My Truth about EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail)

Every Door Direct Mail

If you have any questions about EDDM, ask in the comments and I will try to get you an answer. No obligation, I will just try to help you.

                                                ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The postal service is pushing a “not so new” but improved feature called EDDM Every Door Direct Mail.

A simple explanation is that you can mail a “Flat”  (determined by size) mail piece, saturating an area to as many full carrier routes as you like (up to 5000 pcs per day) without having specific addresses and without buying a postal permit.

Saturation mail has been around for a long time but they have made it easier to use.  This should be a good thing.

*** 10  Observations about EDDM *** (these are just my opinions)

1.  The postage price was not reduced for this new program,  but the process was made easier for the customer.  Is that enough to grab their attention?  Time will tell.

2.  It is limited to flats.  In my opinion if the USPS was serious, they would have opened this to standard mail also.

3.  My customers are reluctant to jump on board because of the extra printing costs involved in printing flats.

4.  In tough economic times, my customers are looking for the cheapest possible way to mail, period!  EDDM is not the cheapest, it is just the easiest.

5.  This was a huge blow to the list broker business.  Before customers had to purchase a list, now the post office is offering this mailing with no addresses at all.

6. In my opinion the USPS should do national television advertising.   Get the word out far and wide.  Having their employees try to sell this to small business, is just not efficient. UPDATE ask and you shall receive (click here)

7.  They have limited the number of EDDM (retail) pieces to 5000 per day.   That seems counter productive.  Wouldn’t it be better to pave the way for customers to bring in as much mail in one day as possible?

8.  This program is not open to non-profits.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  Since they didn’t reduce postage costs, why exclude non-profit?

9.  You have to apply for a mailer ID to take advantage of this program.  Although it’s not that difficult, it is mandatory.

10.  The mail must be presented to the post office serving the area you are mailing to.  You can only drop ship if you are using the EDDM BMEU not the EDDM Retail.

Added:

11. There has been some confusion as to whether you can mail an envelope EDDM or not.  Yes you can as long as it meets the size requirements for EDDM.

12.  You must have the permit and the delivery information on the mail piece.  The post office does not do this for you!

If you would like more information or just want to ask a question, contact us (here).

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random me:  I grew up in a house with one bathroom and one telephone.

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46 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Where have I heard about this before??????

    Oh yeah. Someone who owns her own bulk mail business called me as a result of completing a form on her website. Me. A retail manager from 700 miles away.

    🙂

    • 🙂 Yes, isn’t that amazing. I hope you are able to take advantage of this offer or if there is anything else I can help you with, you know how to find me.

  2. Just sat in a local postmaster’s promotional meeting about this, and they indicated that you CANNOT drop ship the pre-bundled flats (and payment) to out-of-area post offices … however in all other DM we have done we routinely will drop ship portions of the mailing to other POs or sorting centers for better pricing.

    • Thanks Charles I changed the wording a bit in the post. You are correct, you cannot drop ship with the RETAIL EDDM, but you can just drive to each post office and present that cities mail to their clerks. In Retail EDDM the permit is generic so you can go anywhere. Guess there would be no need for a drop ship form because you DO NOT have to present it to any given post office first, you can just drive direct. If it is not within driving distance you may be out of luck.

      On the BMEU EDDM with an existing permit you can drop ship. The EDDM site even prints out the drop ship form for you.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. It is VERY much appreciated.

  3. This is another way for the USPS to rip off the mail list brokers who have over the years provided mailing lists for a nominal fee.

    We object to this program as it is taking money out of our business.

    We are a Saturation List company and this is how we generate our revenue.

    They should stick to delivering the mail.

    • Frank, thank you for your comment. I do understand your position. The USPS in encroaching on trying to get our bulk mail customers to use their online service too. This obviously has taken away business from our own saturation mailings too. But it is what it is and we need to adjust and continue to give our customers the best service we can.

  4. I would actually like to know of the cheaper ways of mass mailing that you hint towards in this article. I have been using EDDM but if there is a cheaper way to go, I’d like to explore it, whether it’s more difficult or not.

    • I’ll send you an email shortly. Will probably be too long for a blog comment.

      • i would also like to know of a cheaper way to get the same results as the usps eddm service. thanks

      • I replied to your customer support email.

    • Can you please send me email with cheaper ways to send out.

