Monthly Archives: August 2014

EDDM – Great Value to Reach a Local Market

UPDATE Apr 26, 2016: Current EDDM postage is 17.6¢ each.
A few years ago, the U.S. Postal Service introduced Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). It’s a great option for businesses trying to reach a local audience. EDDM postage (17.6¢ each) beats traditional direct mail postage, which cannot be calculated by mere humans. (Okay, that’s not true, but standard postage is egregiously complicated. Let’s say you’re lucky if it’s 21¢ each, but it can run 28¢ and higher, and you never know until we process your mailing list.) Plus traditional direct mail requires a mailing list (starting at $200 if you don’t have one) and processing (starting at $125). Of course, EDDM has limitations.
  • Size and Weight The piece has to meet EDDM size and weight criteria, but that’s fairly easy.
  • Can’t Select Individual Recipients You can’t select individual address, and you can’t split routes. You mail to entire routes only (a few homes to thousands of homes each).
  • Daily Limits You have to mail at least 200 per mailing and no more than 5000 per day.
  • Take Mailing to Delivering Post Office You have to take your mail to the delivering post office or ship it to each post office.
  • Preparation The paperwork has to be prepared, and the mail pieces have to be bundled in 50s or 100s.
EDDM is not the perfect solution for all businesses, but it’s a good option for any business trying to reach local homes and apartments.
  • restaurants
  • churches
  • brick-and-mortar retail stores
  • car dealers
  • salons
  • home services
  • medical offices
  • car repair shops
It’s also good for reaching residences anywhere in the US, but that requires shipping your mailing to the delivering post office. Nonetheless, it can be a valuable option in some situations.

Comparing EDDM and Standard Direct Mail

Here’s a quick comparison chart.
EDDM Standard Direct Mail
Postage 17.6¢ as of April 2016 It’s complicated. Let’s say 21¢ each and higher.
Mailing List 0 Starting at $200
Mailing List Processing 0 Starting at $125
Can select individual homes No Yes
Can select homes based on demographics Whole postal routes only Yes – Location, age, income and lots more options
Can select businesses Limited. Most routes include more homes than businesses. Limited number of routes have only business addresses. Yes
Send to Named Individuals No Yes

Basic Steps

Here are the basic steps.
  1. Create your printed piece to EDDM specs.
  2. At, create an account.
  3. At, create a new mailing, select the neighborhoods/routes you want to reach and print your paperwork.
  4. Bundle your mailing with the paperwork.
  5. Take your mailing to the delivering post office and pay 17.5¢ each or pay online when you place the order.
EDDM has a few important specifications like size, paperwork and bundling. You can find more information at the USPS website.

The Bottom Line

EDDM is a cost-effect way to reach homes, especially for businesses with a local market. You can find more information at the Postal Service EDDM website. Of course, Pacesetter Media can print your postcards and take care of your direct mail project from start to finish. Call (813) 685-9206 for more information.

Define Your Audience – Here’s Why

Defining your audience is standard advice in marketing guides, blogs and textbooks. Many small businesses skip it or barely do it at all. Here’s why you should.
  • better results from promotions

  • better results from your employees and vendors
Audience (singular) and Audiences (plural) Below I use the words audience and audiences somewhat interchangeably. Most business have multiple audiences. Here I mean one or more audiences or whatever is appropriate for your situation.

Better Promotion Results

One important factor in promotion is the Next Step Rate.
Next Step Rate
For a promotional project, the next step rate (NSR) is the number or percentage of people who take the next step in your sales process.
The NSR is similar to response rate, click rate or conversion rate. It’s my own term that’s more general referring to whatever is the next step in your sale process, which is the goal of any promotion. Sometimes the next step is a click, sometimes an in-bound phone call, sometimes a follow-up appointment, sometimes a sale. Increased NSR is the goal of defining your audience.

