Could your business or organization benefit from mailing every household on a mail route for just 18 cents a piece – without using a mailhouse or bulk mail permit?
For most, the answer is yes!
I stumbled upon USPS Every Door Direct Mail service a few years ago. I was working on a community newsletter that needed to go to everyone in our town. I figured it should be simple to get a list of everyone in our zip code and print traditional labels and send them out. However, I quickly learned that a list with mailing addresses for our residents couldn’t be shared with me. I also didn’t want to purchase a list from a mail house because I wanted to keep costs down.
I came across the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) solution called Every Door Direct Mail. Since then, it is my top recommendation for small businesses or organizations to affordably, quickly and easily get printed material in their customer’s mailboxes.
Every Door Direct Mail allows you to select specific mail routes of areas you want to target, tells you how many mailing addresses are on that route, and then what post office to drop your mailpieces off at and it gets delivered to EVERYONE on that route at a cost of about 18 cents per house. I could send the newsletter to everyone in my village (482 mailboxes) for just $90. I could do it without the cost of using a mail house, purchasing a list, or getting a bulk mail permit.
How can this service benefit your business? Let me walk you through how to set-up your very own Every Door Direct Mail project from start to finish, with great tips along the way. The order of how to do your very own Every Door Direct Mail project is this:
- Select your routes and mailing area
- Design your mail piece
- Print your mail piece
- Order your Every Door Direct Mail project through the USPS website
- Prepare and drop-off your mailing at the post office(s)
There is a little legwork doing an Every Door Direct Mail project, but the savings are worth the little bit of your time. Let’s begin.
1. Finding your routes
Begin by going to the USPS website here: https://www.usps.com/business/every-door-direct-mail.htm and clicking on the EDDM Online Tool Button. This launches a window where you can search for a zip code, city, or an address. I use the zip code way the most often, but depending on your location and population, an address might work better. Hit enter to start the search, and the map will change to show the search results. As you select where you want to mail, the numbers on the right side change to show you how many mail pieces are needed and how much postage will be. You can adjust this to stay within a certain budget and make sure you stay within the EDDM quantity requirements (some mail routes you need to at least have 200 pieces or no more than 5000 pieces). Once you have the mail routes like you want them, write them down. You aren’t ordering just yet, but you need this info to design WHAT you’re going to send out.
2. Design your mail piece.
There are several requirements the USPS enforces to use the EDDM service.
Yep, this is CRUCIAL. You can only use Every Door Direct Mail with certain size mail pieces. l suggest working with a designer and printer that is familiar with the Every Door Direct Mail sizing to make sure what you have printed will work.
Thinking about what mail routes you selected, use location-specific verbiage in your mail piece to make sure your mail piece is noticed.
Your mail piece must have the EDDM Indicia as outlined below:
3. Print your mail piece
Using the number you wrote down from what mail routes you’re sending to, print your mail piece in that quantity. Using a printer that will bundle you mailing in groups of 100 pieces is a must (it will save you countless hours in the next step.) You also want to print with some sort of coating on your mailpiece which will protect it from the elements as it’s being delivered (no running or smudge ink here!).
4. Place the order on the USPS website
Once your mail piece is printed and has arrived, go back to the USPS EDDM site and order your mailing. You can pay online or at the post office. You also select which date you want your mailing to go out. Once ordered, you will be instructed to print all forms. Print these forms and follow the directions, which include making bundles or 100 mail pieces and putting a cover sheet in between each bundle of 100.
5. Drop off at post office
Deliver your mailing with all the forms you printed out to the post office location printed on the forms. If you are doing several different zip codes or areas, watch your forms you printed to make sure each group gets to the right post office. The post office clerk will scan your paperwork, pay if you haven’t already online, and then set your mailing to be sent out with the mail carrier.
This can be a daunting endeavor to tackle, so reach out to me if you have any questions. However, you will find it’s easy to get the hang of and you can mass market to a specific location WITHOUT mail house costs and for cheap postage. It’s worth the effort to learn how to use this service.