      • There isn’t much cheaper than EDDM.

  5. Interesting Blog. I work for a Logistics Company that specializes in Drop Shipping, National Parcel Logistics, Inc. (NPL) http://www.nationalparcel.com
    *Did I understand correctly that only the EDDM BMEU program will work for dropshipping?
    *Would the EDDM BMEU approved mail require a Postal 8125 form for mail destination entry? For all the mailers out there, please note the website above and check us out. Choose National Parcel Logistics (NPL)for all your Mail Transportation needs.

    • Eric, excellent! Thanks for taking the time to comment and YES your company could be very useful to some EDDM mailers. I hope that find you.

  6. […] Flanagin (click here to go to my website) (click here to go to EDDM blog) Share this:ShareTwitterEmailFacebookPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Published […]

  7. EDDM has its pluses and minuses. For business such as pizza places, restaurants and bakeries, this could produce huge profit dollars.The problem is that many small business owners will not spend the dollars to market their business.

    I have dealt with many small business owners and surprised how many don’t advertise. They had bad luck in the past with direct mail, but that was because they did not have a clue of what they were doing.

    • Jerry, you are so right. Eddm is good for many types of businesses but what they mail is critical. Failed direct mail is often the fault of the mail piece and what it conveys. I am a believer in giving an offer. Any type of offer will do, Free WIDGET, $5.00 off $25.00 purchase, % off, coupons, anything.. but give them a reason to keep your direct mail piece. Don’t just tell them you exist and hope the show up. EDDM definately has pluses and minuses and only time till tell if the business community will take a liking. Thank you for your comment, it is very much appreciated.

  8. Do you know much about the timing of an EDDM mailing. If I drop the bundles off at the Post Office today are they in mail boxes tomorrow or within a set timeframe? Can I request delivery on a specific date?

    Also is the 5k limit per post office or total. (i.e. Can I send 5000 at Station ABC and another 5000 at Station XYZ on the same day).

    • They are phasing out the “requested” delivery dates on all mail. Each post office will handle EDDM differently on timing I would imagine. If they are low on mail volumes, you would probably see it next day, but my experience has been within 3 days I would guess. Leave ample time because the post office has the final say on delivery but generally they are very quick to get it out.

      If you are willing to drive to the various post offices, I think you can deposit 5000 at each just not more than 5000 at any post office when doing retail EDDM.

      Anything else I can help you with?

  9. Two quick questions:

    1) What’s the cheapest EDDM printing option you’ve found? All I found was SonicPrint — is there anything cheaper?

    2) You said it’s the easiest, not the cheapest option. What’s the cheapest option to get the word out to 10,000 people in a town?

    Thanks,

    Pete Davis

    • Pete,

      1) I cannot advise you on printing prices. I have no idea. I do know that you can mail a magazine/catalog type mail piece up to 3.3 oz for the same 14.5 cent per piece postage that you will pay for a postcard. So that is a HUGE value if you have something heavier to mail.

      2) This question is a little bit trickier to answer. If you use a mail house in your area, you can mail saturation for 14.2 cents per piece postage and you can mail a smaller size mail piece which will save you on the printing costs.

      Give me a call if you just want to chat about it, and I can guide you to what might be the best option for you in your area. 219-464-9871 No obligation, just free advise 🙂

      • Donna,

        Would it be alright for me to give you a call this week. Your advice has been so helpful and I’d love to talk about bulk mail and the services your organization provides. Could you email me at Pete@CommonPlaceUSA.com if that’s possible!

        Thanks,

        Pete

  10. I am a non-profit organization (I have a permit) and I just want to send 600 (have a targeted mail route in mind) postcards to people around our organization. I have been to the post office twice and have gotten different answers about EDDM. I was going to send a standard 4×6 postcard but found out that I need something bigger so now thinking (9×6.5 that is a flat size right?). But that is more money and now I don’t know if this is the cheapest most effective way. So if I am going to use EDDM do I need to go under retail since I have a non-profit permit or do I just send EDDM using my permit and do I have to fill out paperwork again. Is there a difference in cost between EDDM-retail and non-retail? Please email me any info if there is a cheaper way for me to do this. I really don’t want to sit and address 600 post cards or drive down the street figuring out the addresses around my organization. I would be soo grateful for your insight.

