USPS Every Door Direct Mail (E.D.D.M.): A Potential Disaster for Small Businesses? (Updated for 2017)

I’m sure you’ve heard about EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) because the USPS has been spending some money promoting it on EDDM TV commercials…

We’ve received a good amount of inquiries about EDDM so I wanted to give you an explanation of this program and let you know which businesses should use it and what businesses it could potentially be a disaster for.

First off, I applaud the USPS on their advertising efforts. and since we do EDDM printing right here at PostcardMania, we are happy that they are spending their money teaching businesses about the power of direct mail — specifically EDDM postcards!

What most don’t realize is that this type of mailing has been around for years, also known as carrier route mailing.

Here’s the main difference:

The Every Door Direct Mail size specifications are quite exact — meaning your EDDM postcards absolutely must be a VERY specific size or they can’t be mailed. It’s these specific EDDM sizes which justified a re-brand — and advertising push — of this USPS door to door advertising service.

So let’s look at Every Door Direct Mail in detail to see if it is actually going to help you get out more promotion for less money, what all business owners actually care about!

What is EDDM

What is EDDM USPS (Every Door Direct Mail)?

EDDM is a way for businesses to mail to every home in a specific area or zip code at a discounted postage rate.

The mail piece has to be a very specific size — in fact, you can get samples of the Every Door Direct Mail template so you can see what I mean. Again, your EDDM postcards simply HAVE to follow exact EDDM post office guidelines which inform how to format the mail piece, pull the mailing list, prep the mailing, and deliver it to the post office.

The US Post Office Every Door Direct Mail department has laid out all of these instructions in a way that small business owners can understand, in an effort to make sending out direct mail easier for them.

Even though you can do it yourself, it is still time consuming. Plus, you can hire an Every Door Direct Mail printer who will help design, print, bundle, and mail your EDDM postcards for you, often times saving you additional money over doing it yourself.

Is EDDM Good for my Business

What Kind of Businesses is an EDDM Mailer Good For?

Here’s how you can decide whether an EDDM mailing is going to be your best option or whether you would actually be worse off with EDDM services over a normal, targeted direct mail campaign.

First, you’ll want to look at who your ideal customer is.

Let’s take an example: a women’s clothing shop that caters to middle-aged women.

The people who actually buy from you are women ages 30-50.

You run a count of how many women aged 30-50 live in your targeted zip codes, and you come up with 2,200 (call us and we can run these counts for you at no charge, 800-628-1804).

Next, run an EDDM mailing list count for those same targeted zip codes — let’s say you come up with 9,000 total records.

So if you use Every Door Direct Mail, you will have to hit 9,000 homes to reach the 2,200 people that are actually your target market — the people who REALLY want and need your product.


You can pay a few cents more per piece and ONLY mail to those 2,200 qualified people, so your overall cost is actually MUCH less than EDDM flyers.

Follow this link to get Free Every Door Direct Mail Samples!

Now let’s look at another example of someone who should use EDDM.

Let’s take a restaurant who is targeting anyone in a 5-mile radius who makes more than $30k per year.

You run a specific count with the income criteria and come up with 12,300 records.

You run a EDDM USPS count and get 13,000 records.

This business will most likely benefit from going with EDDM marketing since they’re targeting almost everyone in their 5-mile radius.

Make sense?

For some businesses it can get a little bit more complicated than the above examples because while they may be able to service everyone in their area, they may make more money off of targeting people with specific income levels, homeowners, genders, etc. and all of this needs to be considered into their Every Door Direct Mail printing cost vs. income return from their mailing.

Here are a few industries that will usually work for Every Door Direct Mail (if you don’t see your industry listed, give us a call at 1-800-628-1804 and we can tell you whether or not it will be good for you):

– Restaurants
– General Retail stores
– Dentists
– Attorneys
– Doctors
– Dry Cleaners
– Churches
– Moving/Storage companies
– Museums/Amusement Parks
– Auto Repair Shops
– Gyms
– Car Washes

The actual cost difference between mailing through EDDM retail and mailing a standard-sized postcard to a targeted list is about 3 cents per piece.

