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6 Effective ‘Every Door Direct Mail’ Campaigns

Date: October, 2013 --


The US Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) product has been utilized by countless marketers to date and here we present some of the more effective EDDM direct mail postcard campaigns we’ve come across promoting a variety of verticals. This product is an unaddressed postcard delivered to each address on a designated postal route or to an entire zip code. The postage is very reasonable (16 cents), and obviously there is a good deal of targeting capability when one overlays the relevant demographics of the target on top of the postal routes and zip+4 maps.  

Deciding between a more expensive addressed product (assuming you can obtain names and addresses) and EDDM will likely depend on the size of the population of your target demographic, and of course whether an unaddressed postcard is appropriate for the offer.  For a men’s barber shop, EDDM probably makes good sense. For a “mature woman’s” high-end fashion shop, a more expensive personally addressed letter form may be a better fit. 

Some ideas and examples of EDDM at work:

 1) Gourmet Pizza:  A specialty pizza parlor in Virginia is one of only five in the Eastern part of the US to be certified by the Italian government to make specialized pizza in a wood-burning oven. Since using EDDM it has quadrupled the number of home-delivered pizzas in a few months, without offering discounts!

2) Lending:  A small loan company in South Carolina uses EDDM in a 10 mile radius from its office. It now originates 22 to 25 new loans per month versus 12 new loans previously.

3) Market Research and Market Testing:  Fast food chains use EDDM to run a variety of consumer tests within very select populations. One can test responses to the particular menu item, price points, and offer acceptance times. The combinations of offers, presentation, discount or no, product, and target market are myriad. The same can be done with product development by offering variants of a product in different areas to measure market reaction to the variations. Even a small business can do this. For example, a lawn service might test an offer of bush and small tree pruning in addition to lawn care to measure take-up by mailing in a few select carrier routes before offering the service to their whole market. Perhaps they’ll even find customers who need that service, but not lawn care!  

4) Home Improvement: A bathtub refinishing company in Illinois uses EDDM to promote its services in restoring bath tubs in the home. The EDDM postcard can vividly present before and after displays and has proved so economically successful that after its first test of 1,000 cards the company has now sent some 80,000 pieces. 

5) Political Mailings: Candidates for political office are able to communicate with constituents and voters and present themselves on the issues of interest. And those interests may vary by postal code or carrier route. A jurisdiction may have population concentrations of older retired people and younger families with school-age children. The different issues of concern, and the populations, can be accommodated and more ably addressed by carefully crafted EDDM cards. Notwithstanding that candidates are permitted to obtain and use official voting lists with names and addresses, this ability to segment and target without necessarily personalizing with name and address saves significant expense.  

6) Assurance of Getting to the Right Customer: One restaurant chain with 50 of its 320 restaurants in the US wanted to test whether its marketing materials were reaching its customers. One recent mailing of 8,000 pieces offering a special discount resulted in a 4% to 5% response rate compared to the usual 1% with other channels like email. Email addresses have half-lives, and emails have to get past SPAM filters and “junk mail” settings. This validation was so convincing that the company now employs EDDM as a regular part of its company-wide marketing efforts. 

While all this is about unaddressed “data-less” cards, in fact it is about reaching the right person at the right time with the right offer. Out of this kind of exercise a knowledgeable company will build up that name and address file and employ that knowledge. Moreover, a large company doing this kind of testing and marketing will be dealing with a great deal of data covering the range of things marketers need to consider: demographics, income, pets or no, lawn or no, number of cars,  number of adults/children, age levels,  politics, race, religion, etc. Whether large or small, rely on Data Services to help you efficiently and expertly maintain and employ your priceless customer database.