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Targeted Direct Mail Without a Postal Permit—Yes!

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  • Targeted Direct Mail Without a Postal Permit—Yes!

    Every Door Delivery (EDDM) Is the Door to Saving Time & Money on Direct Mail


    By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

    As any mailer can tell you, acquiring mailing lists for direct mail campaigns is perhaps the biggest challenge in marketing. Sure, lists can be purchased, but they’re expensive, and mailing lists can go out-of-date quite easily as people move, switch jobs, get married, and are otherwise on-the-go.

    Few people, it seems, are aware that there is an easy and inexpensive solution to the mailing list problem right under their noses. One of the most tragically under-utilized tools for business (especially small business) mailings is available from the United States Postal Service (USPS). Launched in 2011, the USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a terrific online tool that lets you target print direct mail campaigns literally by street. If you only wanted to reach homes and businesses in a three-mile radius around your physical location, you could do it easily.

    The online EDDM tool lets you select individual mail carrier routes, interactively tells you how many addresses are in each route, and calculates the cost for each route, which allows you stay within budget. For example, if you are reasonably familiar with your local area, you may know that there is a brand new subdivision, condominium complex, or strip mall in a particular ZIP code where new residents or businesses might make good prospects. With EDDM, you can precisely target those new prospects. You just enter a street address, such as your own location, ZIP code, or city (kind of like Google Maps), and the system will show you the available routes in that area. You can also see the demographics of recipients in your chosen route(s), and you can choose to send only to residential addresses.

    Even better, you don’t need to apply for a postage permit or otherwise purchase a mailing list, saving you time and money. EDDM postage is also priced well below the first class rate—as low as $0.154 per piece—which can save even more.

    As useful as EDDM is by itself, you can get even better results when you work with a print service provider—like 4over—that offers an EDDM service. Not only can they handle the logistics (and the printing, naturally), they can also draw on their intimate knowledge of the USPS’s restrictions to get the most streamlined service. So you can target your mailings as precisely as you like without having to delve into the details of the EDDM program yourself.

    4over’s EDDM Full Service thus allows you to target specific postal routes, ensuring that your promotions, advertisements, and other materials reach the mailboxes of desired demographics in the areas of your choosing. 4over also offers a wide range of size and finishing options that can make your pieces stand out distinctively while also playing nice with the specific EDDM dimensional requirements.

    Here’s how it works. With 4over’s Full Service, 4over’s easy-to-use online tool lets you choose a specific product and targeted mailbox date, select your desired EDDM routes, and then upload your artwork. 4over then takes care of all the printing, bundling, EDDM processing, and mailing. Note that there is also a 4over Print Only option, with which 4over prints and ships to you, but you still have to design and place a postal indicia and addressing in the proper locations according to USPS EDDM Standards. If you don’t know what an indicia is, how to design one, and/or where to place it, Full Service is an attractive option.

    4over’s Full Service EDDM tool offers all the design templates you need—in Illustrator and Photoshop formats—as well as indicia, addressing information, and artwork guides to ensure that your files are formatted correctly and ready for the mailstream.

    Even in this day and age of digital and social media, printed direct mail still remains the most effective method of maximizing response rates and attracting new customers, especially when used in combination with new media. And when you can precisely target consumers geographically and demographically, you can save money vs. long, mass mailings. Services like EDDM take a lot of the cost and hassle out of direct mail, allowing you to focus on the message and the offer, without having to worry about logistics. It offers benefits not only to direct mailers, but to their customers as well.

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