So in the above example of the women’s clothing shop, the 3-cent savings will not justify having to mail to 9,000 people to hit the 2,200 qualified people. See that?

Feel free to call us, and we’ll do a full cost analysis for you so you can see which way makes the most sense for you: 800-628-1804.

We can also offer you FREE Samples of EDDM Postcards!

EDDM Postage Savings

EDDM Benefits: Postage Savings

The actual postage savings with Every Door Direct Mail retail marketing is about 3 cents over the postcard first class rate, and about 7 cents over standard letter rate.

The nice thing about EDDM postcards is that you can mail a much larger piece which will serve to grab recipients’ attention in the mail box.

You will want to quote the entire campaign with EDDM mailer pieces — including EDDM printing — and then quote the entire campaign with a targeted list to get an exact price comparison of the difference in the costs of the complete campaign.

EDDM Mailer Sizes

EDDM Specs: Postcard Sizes

EDDM approved postcards have very specific rules about the size of the piece.

While many different sized pieces may qualify, there are very specific guidelines to figure out the correct size of a USPS EDDM template so your piece will actually mail.

To follow the EDDM approved postcard sizes, your mail piece must be taller than 6.125” or longer than 11.5” and smaller than 12”x15”.

This gives you an almost endless variety of sizes which can get a bit overwhelming.

We have simplified this into a few USPS EDDM templates that are cost effective to print:

– 6.25” x 8.5”
– 4” x 12”
– 6” x 12”

You can also call us at 1-800-628-1804, and we can send you some Every Door Direct Mail samples.

Choosing EDDM Printers

EDDM Printing: Where To Go?

Once you’ve decided you’re going to go with an EDDM postcard, you’ll want to find a good EDDM full service printer – someone who can do EDDM postcards and who prints enough of them so that their price is good (ahem, low.)

For a professional looking piece, you should look for a paper thickness of 12 or 14pt card stock, and if possible you should find out if they can use UV lamination on one side for a sleeker professional look.

You will want to confirm with the EDDM printer that their paper stock is EDDM compliant.

EDDM Mailing Lists

Every Door Direct Mail Mailing Lists

Now it is time to pull your EDDM mailing list.

There are 2 ways to do this – one is do it yourself through the EDDM USPS website, or you can just find out if your EDDM printer will do it for you.

Most of the times your EDDM printer can just pull it for you if you specify the zip codes that you want to target.

Preparing EDDM Mail Piece

Preparing Your EDDM Postcard

If you plan to mail your Every Door Direct Mail postcard yourself, then you need to get the PS Form 3587, bundle your postcards, and deliver it in a very specific order to the post office.

It gets a little complex because if you are mailing to addresses in other cities or states then you have to ship your Every Door Direct Mail mailings to that post office with instructions – a pretty big pain.

The best thing to do is find an EDDM mailer who will just do ALL of the legwork for you.

EDDM Response Tracking

Tracking Your EDDM Mailing Response

Finally, if you rely on phone calls as your response metric, you’ll want to include a call tracking phone number on your mail piece to see how much response you get from your EDDM postcards.

This way you can track how many leads and sales you get it’s clear what your return on investment really is.

In summary, the EDDM program is a good one for SOME businesses.

If you are wondering if it will work for your business, feel free to give one of our marketing consultants a call at 800-628-1804.

They’ll be happy to discuss all of your options with you so that you can make an educated decision!


Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Reviews

Brian Brunckhorst, Advantage Laundry, Inc.

