Regardless of what “experts” may tell you, advertising is never an exact science. Developing a campaign, producing creative, choosing a medium, implementing your strategy, and tracking results can be expensive, time-consuming, and very challenging. For instance, advertising on radio or TV costs a lot of money. Sure, you reach a huge audience, but you never really know who “they” are and if they’re truly paying attention to your ad when it runs. There is no clear way to calculate how many potential customers will ever walk through the front door of your business.
At the dawn of the digital age, internet gurus predicted the death of traditional advertising and claimed digital and email marketing would dominate for decades to come. While the internet has become a vitally important part of marketing, most businesses need a broader marketing mix to successfully get their message to their target audiences.
There is one reliable marketing tool that always delivers (through snow and rain and gloom of night). This underrated marketing workhorse allows you to put your best foot forward by showing off your most effective photos, artwork, and message about your company. If you like, you can even announce a sale or include an incentive coupon. And here’s the best part. — you can do all this and be assured it will be placed directly into the hands of your potential customers. It’s Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®), and it’s now easier than ever to get your message out quickly and easily to the customers you want to reach most.
For most businesses, developing a large, accurate, and effective mailing list means investing a significant amount of time gathering data and continually updating names and addresses as people move in and out of a given area. The EDDM® program was developed by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in order to simplify and streamline the process, as well as lower the overall cost of running your direct mail campaigns. Instead of targeting individual pieces to specific names and addresses, with EDDM®, you send your mailing to an entire zip code or neighborhood (as defined by a postal carrier route) for a fraction of the cost.
Businesses have been utilizing direct mail to attract new customers, increase sales and generate profits for centuries. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1440, and it wasn’t long after that the earliest versions of printed pieces for the purpose of advertising were created. Creating a program that makes direct mail easier and more accessible has been a big plus for the USPS and all postal customers. Here are 9 reasons why EDDM® is an excellent marketing tool for all companies, large and small.
1. Ultimately, All Marketing Comes Down to the Local Level
“All politics is local,” is a quote made famous by former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill. What he meant was even though Congress deals with important national and international issues, people tend to vote on what matters to them most – locally. Much in the same way, people choose the goods and services they buy and the businesses they patronize largely based on locality. If a business is local and well run, people will use it because it’s close by. It’s just that simple. Whether it’s a large corporation, a franchise operation or a quaint mom and pop shop, the rules of the road pretty much remain the same. People won’t venture very far from their homes for goods and services they need unless it’s a highly-specialized purchase. Studies have shown that a 17-minute drive (or approximately four to five miles) is tops for most consumers. That means for most Americans, a trip to the grocery store, bakery, beauty salon, yoga studio, gym, fast food drive thru, dentist, doctor, shoe store, restaurant, pub, pizza place, auto dealer or bike repair shop – all are going to be located within five miles of their home. (This, of course, represents an oversimplification and applies to cities, urban sprawl and suburbs but would not necessarily be accurate for rural areas.)
In businesses and real estate, the mantra is, “location, location, location!” Something similar can be said of marketing. Essentially, the secret to successful marketing is think big (globally) but act locally. Focus your efforts, with dogged determination, on the people in your locality. Put your message in the hands of consumers who are nearby and most likely to patronize your business. And don’t forget, people have short memories and need to be reminded how great your business is.
With EDDM®, you only pay for the carrier routes that you designate. Knowing that a significant portion of your customer base resides within five miles of your business makes it very easy to market by zip code or carrier route. By staying within a reasonable radius of your location, you can rest assured that you are reaching a strong audience of potential customers without purchasing mailing lists and without doing extensive research and data input.
2. EDDM® Is Scalable and Affordable
Two characteristics of Every Door Direct Mail® that make it extremely attractive are scalability and affordability. If your marketing funds are limited, or you just want to take EDDM® for a test drive, run a very small, inexpensive campaign and track your results. See if it works for you.
Let’s say you want to announce a “soft” opening of your brand-new pizza cafe concept. The staff is newly hired and still in training, so you’re not yet ready for full service and big crowds. But you do need to give your employees a chance to practice under game conditions. With Every Door Direct Marketing®, you can designate a few carrier routes immediately surrounding your location and invite a manageable number of customers to stop by for a pre-opening meal.
3. Not Just for Small Businesses
Do you own or work for a large corporation, or are you marketing for a franchise operation with multiple locations? Want to blanket the entire city with a postcard announcing your wildly popular, once-a-year warehouse sale? Scalable means you can go big with your direct mail campaigns if you so desire. Having an eye-catching, coordinated campaign across multiple locations or across the nation is all doable with EDDM®.
4. No Postage Permit Required
With EDDM® there’s no permit required, which saves you the cost of the annual bulk mail permit and conveniently allows you to use your local post office – you do not have to drop off at special mailing centers. If you’re looking for even more convenience, consider a solution such as EDDM® which manages the printing, USPS paperwork and mailing for you.
5. No Address List Necessary
It’s no secret that most business owners, professionals, and retail managers have busy schedules and find it difficult to make time for mail list management. It’s one of those tasks that always seems to get dropped to the bottom of the priority list. With EDDM®, you spend a fraction of the time managing your mailing list. You need only pick the appropriate carrier routes which will produce results for you.
6. A Format Made for Coupons and Special Offers
EDDM® specifications allow for a flexible range of sizes and formats for mailing pieces. One of the more popular sizes is 6.25” x 9” postcard which provides a large canvas area for product photos, your logo, graphics and attention grabbing text. With plenty of room for a coupon or special offer, many businesses track the success of their campaigns by utilizing QR or other types of promo codes.
7. High-Income Residential Areas – Luxury Brands
Do you have a luxury brand product or high ticket item you are trying to market? What if you could reach every high-income household in select residential neighborhoods with no millionaires left behind? EDDM® carrier routes allow you to do just that. Cross referencing home prices and zip codes will provide you with the information you need to reach high-income individuals.
8. You Don’t Have to Go It Alone
Are you new to direct mail marketing? Feeling a tad resistant to diving in? It’s important to note that there are companies with years of experience dealing with the USPS who can help you with every aspect of your direct mail campaign, from concept to design, through printing and implementation. You don’t have to go it alone.
9. Everyone Loves to Get Mail
Getting the mail is a cherished daily ritual for most Americans. Given the curious nature of most human beings, checking the mailbox and sorting through the letters, postcards and mailing pieces, catalogs and magazines is great fun. Pieces of mail are rarely tossed out wholesale and most will be given a good, long look. So, put some effort into your offer and take your best shot. You’ve got nothing to lose and with EDDM®, you know your offer will be seen and considered.