The Pros and Cons of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)

Every now and then clients make assumptions about marketing channels that on the surface appear attractive. But when they call in the experts, the consultants spend a lot of effort and time re-educating the client about what works best for them.

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The Post Office has done a good job promoting their Every Door Direct Mail program. But as always, there are two sides to every story.

And so it is with EDDM.

What is EDDM?

In a nutshell, the Every Door Direct Mail postal program offers a less expensive way to saturate a given geographic area with direct mail. There are Post Office approved direct mail formats and other restrictions that limit the scope and capability of the program for many mailers.

For these types of saturation mailings, the Post Office delivers your piece to every door in selected Carrier Routes without the need for a name or address.

What are the specifications for Every Door Direct Mail – Retail™?

- Submit your pieces to the Post Office™ serving the area you want to reach.

- Send up to 5,000 mail pieces per day.

- Keep your per-piece weight to 3.3 ounces or less.

- Use Standard Mail® flats following the format specifications at

To put all of this in perspective, I asked my good friend and direct mail specialist Keith Goodman, VP for Modern Postcard in California for an interview.

Here are the questions and his answers.


Keith, I know you do large volumes of direct mail at Modern Postcard. What do you see as the key benefits of EDDM for mailers?


It is a great way for a small business to saturate everybody in a neighborhood.

For example, a local business such as a convenience store, gas station or fast food restaurant can saturate 100% of their trade area at a relatively low cost of entry.

The mailer does not need to purchase a mailing list saving additional money.

The business can also mail oversize pieces and have the Post Office deliver them at a low price.


What are the disadvantages?


We often recommend mailers consider using regular Standard Mail rather than EDDM for the following reasons.

- Your targeting is limited to an entire carrier route and there is absolutely no personalization on the piece such as name or address. This makes the piece “advertising“ rather than personal direct mail.

- One of the key benefits of direct mail is its ability to create and deliver a highly targeted message. EDDM does not support that.

- You need to print an oversized piece since the program only covers flats and not the normal letter sizes. These pieces are often more expensive to print than regular size pieces and can eliminate any EDDM savings.

- Even though the price is low, it does require some additional work on the part the customer. The customer needs to take the printed pieces and deliver them to the post office in banded stacks of 50. This can add 1-2 hours of time to an already busy day for a business owner. At $50 an hour with a cost of $100, that can add .10 a piece to a 1,000 piece mailing, eliminating any savings that were realized.


When should a mailer consider using EDDM rather than Standard Rate delivery?


- If they know that they have a universally needed product or service in their neighborhood.

- They have an extremely small marketing budget and must leverage every penny

- They have extra time on their hands to support some of the manual tasks such as bundling the pieces delivering them to the post office or are willing to pay a local lettershop to perform the work for a fee.

- They are confident that they can create an effective mail piece without the support of a direct mail company.


When should a mailer not use EDDM?


- When they need to target specific demographics to yield the best results on their campaign.

- They are more concerned with the ROI on their program versus the price of the piece.

- They are busy managing their business and do not have time to handle the intricacies of the program.

- They want to leverage the many data tools and mailing formats that have been created to maximize the effectiveness of direct mail versus just lowering the cost.

In summary, it appears businesses should consider EDDM for certain types of promotions. But the Return on Investment may not make EDDM the best choice for every promotion.

Thank you Keith for your enlightening answers.

Posted on May 8, 2013 and filed under Direct Mail.