The Post Office has been very aggressively promoting their Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) program in print and on the television. On the surface it appears to be the panacea of advertising and marketing programs in that you don’t need to buy or create any address lists and you don’t need to do any fancy sorting to get the mail pieces into the mail stream. However, when you dig into the rules and regulations you find that while it has some very attractive benefits but, it also has some significant limitations. The purpose of this blog is to illustrate both sides of the story.


What is EDDM®?

It is essentially a simplified approach to saturation mailing of USPS® Marketing Mail flats that is a less expensive method to reach all addresses in a selected geographic area as defined by a collection of one or more carrier routes. As such they are generally subject to USPS Marketing Mail eligibility standards, with the main difference being the use of simplified addresses. This discussion focuses on the EDDM Retail® product. There is a virtually identical companion product known as EDDM BMEU® which differs in how payment is made and where the mail is entered into the system. EDDM BMEU® is designed for high volume users who use their Business Customer Gateway account to prepare the mailing, pay with a bulk mailing permit and agree to drop off their mailings at a USPS® mail processing center (BMEU).


Why use EDDM®?

  • EDDM® lets your business send promotional mail without having to buy and maintain a mailing list; therefore, it is less expensive to produce and less expensive to mail because the postage.
  • EDDM® can help businesses by
    • Building more traffic
    • Finding new customers, and
    • Increasing revenue.


EDDM® Specifications:

  • Dimensions — The maximum dimensions are 12 x 15 inches and the minimum dimension must have a length greater than 10-1/2 inches long, or a height greater than 6-1/8 inches high, or a thickness greater than 1/4 inch thick.
  • Weight — The individual mail pieces must weigh 3.3 ounces or less.
  • Quantity — You can mail up to 5,000 pieces per day per 5-digit Zip Code.
  • Shape — The mail pieces must be uniformly thick and rectangular in shape with four square corners or with finished corners that do not exceed a radius of 1/8 (0.125) inches.


EDDM® Advantages:

  • Simplicity — There is no address list to buy and no individual addressing of the mail pieces. You pick an area like a zip code, an area around a certain address or a specific postal carrier route. Your mail piece gets delivered to every address or every door in that area regardless of whether the area is a single carrier route or the entire county.
  • Visibility — The EDDM® mail pieces are generally oversized and, therefore, they will really stand out in the mail. Targeted mailings are generally letter-sized pieces that are less than 6-1/8″x11.5″ while the USPS® regulations require that the EDDM® mail pieces must be flat-sized which means that they have to be larger than a letter-sized piece in at least one dimension and have a maximum size of 12”x15”.
  • Lower Cost — The cost of an individual mailing piece is significantly less than a traditional direct mail piece – no address list to purchase, no addressing individual pieces, no USPS®-mandated sorting and address verification and lower postage which is far below the first class and even less than almost all standard presorted rates.


EDDM® Disadvantages:

  • No Demographic Choices — EDDM® is not a targeted mailing program. You can target an area (e.g., a carrier route or a group of carrier routes within either a zip code or a distance around an address) but you can’t target specific demographics (e.g., age, income, homeowner, vehicle owner, geography, and presence of children). If you are interested in a targeted mailing or wish to discuss the differences in more depth, please contact us.
  • No Address Choices — You must send mail pieces to every address (residence & business or residential-only) in each selected carrier route. You can’t send mailers only to businesses or to select addresses.
  • No Personalization — You can’t personalize the mailers with variable data to, for example, add a personal; greeting or modify an offer based on a customer’s buying habits. All mail pieces must be identical. This makes your mail piece be more of an advertising piece than a personal direct mail piece.
  • Lower Response Rate — A number of studies have shown that personalized mail gets a better response rate than generic mail.
  • No Delivery Guarantee — The USPS® does not guarantee the delivery of EDDM® mail within a specified time.
  • No Extra Services — Extra services such as forwarding or return service are not available for EDDM® mailings.
  • Numerous Requirements — There are detailed procedures that must be followed in order to get the EDDM®mailings into the system.
    • Paperwork — USPS® approved paperwork must be generated to document the mailing
    • Bundling — The mail pieces must be bundled in groups of 50 or 100 pieces (depending on size) and each bundle must have a USPS® approved facing slip
    • Grouped by Carrier Route — All of the bundles for a given carrier route must be placed together in a USPS® approved container
    • Delivery To Sorting Facility — The containers of mail must be delivered to the USPS® location that sorts the mail for that carrier route


Who should consider using EDDM®?

  • Universal Appeal — EDDM® is ideal for product or service providers whose products have universal appeal in a neighborhood that may have a wide range of demographics.
    • Retailers — EDDM® is ideal for retailers such as gas stations, drug stores, convenience stores, restaurants, grocery stores, specialty stores, gift shops, apparel shops, and department stores.
    • Services — EDDM® is ideal for service providers such as automotive repair shops, attorneys, health care professionals, banks, dry cleaners, handy men, contractors, home improvement businesses, insurance agencies, and real estate agents.
  • Limited Budget — Companies with an extremely small marketing budget.


Who should NOT consider using EDDM®?

  • Specific Demographics — Companies that need to target specific demographics to yield the best results.
  • ROI Concerns — Companies that are more concerned with ROI instead of cost per mail piece.
  • Broad Programs — Companies that want to leverage many data tools and mailing formats.


How Can We Help You:

  • Route Selection — We can help you identify the USPS® postal routes that match your target area and determine the size of your mailing.
  • Mail Piece Design — We will help you design the mailer that will make the most impact and get the results that your want.
  • Handle Every Step — We will take care of all of the details! We will print, count & bundle the mailers, fill out the required paperwork and label your mailing to the exact specifications required by USPS®.
  • Deliver To Post Office — We will deliver your completed mailing to all appropriate USPS® sorting facilities and ship or deliver samples to your office.