Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Do You Get It?

You've seen EDDM-Every Door Direct Mail-advertised on TV but probably didn't "get it." For mailers who can use it, it is a great system. For those who can't, it isn't. For just about everybody it has the potential to be confusing and frustrating.

So in the interests of alleviating stress and confusion, here are SIMPLIFIED rules to help you take advantage of EDDM.

  1. Your mailing piece has to be a "flat." That's post office lingo for larger than 6-1/8" x 11-1/2" but no larger than 12" x 15".

  2. Your mail must have a mailing panel with an indicia. The panel has to be in the right spot, with the right info in the right place. If you need clarification on any of these points, stop right now. Get help! You will only hurt yourself if you continue without adult supervision.

  3. You have to mail at CRRT Saturation. That's more post office jargon for mailing to everybody on a carrier's route. No prejudicial skipping addresses.

  4. You don't have to show actual names and addresses, so you save the cost of list rental and presorting. But each piece DOES have to have a generic address like "Postal Patron."

  5. You have to mail out of the DDU. That's even more post office speak for the destination delivery unit, aka the post office that serves the people you are mailing to.

  6. You have to present your mail in USPS-approved fashion, ie counted out, strapped, bagged, and tagged, with a covering sheet on each packet showing zip code, carrier route number, number of addresses on that route, etc. If this makes no sense to you, get help. It's a deal-killer if you show up at the DDU without proper paperwork. All this takes time. Expect to pay more in sort/tie/bag fees if you use a commercial mailing service.

  7. You may not mail more than 5,000 pieces a day. If you intend to mail more than 5,000 pieces plan on multi-day drops and the resulting higher costs.

    If you've been able to successfully navigate all of the above, then your reward comes:

  8. Your postage rate will be 14.5 cents each.

Despite convincing commercials, EDDM is not a good fit for everybody. Some mailers need to mail more than 5,000 pieces; some mailers are too far from the DDU to make the shipping economical; some mailers don't need or want all that acreage to tell their story.

And that's EDDM in a nutshell. If you meet the restrictive criterion, it's useful. If you don't, it's not.

Now do you get it? You win some and you lose some.

Need help with an EDDM project? Let us know! We'll keep it simple. Email me at   

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