Direct Mail Postcards: EDDM vs Mailing Lists

Direct Mail Postcards: EDDM vs Mailing Lists

EDDM or Every Door Direct Mail

EDDM is a direct mail marketing service offered by the U.S. Postal Service to help your small business promote your message to a targeted area in your local communities. You can target specific Zip Codes in any area you like and filter them by Residential and/or Business addresses to be sure your message lands in the hands of the people you want to communicate with the most. You can even filter your mailings by age, income, or household size using U.S. Census data. EDDM is more cost effective than traditional direct mail and will give you the ability to saturate every household or business in a desired geographical location.

EDDM postage rates are currently $0.187 per piece.

Here’s how to create an EDDM Direct Mail Campaign.

  1. Go to and set up an account, or you can use an existing account.

    For EDDM you must be mailing at least 200 mailpieces and up to 5,000 mailpieces a day per ZIP Code.

  2. Select the Neighborhoods & Audience you want to target using the EDDM Online Tool

    Choose the neighborhoods in the EDDM Online Tool where your customers live. Use the tool to target customers by specific demographics such as age, household size, and income.

  3. Design & Print Your Mailpiece

    When designing a Direct Mail Postcard the idea is to quickly grab the readers attention and maintain it for as long as possible. We recommend keeping your Postcard design simple and to the point. A design that is too “busy” will confuse and frustrate your customer. Use large headlines to get your core message across. Include a call to action statement to motivate and inspire customers to to reach out to you. This can be things like “Call Us for our latest specials” or “Visit us online to learn more”. If you need inspiration take a look at our Portfolio.

    Choose a size for your piece.
    The larger your Postcard the more attention it will attract, but the cost to print them will be higher. The most common sizes are 4″ X 6″, 5.5″ X 8.5″, and 6″ X 11″. You can use the USPS Mailpiece Size Checker, located at the top right of the EDDM Online Tool, to make sure your postcard meets the requirements for marketing mail.

    For detailed size criteria and measurements for EDDM mailpieces, see the USPS website for Physical Standards for Flats.

    Formatting Addresses & Postage
    Mailpieces are simply addressed to “Postal Customer” and your mail will be delivered to every address on your selected routes.

    Postage Indicia
    Use the EDDM Retail Indicia, which is a postage payment mark that takes the place of a regular postage stamp or meter stamp.

    • Every EDDM mailpiece must include the EDDM Retail Indicia above and to the right of the address block.
    • The EDDM Retail Indicia does not have a specific size requirement but must be larger than 0.5″ x 0.5″.
    • The type font must be in all caps and at least a 4 point size.
    • It should fit in the area 1.625″ from the right edge and 1.375″ from top edge.
    • Leave 1/8″ of space around the top and right edge.

    You can download a ready-to-use EDDM Retail Indicia here.

  4. Choose Drop-Off Date & Payment Options

    Select your drop-off date and payment type. The EDDM User Guide explains the specific drop-off steps and options available. EDDM User Guide PDF

    • Pay Online
    • Pay with a credit/debit card.
    • Your order documentation includes a proof of payment receipt.
    • Present your receipt when you deliver your mailing to the Post Office™.
    • Paying at the Post Office
    • Your order documentation will show the order is unpaid.
    • Includes a proof of payment receipt.
    • When you deliver your mailing to the Post Office, you can pay by cash, credit/debit card, or check.
  5. Print Forms & Prepare Mailing Bundles
    • On the Order Confirmation screen, you’ll view and print all necessary Postal Service™ processing forms and the right EDDM facing slip to attach to your mailing bundles.
    • Bundle your mailing in stacks of 50-100 mailpieces.
    • Bundles may not be higher than 6″.
    • Fill out and attach an EDDM facing slip to the top of every bundle.
    • Write the number of pieces in the bundle on the facing slip.
  6. Drop Off or Ship Your Mailing
    • Take or send your mailing to the Post Office locations that will deliver to your selected EDDM routes. Choose to either drop off your mailing or ship it to a Post Office location if that’s easier.
    • The Order Summary in the EDDM Online Tool will show your payment and specific Post Office drop-off location.
    • Gather your mailing bundle(s) with the proper facing slips.
    • Include a completed Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Retail® form PS Form 3587 PDF (19 KB). Note: Be sure to fill in the carrier route information on the back.
    • Take the mailing to the Post Office for your selected ZIP Code.

If you need help Image Department offers EDDM services for designing, printing, formatting and mailing your Postcards. Contact us to learn more.

Direct Mail Postcards Using Your Own Lists

Sending Direct Mail Postcards using your own mailing lists through the U.S. Postal Service is a good choice if you want to target specific addresses as compared to blanketing a neighborhood. The Image Department’s Direct Mail service processes your mailing list through a validation tool to validate your addresses and eliminate any invalid or duplicated addresses. This will reduce postage costs for any unwanted or invalid addresses you may have in your list.

Direct Mail List Postcards postage rates range from $0.256 – $0.291 per pieces depending on the size of the pieces to be mailed. Generally Direct Mail Postcards range in size from 3.5” x 5” up to 6.125” x 11.5”

Here’s how to create a Direct Mail Postcard using your own Direct Mailing List

  1. Choose a Postcard size. Size range from 3.5” x 5” up to 6.125” x 11.5”.
  2. Set up your artwork using the below graphic as a guide to insure proper, timely and accurate production of your job. If you need inspiration take a look at our Portfolio.
    Direct Mail Postcard Template
  3. Set up your mailing list in a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel for example) following the template below. Be sure to include your own address in the spreadsheet so you get a copy of the mail piece. This will allow you to know when your campaign has arrived.

If you need help Image Department offers Direct Mail Postcard services for designing, printing, formatting and mailing your Postcards. Contact us to learn more.