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eddm every door direct mail

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) Counts

For EDDM counts you can use the EDDM Every Door Direct Mail to search for routes and get counts for zip codes, but we prefer a slightly different method. Doing large scale EDDM mailings we have found that the counts on the EDDM website are not always accurate.

Maintaining accurate counts is a difficult task for the USPS as homes and businesses are constantly being constructed, left vacant, and routes are constantly changing. A few things the EDDM counts do not take into account are vacancies or an address which has one receiving mail box but lots of addresses (like an assisted living facility). This can result in over printing and paying for additional printing and postage for pieces that will not get delivered.

At Action Mail we prefer to get counts from databases we have access to with full address information. These would be the same addresses we would print onto a piece if the mailing was not EDDM. These list are updated every month and remove vacancies and drops with an address where it has multiple households living at the address, but there are no room #s or apartment addresses. The counts also remove people on the Do Not Mail list.

These counts tend to be more accurate but the data still comes from the USPS and is not always accurate. The accuracy also depends on what the carrier does with the mailing and how the carrier reports vacancies.

We prefer using the more conservative counts as we do not want our customers paying extra for printing and postage for postcards or magazines that will not be delivered. Yet, we can use any counts as long as they are withing a certain range of those published by the USPS. At Action Mail we always prefer to address mail pieces as the likelihood of delivery is much higher.

Why do EDDM through a mail house?

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is the USPS' program to allow small businesses to easily mail direct mail campaigns to consumers and businesses around their locations.  The USPS offers resources to help walk businesses through the steps as to how to send an EDDM mail campaign.  Yet, it is much simpler and often more cost effective to conduct these campaigns by using a mail house or mailing agent.

  • Mail houses can get lower postage rates even for EDDM
  • Mail houses can mail more than 5,000 pieces at a time
  • Mail houses can deliver the mail to a number of different post offices and are not required to deliver the mailing to the specific local post office
  • Mail houses can print and prepare the EDDM mailing at the same time saving time and money
  • Mailing agents understand the USPS rules and regulations and can help you avoid pitfalls and navigate the system with ease
  • Mailing agents can also offer alternative options to send more targeted mailings to save money on postage and printing

There are many advantages to use a direct mail house for your EDDM mailings, as they will likely save you enough money to cover their services.  They will also save you valuable time, so that you do not have to navigate the USPS rules and regulations and deliver the mailing to the local post offices so you can focus your time on more important matters.

Traditional Carrier Route Mailing vs EDDM

Is it better to mail Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) or mail a traditional mailing where addresses are inkjet printed onto the piece?  Even though the EDDM program has been designed to make mailing more affordable and accessible it is often easier and more cost effective to mail using a mail house to process a carrier route mailing as opposed to an EDDM Mailing.

Cost Analysis

The cost of an EDDM mailing will most likely be greater than that of a carrier route mailing, but there are different costs associated with each type of mailing.  One of the requirements of EDDM (Every door Direct Mail) mailings is that the printed piece is larger than traditional a postcard.  This does help get your piece noticed and allow more space for messaging but printing larger pieces usually costs about 10-40% more.  The additional costs can be exponentially higher if the piece is a booklet or magazine.  Postage will also be higher for EDDM pieces with the retail rate being $0.177 per piece and a rate of $0.156 per piece if processed and mailed by a mail house, compared to $0.155 per piece of a carrier route saturation mailing.  Note that to get these postage prices you will need to deliver the EDDM pieces to the local post office whereas the carrier route pieces will only need to be delivered a central post office that handles all mail for the first three digits of a zip code.  When mailing to large areas this caveat could save thousands of dollars in delivery costs.  EDDM mailings also require that you mail to every address in the carrier route.  This can cause you to mail outside your target audience and waste money on printing and postage of pieces that will be sent outside your demographic.  Additionally you will be mailing to vacant homes and ones who have requested not to receive mail.

  Carrier route mailings will require that the address be printed on the piece whereas an EDDM piece can be printed with the same address panel for each piece.  The variable printing of addresses on carrier route pieces will result in additional costs, but sorting the mail off an inkjet printer is much more efficient which will offset some of the costs.  Additionally if you will need to purchase a list of addresses for carrier route mailings and this gives you some flexibility to target only the people you are interested in targeting saving money on postage and printing. You will still get a postage rate lower than EDDM if you select to mail to more than 90% of the residences or more than 75% of the total addresses in a carrier route.  Ultimately the costs for mailing EDDM vs carrier route will be quite similar with carrier route mailings often times being less expensive due to the reduced cost of printing.  Below are some comparisons of EDDM and Saturation mailings

Ease of Production

EDDM allows anyone to process and sort the mailing, but for both EDDM and carrier route mailings it is much for efficient and cost effective to have a mail house process the mail for you.  For mail houses carrier route mailings are typically processed faster as the sortation can be automated.  Additionally the ability to deliver carrier route mailings to a central post office often reduces delivery times.


Carrier route mailings allow you to add personalization to the piece.  List can be purchased with or without names, but even a list purchased without names can be used to add a personal touch.  Many mailers address their piece by using a generic term associated with their target audience like “To our neighbors at” or “Current Voter” etc. This salutation coupled with the actual physical address of the home or business will help differentiate your mailing from mail entitled “Postal Customer”.  With Carrier Route mailings you can also purchase names where available and address the piece to a member of the household and even add personalized taglines.


EDDM pieces are typically larger than carrier route mailings so they allow more space to include additional designs or messaging.  EDDM pieces also have more flexibility of where the address block can be placed and are require a smaller address block.

Each mailing is different to contact us at 760 480 2323 and we can help you determine which type of mailing is best for your project.