Cheap postage provides a new direct mail opportunityArticle added by Ken Davis, Retired CPA, CLU, ChFC on June 19, 2012
Ken Davis

Ken Davis, Retired CPA, CLU, ChFC

Scottsdale, AZ

Joined: November 23, 2009

In this age of the Internet and social media marketing, is direct mail a good way to go?

If you do direct mail, or have thought about it, now may be the time to take action.

Out of desperation to sell more postage, The United States Postal Service added a new service called Every Door Direct Mail-Retail or EDDM-R. The price for postage through this service is now as low as 14.5¢ per piece.

EDDM is easy. You just get online, pick your carrier routes, have the right number of pieces printed with special indicia (no permit required), bundle it up and drop it at the Post Office that handles the carrier routes you chose. No more mailing lists! It's all very simple.

Many print shops handle the whole thing, from helping you pick the routes and printing the full-color post cards to bundling and delivery to the Post Office. The UPS Store that I use charges anywhere from 30¢ to 46¢ per piece, with both printing and postage included. That is virtually the whole package for the cost of current postage, or about a third less for larger quantities.

Traditional offset printers have major set-up costs to recover up front. So, small quantities tend to be expensive. Today, even small print shops with great commercial digital printers, can produce superior quality. They do not have the set up costs to amortize; smaller quantities are very affordable. If you do 10,000 or more pieces, then it may work better to go to a traditional printer.

But for 1,000 to 5,000 piece mailings, print shops like your local UPS Store can do a great job for you. Do a little price shopping with the bigger brand names against these lesser known printers and you may be pleasantly surprised.

In this age of the Internet and social media marketing, is direct mail a good way to go? Let me ask you: Do you read all the advertising emails you get? Are you overwhelmed by everyone reaching out to you through social media?

My thought is that just like most advertising, trends change. I've noticed my mail box has less direct mail than it used to have. Now, the mail I do receive doesn't get buried so easily. I always liked postcards because they are colorful, and I do not have to open them to see the message.

As with any advertising campaign, make sure your message catches your potential customer’s attention. Make sure you have a call to action. And maybe you should employ someone with expertise who can craft your message for better results.

Additionally, carefully think about the product your want to sell, the kind of client you want and then find the neighborhoods where they live. For example, we have a business park in town. There are thousands of small businesses in the park, so I do not need a mailing list for businesses if I use the EDDM concept. I just need to pick carrier routes in the park. Then I need to select a product or service that appeals generally to these businesses.

You be the judge, but personally I think direct mail just got more viable again. Check it out or contact me, and I would be glad to help you find a place that handles EDDM to print and mail your pieces.
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