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Andrea Schlottman | Marketing

5 Common EDDM Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Thinking about an Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM) campaign? Offered by USPS, this service is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your marketing message on the doorstep of any home or business in the United States—but it’s only cost-effective when done correctly! 

Make sure you’re getting the most from your direct mail campaign by avoiding these five common mistakes.

If you’re new to EDDM, learn more in our ultimate guide to EDDM or check out our simple direct mail checklist.

Mistake #1: Noncompliant Sizing

Postcards come in all shapes and sizes, and if you’re mailing them by hand, you can make almost any size or shape work. You simply have to include enough postage to cover the mailing.

To qualify for EDDM service, however, you’ll need to adhere to very specific size and weight requirements set by USPS. At this time, these requirements are as follows:

  • More than 11.5” long, or more than 6.125” inches high, or more than .25” inch thick
  • Less than 5” long, or more than 3.5” high, or less than .25” thick
  • Square or rectangular shape with finished corner radius no greater than .125”
  • Per-piece weight of 3.3 ounces or less

These requirements can be a lot to take in (…what’s a corner radius again?), but if you design with MyCreativeShop, you won’t have to worry about staying size-compliant. All of our EDDM postcard templates meet USPS standards in size, shape, and weight. And there are thousands to choose from!

With a real estate EDDM postcard template like this one, you won’t have to fuss with sizing.

Mistake #2: Incorrect Indicia

Size and weight are not the only requirements for direct mail, either. Another critical piece of a successful EDDM postcard design is USPS-approved indicia.

What’s indicia, you might be wondering? It’s the white labeling at the top of any automated mail out. It ensures that your EDDM postcards can be properly sorted and mailed by the post office’s staff and machinery.

USPS provides a quick reference guide for indicia, which outlines its requirements for:

  • Location of labels
  • Size of labels
  • Font size and capitalization
  • Coding requirements (typically ECRWSS)

If you create your EDDM postcard with MyCreativeShop, the indicia are already included and placed in the USPS-approved size, position, and font. See an example just below—look at the top of the postcard template!

You can edit the return label, but the indicia is non-editable to ensure USPS compliance.

Before you send out your campaign, you’ll also get final verification that your indicia is compliant through the following confirmation message: “Your file passed our design checklist.”

No need to worry! Your design is ready to send according to USPS regulations.

Mistake #3: Lukewarm Call to Action

An effective direct mail campaign all comes down to the call to action, or CTA. This is what you’re driving people to do; it’s the action that will ultimately grow your revenue and provide ROI for your direct mail campaign.

There are two levels at which you can evaluate any postcard’s CTA:

  • First, is it good? By “good,” we mean compelling, attractive, and unique. If every other business in town is offering 10% off, for example, could you offer something better or more memorable? What would compel a new customer to take the first step with you?
  • Second, is it clear? You want your call to action to be as clear as possible. Within seconds, the person reading the postcard should know exactly how to claim the offer: call, text, email, visit your website, bring in the coupon, share on social media, etc.

Here’s an example of a clear and attractive call to action: $20 off a first cleaning, which you can claim by calling the provided phone number.

Customize this cleaning EDDM postcard template by adding your own offer and CTA.

Mistake #4: Poorly Thought-Out Targeting

One of the biggest benefits to direct mail is the fact that you get to choose exactly who receives your postcards. This is a huge advantage! It gives you a balance of wide reach and precise targeting that’s nearly impossible to match with other kinds of print marketing.

When planning your direct mail campaign, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my target audience live?
  • Can I tailor my offer to different neighborhoods or parts of town?
  • Which demographics do I serve best? Who needs my services the most?
  • Do I want to deliver my postcards to homes only? Or do I also offer commercial solutions?

Based on your answers, you could decide to blanket the entire city for brand awareness…or to finely target only zip codes of a certain income level. Both strategies can be valid for different campaigns. The only real mistake is to not think about who you’re targeting at all.

When creating your direct mail campaign, you’ll get detailed information to guide your recipient selection. In the bottom right corner of the map interface, you’ll see the average age, household size, and income for any selectable area on the map, as well as the total number of businesses and households. As you add more areas to your mailing, the totals will update in the upper right.

With the data front and center, it’s easy to target your mailing in any way.

Get detailed targeting and key demographic info from an easy-to-use map interface.

Mistake #5: Mailing the Postcards Yourself

As long as you meet the requirements for EDDM, you can technically take your postcards to your local post office and arrange for direct mailing yourself. Of course, this requires a trip to the post office (not easy for busy business owners and marketers)—plus some additional time bundling your postcards into batches of 50 and creating the proper cover slip.

To get a better ROI for your EDDM campaign, consider cutting down on the time investment. By designing and sending through MyCreativeShop, you can design, schedule, and pay for your direct mail campaign with just a few clicks. No need to mail anything yourself!

We’ve partnered with SnailBlast to provide a unique direct mail experience you won’t get anywhere else. You can even schedule future campaigns!

Get Your EDDM Postcards Printed and Mailed in No Time

Direct mail really is one of the best ways to expand your audience reach without a massive investment of time, money, or energy. Start with an EDDM postcard template, and you could have your offer on thousands of doorsteps in days. Just be sure to avoid the mistakes above!