Attention Class, Welcome to EDDM 101

You’ve heard about Every Door Direct Mail, and you may have even considered incorporating it as part of your broader marketing strategy. The problem is, no matter where you look you can’t find a comprehensive source of information on how to effectively package and ship EDDM mailings.

The search is over.

While we aren’t actually EDDM professors with doctorates in marketing, we’ve desinged and sent tens of millions of direct mail pieces throughout the U.S. since our inception in 2016. So we have a bit of ‘street cred’.

Through our years of experience, we have earned a strong reputation as an authority in the industry and make it a point to share our findings to help others reach their marketing goals.

This article will cover:

  • What is EDDM
  • Which types of companies should (and shouldn’t) use EDDM
  • 9 key indicators your marketing stack could benefit EDDM campaigns
  • EDDM Retail vs EDDM BMEU (two main types of EDDM)
  • 5 steps to ship your first campaign
  • The best 6 online EDDM targeting tools
  • Time and money-saving tricks
  • Campaign tracking and reporting

Yes, it’s a lot, but this is The Definitive Guide to EDDM in 2021. If you are only looking for information on one of those topics just scroll down.

Important Note:

If you are already in the shopping stage and want to see our unique offering ($0.25/card), click on this article for the 3-step Scout EDDM process and get in touch with us by clicking on that little box that has Jordan (Scout’s founder) trapped in the bottom right of your screen.

If there are any unfamiliar terms we use through this article just scroll back up to here and click on this link to access our direct mail-specific glossary.

Now let’s dive in!

What’s EDDM?

EDDM (not to be confused with EDM, or Electronic Dance Music) stands for “Every Door Direct Mail®”.

Provided by the United States Postal Service, this bulk mailing option is ideal for businesses looking to reach a vast amount of potential customers without the need for individual addresses or a mailing list.

Not only is fast and easy, but it’s also the most affordable way to reach thousands of potential customers with mailpieces. Primarily, these savings come in the form of reduced mail preparation and postage costs.

Since you don’t have a mailing list, instead of targeting individuals or households, you pick specific carrier routes (driving routes of USPS carriers) and your mail will be delivered to every address on that route along with the day’s mail. You pick mailer routes based on which has the highest density of recipients who match your ideal target demographics.

Our clients frequently select routes based on data like household income, the age range of recipients, average credit score, shopping preferences, and whether or not the home is owner-occupied.

Here’s an example:

I’m a solar installer so I’m going to find the select routes in 12345 zip code that has the most owner-occupied homes, highest household income (installation isn’t cheap), most credit scores over 650, and the highest number of homes with a pool or largest household size since that would drive up the electricity bill.

Remember, there is no personalization for EDDM campaigns. All you do for EDDM campaigns is create a single design for your postcards or flyers, select the zip codes and delivery routes that best match your target demographics, and send away. That’s it!

If you want some design inspiration, Scout has a page full of real postcards we graded to let you know what they did well and where they could’ve done better.

Today’s best marketing strategies thrive on their ability to create a personalized customer journey for every prospect. Not here, though. While you can use demographic filters, this is not the same thing as personalization.

In contrast, personalized mailing campaigns allow you to customize individual postcards with variables like the recipient’s first name, a map showing directions from their home to your business, a unique QR code for tracking, and more.

‍Scout even ships solar campaigns where the postcard includes sunlight data on the home, how much they would save over a period of time, and an image of their roof taken from space.

Who should (and shouldn’t) use EDDM?

We used a solar installer in the previous example because service businesses typically see great success with EDDM campaigns.

Small businesses (or startups) like adding this bulk mailing option to their marketing stack due to the fact it allows them to cast a wide net to potential customers and then evaluate who and where their ideal prospects are.

They also tend to benefit the most from the postage discount as their marketing budgets tend to be leaner.

Other industry examples that see particular success with EDDM include:

  • Restaurants
  • Real Estate
  • Moving/storage companies
  • General retail stores
  • Auto repair shops
  • Car Washes
  • Gyms
  • Churches
  • Dry Cleaners
  • Salons and spas
  • Dentists

Businesses that probably won’t benefit from EDDM include those who have niche products or services.

Not everyone in your area wants or needs what you offer, and therefore it is hard to get your mail piece in the hands of your target customer base through EDDM.

Even if you are saving on postage through EDDM, you will be wasting money by sending it to people who are simply uninterested in your business.

Perfect pitch to the wrong buyer. It just doesn’t work.

