USPS’s Every Door Direct Mail: a Small Business Marketing Tool

Direct mail is expensive, and a large part of that expense is the growing cost of postage. But USPS offers a marketing program that significantly reduces postage costs called Every Door Direct Mail. In my experience, postage costs can be reduced as much as 40%.

USPS EDDM - Marketing Tool

Sounds too good to be true? For some brands and marketing strategies, it certainly is. Generally speaking, EDDM campaigns reduce costs, but often not enough to create a positive ROI. Here are my guidelines for when to consider an EDDM campaign.

When is EDDM Right for My Business?

EDDM could be a useful tool in your small business marketing plan if:

  • There are specific neighborhoods or ZIP codes that contain high concentrations of your customers or prospects.
  • Your product or service is something that almost everyone in a given mailing route could reasonably want or need.
  • The lifetime value of your customer justifies the cost of printing + postage. Lifetime value includes both the initial purchase and subsequent purchases.

Tips for Increasing the Effectiveness of Your EDDM Campaign

If you decide to try out USPS’s EDDM, here are a few tips for success:

  • Personalize the mailer for the neighborhood/ZIP code. EDDM is highly-targeted, so you may as well take the time to create specific messages for specific groups of customers.
  • Consider when customers are most likely to purchase your product and service and time your mailer appropriately. For instance, a retailer who receives most of its sales in November and December may not want to send out a mailer during the slow season when demand is slack.
  • Develop a compelling call-to-action. A campaign-specific call-to-action not only will increase the success of your mailer but will help you track that success, as well.
  • Create a unique design that resonates with your brand. Using an unusual mailer shape or colors can help your piece stand out in a stack of mail. Just make sure the piece also communicates your marketing message clearly.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried EDDM, either with success or lackluster results. And just give me a call with questions– this USPS offering can be rather confusing to figure out!

Email Marketing is So Cheap

But it’s Not So Easy.

For $50/month, you can send marketing emails to 5,000 customers. If you send one message each month, it costs a mere cent per contact. Compare that to direct mail, which might be up to $1 per customer, if the volume is only 5,000 mailers.

Email marketing is so cheap that several of my clients have stopped direct mail marketing altogether. It requires careful planning to be able to do this, but the cost savings are enormous if you can.

Tips for Successful Email Marketing

  1. Lots of businesses engage in email marketing– which is why sending meaningful messages to relevant customers is critical to email marketing success.
  2. Know if your customers prefer video, picture, written or interactive content. Test different content formats to learn what works.
  3. It requires discipline to grow a great contact list. Everyone in your business should understand the value of getting a customer’s permission to add them to your contact list. Your information-gathering processes and tools must make it easy to gather email addresses.
  4. Your website should have easy-to-use forms for people to sign up for your newsletter or updates.
  5. Analyze your send reports and tweak your marketing messages based on customer response. No marketing campaign is perfect from the start. Watch the results and make improvements.

These are just a few tips to get you started with email marketing. Have questions? Reach out to me at amanda@zooinajungle.com

Direct Mail Disaster

One way to waste a few thousand dollars.

In any marketing venture, disregarding details will often result in a marketing disaster. Advertising and direct mail are by their very nature public, so marketing mistakes in these areas are very visible. So learn from this company’s mistakes before you launch your next small business marketing initiative.

Furniture Row, a retailer with 330 stores in 31 states, apparently put a lot of thought (and resources) into developing a system for sending direct mail to people who recently moved into a new home. Here is a mailer recently sent to a resident in Cincinnati, OH:

It’s a shame they didn’t put as much thought into getting customers to their stores. The mailer doesn’t include a phone number or website address, just cryptic directions to go “N. of the Florence Mall” and an address in Denver. Observe:

Without any directions or way to contact the company, this direct mail piece is a failure. Surely Furniture Row doesn’t expect new homeowners to drive around Florence, KY looking for their store.

In your marketing efforts, pay attention to the details (unless you like wasting your marketing budget on mistakes).