    • As of right now EDDM does not allow non-profit rates and they are by far lower, so you will want to mail non-profit with your permit, but I will email you.

  11. Hi Donna,

    Would it be alright to have a call this week? Your advice has been so helpful and I’d love to talk to you about your bulk mail services and other pieces of advice with regard to EDDM/other options.

    If that’s possible, could you email me at Pete@CommonPlaceUSA.com?

    Thanks,

    Pete

  12. We have been offering EDDM as a one-stop-shop for small businesses and like Jerry we have found that most small businesses either do not advertise or do not do direct mail because of “bad experience” in the past (usually in which they mailed items very unprofessionally without a graphic designer or deal). How have you been able to find clients interested in this??
    Thanks for all of the help!

    • I find most businesses are not willing to pay the extra cost in printing the larger size to qualify for EDDM. Since we have always been able to offer saturation mailings, they usually stick with a smaller size. The draw back for so many and for us is that it must be delivered to each post office. When we do our regular saturation, we do not have to deliver to every post office. EDDM has it’s place, I see the pizza/restaurant type using it because they want to only advertise local and some of the landscaping outfits it works for. It is a good idea for parks departments or the like that send out magazine/schedules to the entire city. It does save on preparation time. We have always been able to get them the good postage rates, so we can’t sell them on that as something new.

  13. Hi–I have a question. If I send a magazine/catalog through EDDM, can I bellyband, cover wrap, or cover tip on the lower half of the book–without polybag? Thanks.

    • Since EDDM must be delivered to the destination post office, it would be best to check with them. The weight of this catalog will be relevant also. EDDM mail does not go through any machines at the post office, so chances are better that it will be accepted as long as it does not create a mess for the carrier. Again check with post office in the city the mail will be going to.

  14. As a real estate agent I have done some EDDM of 3000 plus pieces with no results (no calls, no nothing and I believe these were excellently designed postcards). I have google analytics on my website and I receive no increase in activity from my mailings Google analytics can target to city wide area so I can see exactly where a visitor came from on my website. My concern is this: It is my understanding that barcoded mail gets sorted at the post office and it is mixed in with first class mail, magazines etc.and then delivered EDDM (and simplified addressing standard mail) is different from what I hear. The carrier has to physically add 1 piece of mail to each stop on his or her route. They have to get your regular mail, then reach over to another box and get a piece of EDDM to add to the stop. (a real burden on the carrier who has this additional work) Also any extra pieces at the end of the route get discarded. It is my impression that EDDM can be easily discarded at the end of the day by the carrier if they didnt want to deliver it. Maybe I am just paranoid at bad results but i was wondering if you have seen anyone complain about receiving bad results using eddm vs. barcoded mail.

    • Brad,

      I can only give you my opinion on this. You do have a lot of the facts correct. EDDM is not “cased” with the first class and barcoded mail. But it is highly unlikely that your mail was tossed by a carrier. I know, we all have heard the horror stories of mail being trashed by a carrier but it is so rare. Most carriers do a great job of delivering your mail every day. In your case 7 or more different carriers would have had to toss your mail. There is NO WAY that happened.

      Here is how I view your situation. If you mailed 3000 then you mailed to more than one carrier route, probably 7 or more. So your mail was handled and delivered by several different postal employees. I have mailed millions of pieces of mail in my business career, sometimes the mail is slow, sometimes it arrives faster than expected, but I have never had any mailings actually not get delivered. There may be pieces of mail that don’t get delivered, but never an entire mailing.

      Brad, feel free to email me at dflana22@comcast.net with your contact information and I will be happy to chat with you by phone about your concerns. Maybe I can help shed some light and renew your faith in direct mail. Seriously, it is my pleasure to always help in anyway I can.

      Donna

  15. Hi Donna, it`s been almost 3 months since I starded using EDDM for my Pizza shop, don`t have any problem, the only problem I have is that I can not choose to send my mail(Menu) to business only , if they upgrade or fix that option , I will continue using EDDM. Thanks Sean

  16. Hi Donna,

    The small business I work for (residential construction) recently sent out 65,000 mailers to 23 towns. We elected to deliver the mailers to the towns ourselves because the cost difference between sending them from one location or delivering them ourselves is about $4,000.

