Every Door Direct (EDDM)

Here’s a wonderful use of EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail.

When Randi Slocum’s dog Kaylee ran away from her Stillwater, NY home, Randi’s mother, Carolyn, decided to try Every Door Direct Mail to notify residents in Stillwater and nearby Schuylerville, NY, of the dog’s disappearance. The flyer helped unleash a series of phone calls, and that helped lead to Kaylee’s safe return.

A happy ending and a neat story. So is EDDM a great new option from USPS? 

It may be a new option for looking for lost pets, neighborhood civic notices & other small quantity door hanger material distribution like pizza or chinese food menus, but I do not see a real benefit of this simplified addressing option.

Here’s my view on EDDM as published in April’s edition of DMAW – MARKETING AdVents

“Every Door Direct” – A Hard Sell

As most of you know, USPS started a new Simplified Addressing format called “Every Door Direct Mail” targeted to small businesses. Advertised benefits include: delivery to every address in a selected area, reduced costs and time-to-market, and the elimination of puchased mailing lists or the printing of specific names and addresses on mail pieces.

Foregoing mailing lists and even the need to inkjet addresses on mail pieces altogether sounds interesting. To qualify, mail pieces must meet Standard Mail “flat” requirements.  But the simple fact is that the new format will not save much when compared to printing a traditional tri-fold at saturation rate. But even if it does end up saving a few pennies it will not be good for our industry and here’s why.

Every Door Direct is simply mass advertising, which has caused problems in our industry for years.

I’ve been selling direct mail services for more than 2 decades and I’ve spent much of this time trying to convince businesses that mass marketing or shotgun approaches to advertising are not very efficient or effective. Targeting & measurability are the main powerhouse traits of direct mail that have a clear advantage over any other media. I believe the post office should be embracing and promoting the strongest benefits of direct mail.

Why would USPS want to promote another mass mailing service? 

I do agree that there are some exceptions where saturation mail is beneficial. But overall the more un-targeted pieces people get in the mailbox, the more likely they will be to ignore targeted mail, diluting response rates and and negatively affecting our industry in the long run. Don’t they know that this may actually discourage people from using direct mail rather than encouraging them to do so?

Plus when the focus is on saving money in the production of direct mail we lose. Direct mail is not cheap, and never will be a cheap form of advertising. We need to focus instead on how direct mail can be very beneficial and actually make money for the small business owner.

Will Every Door Direct really increase revenue for USPS? In my opinion it will not. I also predict that Every Door Direct will probably just fade away without much notice.

I understand it was launched with good intentions and we all know the post office needs revenue, but my advice to USPS is to spend less time and money trying to “sell” direct mail and concentrate instead on improving delivery and customer service. This will actually do much more to generate growth and new business.