Hudson Valley EDDM™ - Tips for Success


Across the nation, USPS's EDDM™ (Every Door Direct Mail™) product has been a "game changer" for the way businesses advertise themselves via direct mail. Only recently, in January 2011, did the Postal Service allow its customers to mail for themselves (on a trial basis) without the then-conventional postal permit fees or service handling by third-party professional mailers (or mailing houses). Only last year, in January 2013, did EDDM™-Retail became a "permanent product" (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/10/15/2012-25059/every-door-direct-mail-retail) so it has been just over 1 year (as of Spring 2014) since the cementing of this formality. Even given its comparative brief tenure, there is enough statistical information to provide some general analysis -- even regionally -- about best practices for EDDM™. This one year anniversary also coincides approximatley with Cornerstone Services, Inc.'s having launched its own EDDM™ site (www.EDDMTODAY.com), and therefore it seemed appropriate to conduct a checking-in of what's been working in Hudson Valley EDDM™.

 

3 1/2" x 11" CARDS WITH TEAR-OFF COUPONS

Interestingly, this delivery format has been by far the "best seller" for us in the Hudson Valley region. From the Yonkers area, outside of Westchester County NY, to Columbia and Greene counties, most of our EDDM™ printing requests (over 60%) have been for this unusual size. The novelty of the piece is certainly part of its popularity, in part because this format allows a recipient to tear off a business card size part of the card (standard 2" x 3 1/2" size) usually for purposes of a redeemable coupon;and, this 3.5"x 11" card also leaves sufficient informational "real estate" for pictures and text. As one client pointed out to us, you still have a 3.5" x 8.5" standard rack-size card that easily fits into a coat or shirt pocket even after the tear-off card gets used. Most EDDM™ pieces don't allow that, so this piece is clearly unique and has captured retailers' and customers' attention. (Please see http://EDDMTODAY.com/examples for examples).

A quick survey of Clients who have ordered this format -- ranked by largest to smallest via industry -- are:

 

4 1/4" x 11" CARDS

These are our second most popular cards. Although no tear-off component is present here, the unusual size with sufficient "real estate" still gets attention and adds value. Not surprisingly, this size is less expensive than the larger 6" x 11" or 8 1/2" x 11" sizes, and so the obvious cost factor may well add to its value selection. In general, and worthy of note, it has become clear to Cornerstone that clients are interested in the novelty of the EDDM™ piece as well as with the over-all room for content. We really didn't expect this and we are working to explore other interesting EDDM™ solutions for clients based upon ordering trends.

 

MIXING IT UP

Again, what we're seeing is a trend towards almost entertaining potential customers with different mailing formats. In other words, what we are not seeing (as a trend) is the sending of the same piece and size again and again and again. Examples: a hardware store may send out an EDDM™ piece, but it would be followed up in 1 to 2 months time with a self-mailer or oversized postcard (e.g. 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" or 3 2/3" x 8 1/2" tabbed brochure). There is an apparent thought that too much repetition corrodes the "wow" factor, unless the offering is substantive and seasonally unique (e.g. "close-out sale", "all inventory must go", or "April tax deadline almost here". When we have had repeat cards, we have done our graphic design best to change enough of the colors/text around in order to demonstrate to the recipients that this cyclical card is unlike prior deliveries, and therefore warrents unique attention.

 

COUPONS, CASH & FREE

What works with EDDM™ is probably what works with any good direct mailpiece: a high value proposition with a time-sensitive condition. We strongly suggest to clients not to put "10% off", but rather include "$100 off your first [construction] order over $500 (before June 1st)" or "Good for One (1) cup of Coffee (Weekdays Only)"or, well,... you get the idea. As a courtesy, we also add the conditional language on the EDDM™ card for clients such as "must present card to redeem" and "not valid when combined with other offers". Further, we have found that nothing beats cash and free, even if the perceived value is actually less than the actual value that another, similar offer would have provided, such as "10% off". In other words, when you don't make your customers think too much, there are fewer impediments togetting your intended result of people walking in the door.

I hope that these tips from 2013 and early 2014 will assist you in your own EDDM™ design. Whether you design your own card, or use our CRST (Cornerstone) Project Management department to assist with your EDDM™ Retail mailpiece design, we look forward to hearing from you! Please email us at info@crst.net for a quote or call (845) 255-5722 to discuss anyforth-coming EDDM™ project.

Sean Griffin, Sales & Marketing (sgriffin@crst.net)