  • When I purchased my newset store in 2009, the business performance was trending downward, grossing $11K a month. One year later, after I remodeled and signed up with Postcard Mania, business doubled. YES, doubled. Here we are in 2012, celebrating our 3rd year, the specials I offer via Postcard Mania brought me even more customers, thus an even better gross revenue, now over $25K a month! I believe in Postcard Mania and will continue to use them! Brian Brunckhorst President, Advantage Laundry,

4 star rating
Bill Bailey, Bill Bailey For Congress 

  • Thank you again for all your patience and help. I really appreciate it. With my opponent having $2M, and me not 1/20th of that, when we win, it will have been because the 50,000 postcards you made and mailed for us were directed at the targeted 50,000 voters who made the difference

5 star rating
Dominique Nelson, Nelson Construction & Renovations 

  • The postcard campaign with Postcard Mania was one of the best moves for our business we made this year. Not only was the service above and beyond what we expected, and the postcard design absolutely stunning, our business has absolutely exploded since sending them out. In fact, about four weeks after the postcards went out, our average number of website hits tripled, as you can see from the attached graph. Our Sales Manager has never seen as many leads as we have coming in right now. We know the successful action! More postcards!

5 star rating
Susan Marone, Behind the Barre Fitness Studio 

  • Just wanted to let you know about my experience with your company. I just did 2,000 postcards with your company and had a great experience. Every step of the process was explained, my proof changes were expedited in a prompt manner and your staff were very prompt with their email correspondence. I just recommended your services to a friend and he is currently in the process of speaking with Kristi, who, by the way, is a great sales person as she never lost touch with me during the time I was considering doing direct mail.

4 star rating
Brian Skelton, Brian Skelton CPA 

  • Cards were a success. Several new customers This year and better response than last year. We are just about full for the tax season now. Thanks.

5 star rating
Tim Simounet, Englewood Lawn & Landscapes 

  • We purchased 6,000 “jumbo” post cards to be sent to the same 2,000 people 3 times. I was reluctant to start this campaign in the dead of winter and I was pleasantly surprised. We received about 26 leads and had a great close ratio of 65%. Our total sales were about $30,000.00 with several sales pending.

5 star rating
Mark Ferguson, Wilkerson – Laverne & Janet’s Jewelry 

  • U R Great!! Thanks for everything! We are at 3rd goal and a week to go! Should be awesome with the mailer just hitting! Thanks again! Mark

4 star rating
Jo Hancock, 

  • Thank you Andrea, you have been most helpful and I really appreciate everything everyone at PostcardMania has done for me


  • Hi Angel! We recommend different types of mailers depending on your specific industry. Give us a call at 800-628-1804 for free and we can tell you what works best in your industry!

  • You mentioned one of the benefits of EDDM is the amount of money you can save. I like the fact that you can mail a relatively larger postcard via EDDM and still pay for the same amount. This would surely save the company a lot of money and will attract a lot to do the same. I would definitely consider taking this kind of approach if I were to send multiple postcards in one specific location. Thanks.

  • I would like to tell you about my experience with eddm. In the beginning I was quite impressed, however when I received the extra cards (I only wanted to deliver 840 out of 1000) I noticed the coloring wasn’t correct and didn’t match the proof. At this point I assumed all the cards were wrong but as time passed and I began seeing some of the cards which were delivered to my neighbors I realized these seemed to be printed correctly. Of course I will never see all the delivered cards so I will actually never know how many were incorrect. I contacted eddm and sent photo showing the difference between the correct and incorrect versions of my card. I asked simply if they would reprint the 150 incorrect cards which I had. They refused to make good on my order and instead only offered a discount on another order. As I’m not in the habit of sending good money after bad, I declined the offer. I will not be doing business with eddm again.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your poor EDDM experience, Steven! If you’d like, we would love to take a look at your postcard design and give you a free marketing consultation to make sure you’re getting the best response possible from your marketing. Give us a call at 1-800-628-1804 and we’d be happy to help!

    • Hello Alicia! Generally, once your mailers have been delivered to the post office it only takes 2-3 days for them to be delivered.

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