Compare EDDM® and First-Class Mail® from the USPS®
Posted On Dec 31, 2014 in Taradel Products by

Do thoughts of mailing permits, postage rates, lists, and campaign budgeting give you a headache?

Don't worry, most business owners feel the exact same way about direct mail -- which can seem utterly complicated, difficult, and costly at first glance.

But, direct mail isn't REALLY that difficult at all.

As with anything else, you just need to know what you are doing and have all of the facts before you begin.

One of the most common direct mail questions I am asked is:

"What are the postage rates?"

Well, that all depends on who, how, and what you mail.

Depending on your goals and requirements, you can start by choosing between a truly "saturation" method like Every Door Direct Mail®, or a highly-targeted and fast delivery method such as First-Class Mail®.

Let's review the pros and cons of each.

USPS® Every Door Direct Mail®
(Click to get a FREE quote)

Pros:


eddm-check No mailing list required
eddm-check No mailing permit required
eddm-check No experience required
eddm-check No trips to the Post Office required
eddm-check Reach every residential mailbox in targeted area(s)
eddm-check Business and PO Box mailing addresses are optional
eddm-check Target specific carrier routes or entire ZIP Codes
eddm-check Super low postage rates @ 17.5¢ per piece
eddm-check Mail large format postcards, flyers, and offers
eddm-check Target by radius, drive-time, and more w/ online mapping tool
eddm-check Apply demographic filters to identify potential customer market(s)
eddm-check Get design + printing + mailing + postage ALL for less than the cost of a single stamp

Cons:
  • Not personalized
  • Addressed to Local Postal Customer
  • Delivery may take one week or more
  • Not ideal for data-centric mail campaigns
  • Not viable for existing customer database campaigns
  • Requires some wasted or non-targeted ad spend

First-Class Mail®
(Click to get a FREE quote)

Pros:

eddm-check Fast, dependable 2-3 business day delivery
eddm-check Ideal for data-centric mail campaigns
eddm-check Mail to existing customer database or purchased list
eddm-check Mail envelopes and letters sealed against inspection
eddm-check Mail private or sensitive materials
eddm-check Personalized and addressed to each individual
eddm-check Eliminates some wasted or non-targeted ad spend

Cons:
  • Requires substantially larger budget
  • Higher postage rates @ 34¢ to 44¢ (or higher) per piece
  • Costs increase further for large format postcard, flyers, etc
  • No simplified "all inclusive" online ordering platform
  • Requires mailing permit, list, addressing/labeling
  • Requires coordination of production and mailing processes
  • Requires list verification / NCOA
  • Experience not required, but recommended
As you can see, one option is not "better" than the other, however, each method has compelling strengths and weaknesses depending on the intended audience, promotion, and general usage.

In Summary

As the above pros/cons outline indicates, EDDM® is an ideal way to saturate local neighborhoods with offers, grand opening announcements, coupons, and more. The main benefit is the ease of use and the low cost. The main drawback is the lack of personalization and targeting.

On the flip side, First-Class Mail® is a much more targeted, but much more costly route. This method is best for highly-personalized or database-driven communications. The main drawback is the high cost and potential complexity of the process.

So there you have it, a basic comparison of two of the most popular direct mail methods used today.

No matter which method you choose, direct mail is a proven and effective way to drive sales and grow your business.