Monday, December 1, 2014

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) With the USPS

An Illustrated guide on how to do EDDM

1) You need to design a card that meets with their requirements, or, far easier, just purchase them from someone who knows how already.  The have ZERO tolerance if the card is not made correctly.
     
     a) Making your own - for everything you wanted to know to do it yourself click here. I strongly urge you to use someone else to make your cards, but if you want to track down the how, you can find out with the above link.  When we print our own we use www.GotPrint.com.
     
     b) WE SUGGEST YOU PICK A PROFESSIONAL DESIGN - When we hire some one, we use GetStudents.com

2) You need to open an account with USPS for EDDM purposes.  It's free, and its easy. Click HERE to go to their website. NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT THIS FREE ACCOUNT. If you need more assistance, there is a More Assistance button to click, and they will actually assign a representative to you to help you through, via email and phone.

3) Does it work?  I have read a ton about this in the last few months, and the current trend is to do everything via software and online, with no Ad-cards or direct mail.  Typical responses are "We only go one for the one time we did it."  True enough, we only got 1 from the first 5000 we sent out too. Then we met Greg Silva who schooled us in proper ad design, which helped, and shot gun marketing, which only works if you do it.  Shot gun marketing is using every available method to advertise your business, so that everyone in your town know who you are and where you are.  Why?  Because of 6 points of separation.  Somebody will want what you do, or knows someone who does, and if your name is the only one they know, boom.  It's not about software.  It's always been about YOU. This very cheap method of advertising saturates your market with YOU.


4) How much? 17 cents a piece, and we mail around 300 to a 1000 pieces a week.  Slow and steady is affordable and a time honored way to prove you are not a flash in the pan, and then burned out.  Consistency has always been the path to marketing and advertising.  It remains so today.

5) What's it cost per card?  Every company is different, but as we said earlier, Greg Silva and his business, getstudents.com knows their stuff, uses their stuff, and it works.   The last time I checked it was somewhere around $375 - $495 per 5000, which just happens to be the size of our campaigns.

6) How do you do it?

Step 1: Sign on to the EDDM site - the sign on space is in the upper right hand corner, once you have a free account


Click to follow link
Step 2: on the same page, half way down, there is a blue box, shown here, that says, "Get Started Now" mean, time to print the forms and get the ball rolling for your first mailing. (Shown by red arrows)



Step 3: You will need the area code for the town, or section of town, you are going to mail to.  My town only has one zip code, 01501, so I use that when mailing to that town.  You can also type the town and state in, and then click the zip code.




Type this information (zip code, city name) in the box with the red arrow, and click on start. This will take you to the same page, but with route information shown below.  I select one route a week, to maintain steady flow and an affordable rate. Many do it all at once. In any case, you can not do more that 5000 at one time.



Next is where you select what route you want delivered too. (Red Arrow)

They assume that you will know what are "good" neighborhoods and what are bad neighborhoods, and will select the ones that appeal to you.  To aid you in the demographic selection, you can have the routes AGE, Income and size of family shown as well.  If you live in an area where you have too many people to select from, you might want to do that.

We don't.  We want to help everybody, and our community is small enough to do that.  Most consultants say you should target YOUR target market, and many will tell you what that ought to be.  Our target market is simple.  Alive.  If they are alive, we can work with them.

When you have the route, or routes, selected, then you click on the Next button that is marked by the green arrow.

You will then be taken to the payment page.

You have 2 choices, pay at the post office or pay on-line.

I strongly suggest you pay at the post office.  Frequently, the pay on-line button forces you to wait 2 or 3 days, and in one case, a week. In addition, if you mess up the paperwork, when you first start, they don't really have a sense of humor or a spirit of helpfulness. Once you developed a relationship with this type of mailing, it doesn't matter so much, but at first, the refund, start over process is painful.

Finally, this example is for 1 route, which we do for two separate towns, and a small one at that, being on 300 plus addresses, which only costs $60.  Our other town is around $100 bucks, so we spend around $160 a week doing this. and an hour of preparation times, plus the cost of the cards.

Final warning on cards.  We had to pay for the first 5000 twice, since we did our own, and ran afoul of their very specific and no latitude rules.  Our fault 100%, but costly.  We suggest that you begin by having them made for you, and our best experience has been with GetStudents.com

After you pay, you will be taken to a very long and to a large part useless page, and in the middle of that page there will be a blue button that says "Print All Forms".


Do that, print all the forms.

The first form looks like this form, and every where there is a red x you need to fill in information.  I can't tell you what your card will weight, but if you have it professionally printed, it will work, since they test it for you in advance. In any case, the USPS will weight it for you - bring an extra card for them to measure and weigh.  Use that weight from that point forward.  This is EDDM retail, so check that box.

The only mystery is the number of bundles and the cards per bundle.  You can use 50 or 100. We use 50 because it is easier on the postal carriers.  if you have 360 cards, that is 8 bundles of 50 for this sheet, or 400 cards.

You ave to sign, date and print your name.

USPS program online files the rest of the form out for you.


The second form looks like this, except it is a full page form rather than what I show, most of the form being blank.

You do nothing with this form, other than make sure it is what you wanted to begin with, and deliver it to the post office with the cards.




The third form is also compete as printed, adds nothing to your job, but must be delivered to the post office with the cards.


Finally, the last sheet will need to be copied an number of times.

If on sheet one you said you were going to deliver 8 bundles, then you need 8 total copies. The program online only prints one, so you will either need to print page 4 seven more times, or copy it seven times.

This form require some completion, and once again, the parts that you need to complete are shown in RED x.

Once you have your bundles of 50 cards, you must take each bundle and fold form 4 over each separate bundle, and secure it with a rubber band around the length and width.  Box the cards, and the forms, and deliver them all in person to the post office with the zip code shown.  They will measure your card, weight it, and then check the paper work, then ask you to pay, if you have not prepaid.  3 to 7 days later they are delivered to everyone on your route.

One of our post offices returns unused cards to us, for business or residence that no longer have people in them.  Once throws them out.  They are not required to return them.

We deliver them to both residence and business, with the theory being that we are marketing our brand, and we want everyone to know us.  You can decide for your self.

You can see examples of the what the cards look like at www.getstudent.com, or your favorite printer, graphic artist.  If you would like to see ours, just leave a comment, and we will post them.

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There is plenty of material out there that can give you strategy; I was trying to give you method, rather than strategy.  This book deals with both, and is very inexpensive. A worthy read.


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