5 Things Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Publishers Need To Know

Here are the facts in a Language You Can Understand

By David Reimherr

Your happy USPS man!

I can’t believe I am writing something about the USPS and it’s not a complaint. That’s right, the USPS has gone and done something that makes amazing sense and is going to be a huge blessing to all small and niche publishers who direct mail. EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is a new promotion being rolled out by the US Postal Service that enables regular niche publishers to mail at an astounding 17.7 cents per piece. It is not for everyone, but if you meet the requirements then you are going to love this new program because it saves on postage, mailing house costs and turn-around time.

I don’t know about you, but USPS explanations tend to be very confusing, so I wanted to lay everything out for my fellow publishers. Below I will break out the nuts and bolts of the program, and highlight the points need to know.

With all the facts laid out clearly, you can see if this is something that will work for you.
EDDM has 2 categories, EDDM/Retail Entry and EDDM/BMEU (Business Mail Entry Unit).

1. With EDDM Retail you can:

• Get a rate of 17.7 cents for each mail piece.

• Avoid mail processing costs (such as ink jetting and labeling).

• Save on time (usually takes a couple days to process your mail and get it prepped for mailing).

(NOTE: RATES CONTINUE TO CHANGE SO PLEASE SEE THIS LINK FOR UPDATED COSTS > http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm)

2. To qualify for EDDM/Retail:

• Your mailing piece must be under 3.3 oz.

• You must do a saturation mailing to a mail carrier route (you do not have to do a saturation mailing to an entire zip code, just an entire mail carrier route).

• Your mailing must be at least 200 mail pieces and not exceed 5,000 per day.

• The mailing piece must be more than 10 ½ long OR more than 6 1/8 high OR more than .25” thick. (AND ALL pieces, while meeting one of those requirements, must also measure by at least 3 1/2 inches.) USPS doesn’t use the term “width”, they are looking for the “height”. To clarify, regardless of how it is bound, the longest side of any piece is always considered the “length” and the shortest side is always considered the “height”.

• Your piece must be a standard mail flat (explain & put link here).

3. If you don’t meet all the requirements for Retail, you can still qualify for EDDM/BMEU by meeting the following requirements:

• Your mailing piece must be under 15.994 oz.

• The mailing piece must be more than 10 ½ long OR more than 6 1/8 high OR more than .25” thick. (AND ALL pieces, while meeting one of those requirements, must also measure by at least 3 1/2 inches.) USPS doesn’t use the term “width”, they are looking for the “height”. To clarify, regardless of how it is bound, the longest side of any piece is always considered the “length” and the shortest side is always considered the “height”.

• You must have your own mail permit number ($190 annual fee and you can get this at the mailing requirements office at the main post office in your local area). You can gain access to one here (www.uspseverydoor.com/). You may also choose to use your mail center or printer’s permit number so ask them if they have one for you to use (it is very common that they do have one for you to use). If you do this (which is recommended for convenience), you can have your mailing verified at their location and then dropped shipped to the local DDU (usually covers only 1 zip code) or DSCF (covers multiple zip codes w/in a city) that your job is mailing to.

4. Some other things to be considered:

• EDDM/Retail must ship to the local DDU to get this low rate (this is the term used for the post office closest to the place where your mailings or carrier routes are) so you need to get a shipping cost to that location and combine it with the 17.7 cents per piece cost to realize your total mailing expenditure. Your printer might also charge a nominal fee to get everything prepared for your mailing but you should not pay more than $10-$15 per K at most for this compared to the $20-$25 per K you would pay for a normal mail processing/addressing fee.

(NOTE: RATES CONTINUE TO CHANGE SO PLEASE SEE THIS LINK FOR UPDATED COSTS > http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm)

• EDDM/BMEU must be verified at the BMEU where the permit number is registered. And although it is no longer required, USPS recommends using the city, state, 5 digit zip code. If you do this and have a mailing that covers multiple zip codes, you will have additional costs in the form of ink jetting fees or plate change costs (this is where you change out a plate during the press run to put a different zip code on a portion of the print run).

• The recommended number of magazines in each bundle is 50-100 but this is something that your magazine printer or mail house should be familiar with.

• For EDDM/BMEU, the magazines need to be bundled by carrier route with facing slip annotated with number of pieces in bundle (i.e. ‘bundle 1 of 5’ 50 pieces). Your printer or mailing house should know this already, but this is still good knowledge to have.

• You will need a CRID (Customer Registration Identification) to mail thru EDDM/Retail. There is no cost to this and you can get one here (www.uspseverydoor.com/).

5. To calculate the rate of your postage for EDDM/BMEU:

• Go to this link (http://dbcalc.usps.gov/) and under “Flat”, select “Standard Mail”. Rates start at 15.6 cents and go up from there based on weight and the location where you drop these in the mail.

• Scroll down to “Carrier Route Flats” (this is because you will be mailing to all the addresses in carrier routes and if this isn’t what you’re looking for then EDDM is not for you).

• Put in the weight of the piece and then put the quantity of your mail piece in the “Saturation” column.

• For Destination entry, select none if you do not plan to ship it to a local postal station and just put in the mail at the location of where you got everything prepared. This will most likely not be your best bet since it is almost always a better deal to pay for shipping and save on the difference in postage that will come from shipping to a local postal station.

• You will most likely select DSCF (if you have more than 1 zip code) or DDU (if you only have 1 zip code) to get your postage costs (and remember to account for the shipping costs to get your magazines drop shipped to these local stations along with the handling fees from your printer and/or mailing house to get everything prepared and remember that you should not pay more than $10-$15 per K for this vs. the normal $20-$25 per K you would pay for the normal mailing/addressing fees).

I know that even in breaking this down, you still will most likely have some questions because the USPS likes to make things unnecessarily complicated, especially with all of their fun acronyms. But, it is important to understand that EDDM is a relatively new service, and USPS is making every attempt to work through the kinks and listen to their customers needs to help enhance the service. You can visit USPS- Every Door Direct Mail for more information, or feel free contact Shweiki Media which is a San Antonio Magazine Printer at 512-480-0860 and we will do our best to confuse you just a little bit less.

Here are a couple more resources that can help walk you through getting started and please do double check everything with your local mail house or USPS office as rates are subject to change which we are all too familiar with (don’t we just all love the USPS!).

 

Have a hassle-free day and we wish you the best of luck with your next magazine, postcard or catalog mailing!

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