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Not sure about whether EDDM would be a better choice than targeted mail? You’re not alone mate. I’ve seen (and been a part of) many a’ mail campaign that returned horrible results simply because of poor targeting choices based on poor assumptions.
Lord knows at one point or another we’ve all said to ourselves “If I send 5,000 of these out, there’s bound to be at least -insert optimistic imaginary number here- who respond”.
Let me tell you, it’s pretty frustrating to spend a bunch of money sending out zillions of postcards and not getting anywhere near what you hoped for. Direct mail can be a real bitch sometimes. Fortunately in most cases you can avoid these kind of problems in the first place by not basing your predictions on volume alone.
First off, it’s important to understand the major differences between EDDM (Saturation) and Targeting mailings. If you don’t know the differences, the rest of this guide will probably confuse the hell out of you, so here’s what you need to know:
EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) — The shotgun approach
The EDDM program is ‘saturation’ mail. That means an area you specify will get saturated with postcards to every address on the mail carrier’s route. The mail carrier doesn’t have to sort anything to make sure the correct people get your card, they just simply deliver one to every address on their route. The EDDM program makes everything simple. There’s no list required, no need for personal addressing, very little mail preparation, and you get to use very large postcards. Because everything is so simplified for the postal clerks and carriers, you get rewarded with a very low postage rate (currently 16 cents per piece).
Unfortunately, saturation mail significantly reduces your ability to target who receives your message. The only targeting you can work with is picking out the best areas to saturate. If you think a certain part of town contains a large amount of people who fit your target audience, you would choose those areas to mail to. In almost every case, you’ll hit a lot of people who have no need for your product or service, but the low cost and easy logistics can often make it worthwhile to blanket the whole area with postcards.
The process of putting together an EDDM campaign is fairly straightforward and easy. It’s nothing like what’s required to do a bulk targeted mailing to a list. You can put together EDDM mailings on your own with very little difficulty, or you can use a mail house (like mine) to do it for you.
EDDM is the shotgun. Targeted mail is the sniper rifle.
EDDM is great for local businesses who generally serve people who live or work close by. A bakery for example would benefit from a saturation mailing because you can’t really target people who love bakeries. The demographic is just so general that it makes sense to simply send it out to everyone who lives nearby.
Targeted Mail — The sniper rifle approach
When you put together a targeted mail campaign, you’ll be sending your postcards out to a list of people you think would be most attracted to your offer. Good marketing should always be tailored to a specific recipient, so this would make sense, however the cost and logistics of doing targeted mailings can often make EDDM saturation a better choice. That’s what I’m going to help you figure out in a moment.