Still unsure if EDDM is right for you? The next section will help with that.

9 Indicators Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaign Can Benefit from EDDM:

  1. You don’t have a mailing list.
  2. You need to target specific demographics.
  3. You’d like to target an entire zip code(s).
  4. You want to target individual carrier delivery routes.
  5. You are primarily targeting residential customers.
  6. You’re working with a limited budget.
  7. You’d like to keep the workflow online.
  8. You need a marketing method with long-standing, proven results.
  9. You’re not in a hurry.

Let’s take a look at each one of these in closer detail.

#1 – You don’t have a mailing list.

As you know, the first two letters of EDDM stand for “Every Door.” That means that your flyer will be delivered to every active address on your chosen delivery routes. And since everyone will get it, there’s no need to provide specific names or addresses.

If you’ve ever compiled a mailing list, you know that this can be an exhausting and expensive process. Every Door Direct Mail® allows you to canvas an entire area without having to spend the time, effort, and money, generating an address list.

#2 – You need to target specific demographics.

Personalization may not be as precise as it is with other forms of marketing, but you can still target specific demographic criteria such as age, income level, homeowners/renters, children in the home, etc. Different targeting tools offer different options. But we’ll go over all that in a little bit.

And don’t forget that Scout is always here to help. We are happy to talk with you about how you can make your EDDM campaign as personalized as possible.


#3 – You need to target an entire zip code(s).

Do you need to target a large area that spans over neighborhoods or multiple zip codes? EDDM is a great way to blanket vast swaths of the map by merely designating the zip codes where you would like to send your mailers. In direct mail, we use the term “saturation mailing”.

While this is perfect for large campaigns, remember that this can cause your printing and postage fees to increase dramatically. Even at scale, it might be best to spend a little extra time selecting the routes that best match your target demographic. This will help to reduce your costs and boost your ROI. Crunch the numbers before you dive into this option.


You cannot send more than a quantity of 5,000 units per day, per zip code.

#4 – You want to target individual carrier delivery routes.

If sending your postcard to an entire zip code isn’t right for your campaign, EDDM allows you to select individual carrier routes.

Recipient demographics change from street-to-street, and this is a compelling option for choosing the streets where your offer is most likely to have mass appeal.

#5 – You are primarily targeting residential customers.

Here’s an important fact for you to remember about EDDM: You cannot send exclusively to business addresses only. You can, however, send only to residential addresses. And of course, you can send to both business AND residential. But sending to only businesses is not an option.

This is a crucial consideration for a lot of companies. If you’re marketing for a B2B product or service, then EDDM is probably not a cost-effective option for you. You shouldn’t waste money sending your postcard to residential addresses. You’d be better off doing a little research and compiling a mailing list.

And this brings us to our next indicator…

#6 – You’re working with a limited budget.

EDDM requires that you handle the sorting and packaging preparation. It’s not a tough task, but it will take some time and effort. Your bottom line will thank you though because you’ll save a lot of money on postage fees.

In fact, with a postcard mailer, you could save up to several cents per unit compared to a standard first-class envelope. When shipping out thousands of cards at a time, this can equate to huge savings!

Just keep in mind that it will require extra work on your part. And if you’re paying an employee to handle this added effort, make sure your net savings still adequately promote your ROI.

#7 – You’d like to keep the workflow online.

Nothing slows down a process like paper-pushing, and with EDDM there’s no need for hassling with paperwork. Keep everything flowing smoothly and maintain proper management of your campaign efforts by keeping everything online and accessible to other key stakeholders. Plus, this will help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

Plus, it will also be handy when it comes time to analyze the results of your campaign.

#8 – You need a marketing method with long-standing, proven results.

According to the US Postal Service, less than half of delivered mail gets opened. By sending a postcard or flyer for your EDDM campaign, you increase the chances that recipients will view your offer because a postcard doesn’t need to be opened.

We’ve all done it, right? You know what the junk mail envelope looks like and you throw it straight in the recycling bin. But with a postcard, you’ll at least glance at both sides to see if it might benefit you in some way.

Those glances are what EDDM is all about. With one split-second at a time, you’ll build awareness and interest in your brand and begin to draw in new customers.

#9 – You’re not in a hurry.

Delivery time can be as short as a day to two after arriving at the local post office, but there is no guarantee. It could take more than a week. After all, we are talking about the postal service here. If a potential delay concerns you, then you should either choose a different delivery option or be sure to allow yourself enough time to prepare your campaign adequately.