USPS Every Door Direct Mail (E.D.D.M.): A Potential Disaster for Small Businesses?


I’m sure you’ve heard about E.D.D.M. (Every Door Direct Mail) because the USPS has been spending some money promoting it on EDDM TV commercials…

Since we have received a good amount of inquiries about it we decided we would do a thorough explanation of the program and let you know what businesses should use it and what businesses it could actually be a potential disaster for.

First off, I want to applaud the USPS on their advertising efforts and since we do EDDM printing here at PostcardMania we are happy that they are spending their money teaching businesses about the power of direct mail!

What most do not realize is that this type of mailing has been around for years, known as a carrier route mailing.

The only difference with Every-Door Direct Mail is that the pieces have to be a very specific size, and the post office has branded this new product and spent a great deal of money advertising it.

So let’s look at every door direct mail in detail to see if it is actually going to help you get out more promotion for less money, what all business owners actually care about!

What is EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail)?

EDDM is a way for businesses to mail to every home in a specific area or zip code at a discounted postage rate.

The mail piece has to be a very specific size (you can request samples that follow the EDDM template here) and has to follow exact EDDM USPS guidelines to format the mail piece, pull the mailing list, prep the mailing and deliver it to the post office.

The USPS has laid out all of these instructions in a way that small business owners can understand, in an effort to make sending out direct mail easier for them.

Even though you can do it yourself, it is still time consuming and there are EDDM printers and mail houses who can do all of the leg work for you, often times saving you additional money over doing it yourself.

What Kind of Businesses is EDDM Good For?

Here’s how you can decide whether an EDDM mailing is going to be your best option or whether you would actually be worse off with EDDM Direct Mail over a normal, targeted direct mail campaign.

First you’ll want to look at who your ideal customer is.

Let’s take an example, a women’s clothing shop that caters to middle aged women.

The people who actually buy from you are women ages 30-50.

You run a count of how many women age 30-50 there are in your targeted zip codes and come up with 2200 (call us and we can run these counts for you at no charge, 800-628-1804).

Next run an EDDM mailing list count for those same targeted zip codes, lets say you come up with 9000 total records.

So if you use Every Door Direct Mail you will have to hit 9000 homes to reach the 2200 people that are actually your target market.

Or, you can pay a few cents more per piece and only mail to those 2200 qualified people – your overall cost is MUCH less.

Now let’s look at another example of someone who should use EDDM.

Let’s take a restaurant who is targeting anyone in a 5 mile radius who makes more than $30k per year.

You run a specific count with the income criteria and come up with 12,300 records.

You run a US Post Office EDDM count and get 13,000 records.

This business will most likely benefit from going with EDDM marketing since they are targeting almost everyone in their 5 mile radius.

Make sense?

For some businesses it can get a little bit more complicated than the above examples because while they may be able to service everyone in their area, they may make more money off of targeting people with specific income levels, homeowners, genders etc. and all of this needs to be considered into their cost vs. return from their mailing.

Here are a few industries that will usually work for Every Door Direct Mail

– Restaurants
– General Retail stores
– Dentists
– Attorneys
– Doctors
– Dry Cleaners
– Churches
– Moving/Storage companies
– Museums/Amusement Parks
– Auto Repair Shops
– Gyms
– Car Washes

The actual cost difference between mailing through E.D.D.M. and mailing a standard-sized postcard to a targeted list is about 3 cents per piece.

So in the above example of the women’s clothing shop, the 3 cent savings will not justify having to mail to 9000 people to hit the 2200 qualified people.

Feel free to call us and we’ll do a full cost analysis for you so you can see which way makes the most sense: 800-628-1804. 

EDDM Benefits: Postage SavingsThe actual postage savings with EDDM marketing is about 3 cents over postcard first class rate, and about 7 cents over standard letter rate.

The nice thing about EDDM postcards is that you can mail a much larger piece which will grab attention in the mail box.

You will want to quote the entire campaign with EDDM mailpieces and then quote the entire campaign with a targeted list to get an exact price comparison of the difference in the costs of the complete campaign.

EDDM Postcard Sizes

EDDM approved postcards have very specific rules about the size of the piece.

While many different sized pieces can qualify, there are very specific guidelines to figure out the sizes of those EDDM templates.

To follow the EDDM approved postcard sizes, your mail piece must be taller than 6.125” or longer than 11.5” and smaller than 12”x15”.

This gives you an almost endless variety of sizes and can be a bit overwhelming.

We have simplified this into a few EDDM templates that are cost effective to print:

– 6.25” x 8.5”
– 4” x 12”
– 6” x 12”

You can also call us at 800-628-1804 and we can send you some every door direct mail samples.

EDDM Printers: How to Choose

Once you have decided you are going to go with an EDDM postcard, you will want to find a good Every Door Direct Mail printer – you’ll want someone who can do EDDM postcards and who prints a lot of them so that their price is good.

For a professional looking piece you should look for a paper thickness of 12 or 14pt card stock and if possible you should find out if they can use UV lamination on one side for a more professional look.

You will want to confirm with the EDDM printer that their paper stock is EDDM compliant.

Every Door Direct Mail Mailing Lists

Now it is time to pull your EDDM mailing list.

There are two ways to do this – one is do it yourself through the USPS EDDM website, or you can just find out if your printer can do it for you.

Most of the times your EDDM postcard printer can just pull it for you if you specify the zip codes that you want to target.

Preparing Your EDDM Mail Piece

If you plan to mail your every door direct mail postcard yourself, then you need to get the PS Form 3587, bundle your mail and deliver it in a specific order to the USPS.

It gets a little complex because if you are mailing to addresses in other cities or states then you have to ship your every door direct mail mailings to that post office with instructions – a pretty big pain.

The best thing to do is find an EDDM mailer who will just do all of the legwork for you.


In summary, EDDM is a great new tool for marketers, but you need to ensure you are doing it correctly if you can expect any form of ROI.  Are you familiar with EDDM?  We would love to hear of your experience or tactics below in the comments section.



~Source: Postcard mania

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