com and you can search through carrier route info courtesy of the USPS map. For example, in my zip code of 46237 you can find 26 carrier routes. These routes have anywhere from 246 to 886 households each, with average household incomes ranging from $33,250 to $91,960. The Post Office also provides you with some additional demographic information about each route, including the age ranges of residents, and the average household size. I actually find it a bit creepy that they know so much about us, but this information is simply extracted from the most recent Census Bureau data.
This means, of course, that the data could be as much as 10 years old. But it does still give you some ballpark ideas about the demographics of the neighborhoods you are targeting. There are a number of restrictions on how you can use this service. You have to send a minimum of 200 pieces, and you have to send a piece to every address in whatever carrier route you choose. So a route with 800 residents means you have to send 800 pieces of mail. No partials allowed. You are also limited to a maximum of 5000 piece a day. You are dealing with the Post Office, so there are very particular regulations concerning the marking and bundling of your mail. The paperwork involved for payment and submission may bog you down the first few times you have to deal with it. But the value that EDDM provides to local neighborhood businesses makes it well worth the hassles of navigating the postal regulations to make it happen. And once you know the ropes, you have quick easy access to the most affordable Direct Mail program out there! And if paperwork truly makes you gag, fear not! There are many third-party vendors who will take care of the mailing details for you. Staples provides such a service, as does PostcardMania and other direct mail printing companies. Many local printers also provide EDDM services if you give them the postcard printing work. Even in this high-tech internet era, Direct Mail is still a powerful marketing tool . . . and with EDDM, it is more affordable than ever for small neighborhood businesses.