    We received about 20 calls the following two weeks from 11 of the 23 towns. We sent 7,000 to 3 different downs (7000 per town) and received no calls from these towns. We sent 1500-3000 to the other towns which did not receive the mailers. The advert is very nice looking, professionally done, and 6″ x 11″.

    Does this make any sense? Should I be worried that they may not have been sent out? We put about $10,000 into this and are very disappointed in the turnout. We’ve done advertising with Money Mailer in the past and the response is much better, but obviously it’s much more expensive.

    • WELL-

      Is this your first time mailing with EDDM?
      Have you ever mailed here before or done any sort of advertising in those areas?
      What was the weather like when you mailed?
      DO you realize that a mailing has about a month worths of “life”. You have the initial reaction and then delayed reaction.

      We have used direct mail for 14 years. We have used Money Mailer and Val Pak over over a decade. Both of these are losing their audience and we are doing more and more EDDM over both. In fact we cut out of our budget Val pak and just do MM and EDDM is pulling away from MM now.

      Bottomline- you get what you pay for. Money Mailer is OK but does not get you top of mind with home owners. We are a long term mailer for 14 years now and we have tested EDDM for over a year and they work. They are more money than Money Mailer but if you keep doing them over and over and over you will get your money and then some. But you must have a large budget and keep doing them. Do not stop doing them if a month goes by and you get no result, they build like anything else.

      I say yuck to Money Mailer and Val Pak, they do no reach all customers as you would think. I know this to be true after presenting numbers and grilling the owners of MM and Val pack in my area.

  17. Donna, in my humble opinion, as a former graphic designer and current print consultant at major retailer where I help customers with this all the time….even though your ad may have been professionally created and think the ad looks beautiful.. it’s always good to have a professional graphic designer create it for you that has a marketing background.Always ask the designer for their portfolio and don’t settle for the cheapest.

    If the design was done in-house… your ad maybe a result of the “ugly baby” syndrome, because you created it you might think its beautiful.. and other people won’t give honest feedback that your ad was unattractive.

    However, even “ugly baby” designs can drive results if there is a strong “call to action” – what will the customer get out of the ad? Did you offer some kind of free or discounted incentive or other perk?Something as simple as FREE ESTIMATE or 10% off first order, free shipping …etc. can have a big effect. Best call to action mailers included a perforated piece like a business card or coupon.

    If you have a strong enough call to action even people that don’t need your product or service will hang on to it until they do!

  18. All your comments so far have been very helpful.

    But I still have a beginner question – what is the difference between EDDM and Bulk Mail? I’m new to this and looking for the most affordable way to send out marketing post cards.

    Thank you.

    • Irina:

      Bulk mail is the umbrella and EDDM is a type of mail under that umbrella. It has very cheap postage rates but you can use up some of that savings in the added printing costs to produce the larger size mail piece required by EDDM. A small standard post card does not qualify for EDDM. Also the mail must be presented to the post office where the mail will be delivered so if you are not mailing to your local people be prepared to drive it or ship it to the destination post office.

      Bulk mail will require you to purchase a permit which can be costly and EDDM can be mailed without purchasing that permit.

      These are the simple answers to your questions, but bulk mail has so many variables that it can get complicated.

      Feel free to ask me more questions if you like, it is my pleasure to assist.

  19. Thank you for your opinion.

  20. A client did a retail EDDM last week and claims that a mail pieces delivering to a multi-unit residence were left together in the lobby. Have you ever heard of this?

    • Larry, I have not heard of this but not completely surprised. My suggestion would be to call the post office where the EDDM was submitted, find out what carrier had the multi-unit on their route and ASK if that is standard procedure for that unit with EDDM mail? There may be extenuating circumstances, the development might prefer that or the carrier might have done it on their own. If you cannot locate the carrier for that route, give me the address and I will tell you the carrier. Then you can ask for that route supervisor and ask your questions. Always a good idea to call and get the facts for future knowledge.

      Have a flan-tastic day and scatter kindness.
      Donna

  21. Great Article. Thanks for the info, super helpful. Does anyone know where I can find a blank form 8125 to fill out?

  22. Hi my name is Chris I just did an EDDM for the first time and believe that my flyers for my business did not get delivered because I have a few friends and family in that area on that route and they all said that nothing was received. When I called the post office it was said to me that it went out but obviously not to the resident in the area. I really don’t want to or can afford to take this lost, what are my options.


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