Bulk mail without a mailing permit? Yes, it’s now possible. Postage as low as 17.7¢ apiece? Yes, that’s how the brand new Every Door Direct Mail program from the USPS works.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is perfect for the do-it-yourself local business owner or marketing professional who doesn’t want to pay the annual expense for a bulk mail permit. Read on to see how you can take advantage of this new program.
How do I figure out which areas to target? To make this new program as user-friendly as possible, the USPS created a site that allows small businesses to locate the areas that they want to target for mailing. You simply enter in your business address, and you can view a map that highlights the carrier routes that fall within a specified radius of your business. You then select just the carrier routes/neighborhoods that you want to target, and the site will actually calculate the exact postage for you and even generate the necessary paperwork
What are the restrictions?
- The EDDM program applies to flat-sized pieces only, as defined by the USPS. This means that postcards and standard size letters do not apply. As defined by the USPS, to qualify for EDDM a mail piece needs to be either taller than 6.125″ or longer than 10.5″, but smaller than 12″ x 15″. Some of the most common approved sizes include:
- 6.5” x 9”
- 8.5″ x 11
- 4.5″ x 12″
- 6” x 11”
- The piece must weigh less than 3.3 ounces
- You must meet minimum thickness requirements of 0.007 inches. To give you a perspective, this is just a hair thinner than a standard business card and substantially thicker than a sheet of copy paper.
- Your printed piece must contain the approved EDDM Postage indicia and simplified addressing format (see example below)
- You cannot mail more than 5,000 pieces per zip code per day using EDDM retail.
- You must insert a “facing slip” between every 50 or 100 copies of the piece that you plan to send. A copy of the “facing slip” is generated for you by the EDDM website.
What’s the minimum? You have to mail to at least one carrier route as defined by the USPS. A “carrier route” is essentially a sub-set of a zip code. In most cases, a single carrier route will contain somewhere between 400 and 700 addresses.
What does the USPS require before I can process an EDDM? While a permit is not required, you need a “Customer Registration ID” also known as a CRID #. There is no cost to obtain a CRID #, and you can sign up for one instantly online simply by providing some contact information about your business and an e-mail address. Your 7-digit CRID # gets printed onto the paperwork that you drop off with the mailing.
Who can I target with these sorts of bulk mailings? Saturation rate mailers can be sent to residential addresses and business addresses, or to residential addresses only. As the program is set up now, there is no option to send to businesses only.
Where do you drop off your mailing? The USPS website actually tells you where to go to drop off your mailing as you are completing your paperwork. One of the unique features about this program is that Every Door Direct Mail gets dropped off at the retail counter of your local post office, NOT at the Business Mail Entry unit which is where other types of bulk mail get delivered. Because of this it really only makes sense to work with someone in your local area to have these types of mailings printed and prepared.
When is EDDM not an appropriate option for businesses?
- If you are planning to send bulk mail to an existing client list, this is not an appropriate option.
- If your mail piece is letter-sized or postcard-sized it will not qualify.
- If you are targeting businesses only, EDDM is not appropriate.
- If you want to personalize your mail piece with the recipient’s name, EDDM is not for you.
- If your best customer-prospects are defined by specific demographics like income, age, gender, hobbies, political or religious affiliation then EDDM is not appropriate.
Here’s a link to the EDDM site if you’re ready to give it a try.
What if I want to take advantage of these low prices, but I don’t want to do the work? You can still take advantage of this low-cost, geography-based program by working with a local bulk mail professional like me. We’ll help you choose your target area, print your marketing piece, make sure that it meets all of the postal requirements, prepare all of the paperwork and deliver the mail to the post office for you. Contact us if you’d like more information about this service or if you need a referral for someone in your local area.
While EDDM is an attractive new option presented by the post office, it may not be a good fit for all businesses. On the other hand, if your best prospects are located near your business or in particular local neighborhoods, then it may be the perfect vehicle for you. The post office has provided the double-incentive of very low postage, and they have removed many of the barriers to entry associated with traditional direct mail.
Do you think your business is a candidate for Every Door Direct Mail? Please share your comments below.