Audience Selection

If your promotion reaches 5000 people, you can get a better NSR if you can select who makes up those 5000 people. For instance, if you’re selling lawn service, you’ll get a better NSR with home owners than apartment dwellers. And you’ll get a better NSR from affluent home owners than from low-income home owners who can’t afford your service. You’ll get a better NSR from senior citizens than from 25-year-olds because seniors are more likely to have physical impairments than youngsters who can cut their own grass. You can go on defining people most likely to respond to your promotions. Possible factors include:
  • age
  • gender
  • race
  • occupation
  • income
  • education
  • location
  • priorities
  • likes and dislikes
  • politics
  • religion
  • hot-button issues & buzzwords
  • needs, goals, problems
  • role in purchasing decisions
  • psychological factors
And lots more.

Better Messages

When you define who will most likely respond, you can better tailor your message. For instance, when selling lawn service to affluent home owners, you could emphasize quality and attention to detail. When selling lawn service to corporate property managers, you could emphasize value and your capacity to service a large corporate property. At first, this seems obvious, and the example above is. But more subtle distinctions among audiences can lead you to better messaging for those audiences.

Better Methods

You reach different audiences by different methods. Back to our lawn service example, you can reach home owners with mailing lists, Every Door Direct Mail or door hangers. You can reach corporate customers by direct mail to a filtered mailing list or by exhibiting at appropriate trade shows.

Better Results from Employees and Vendors

If you are the only person involved in your marketing and promotions, you can keep it all in your head. However, if you have employees and vendors who help, they can better help if they understand the audience you’re trying to reach. Detailed profiles for each of your audiences raise that understanding better and faster. Everything above (better message, better methods) applies, too. Your staff can better help you at any step in your sales process when they know whom you are trying to reach and who is most likely to respond to your promotions.

Macro Plans to Micro Projects

You can apply this generally to your entire company over a long period, and you can apply this to individual projects targeting segments of your audience. Start with a general description. If your business is small and simple, maybe that’s all you need. I encourage you to go beyond that and include specifics that are relevant. Sometimes extensive profiling is needed, and other times a few details are enough. Use whatever is appropriate for your business, your product and your audience. In any case, define your audience.
Graphic Design, Logo On Concrete

Do You Have Time for a Blog?

Whether you should or shouldn’t have a blog depends on your business and your resources. Even when a blog could serve your business (sales, search rankings, communication with clients), there’s one more question: Will you add to it regularly? Blogs take time, even for experienced bloggers who know how to create written and visual content. If you have those skills, you have a good start. If you lack that experience, you’ll have to learn (or hire) a few skills before it’s “easy”. For many businesses, a few basic skills are enough:
  • Writing Content The writing doesn’t have to be fancy or long. It can be informal, but some basic writing skills are needed.
  • Selecting and Editing Images Cropping and resizing images is a start. Combining images and creating original graphics is a plus.
  • Organizing Basic organization of images and future blog posts as well as writing and editing tasks.
  •  Posting on Your Site With most blog software like WordPress, this is pretty easy, but you need to know a few steps .

Your Homework: Create Five Posts

I often ask clients to create a few blog posts before committing. Then they can better gauge the time needed for updates. So that’s your assignment. You don’t need to create anything fancy. Write five simple posts by creating or collecting the text, pictures and videos. Posts can be simple, like posting on Facebook: quick cell phone images with a caption or  a few short paragraphs. Or posts can be longer with lots of details. This short assignment helps you refine the style and direction of your blog. It also helps you decide if you should have a blog at all and how to maintain it.

Ideas for Blog Posts

Over a few weeks, keep an eye out for things to post:
  • an image of your product or service, particularly if it makes a good visual like hair styles, home painting or any kind of design
  • something a client says about your company
  • a picture from a vendor visit
  • a picture from a training session
  • cell-phone shots from industry conferences and trade shows
  • new products
  • new employees
  • technical support answers
  • any news your audience and clients want to know
Then create those first five posts. Once you write a small collection, you’ll better understand the project of publishing a blog.