Every Door Direct Mail – Local Marketing with an Affordable Price


Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a useful, cost effective way to promote local businesses within the community. You may recognize these pieces of mail because they don't have your name or address on them, they are just addressed to "residential customer" or "postal customer."

EDDM works well for city and public works communications like those shown above, a new business grand opening, sending out coupons or menus for a local restaurant, or flyers for an upcoming event. The USPS provides a tool to map out mail routes with U.S. Census data on age, income and household size.

Choosing Which EDDM Service to Use

The USPS has two different services: EDDM Retail and EDDM Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU).

EDDM Retail can be done by the local business itself. The features of Retail EDDM include:

  • Great for small businesses, restaurants, realtors, and local political campaigns
  • Use a basic USPS.com account
  • Send at least 200 but not more than 5,000 pieces per day, per zip code
  • Drop off your EDDM mailing at the post office
  • No special mailing permit needed
  • Pay online or at the post office when dropping off the mail

EDDM BMEU is better for larger mailers who want to mail to multiple locations with higher mail volumes and would like to take advantage of drop shipping mail to save on postage costs. EDDM BMEU Features are:

  • Great for large volume mailers
  • Use the USPS Business Customer Gateway to prepare and enter a bulk mailing
  • No volume limit on size of the mailing, multiple zip codes can be selected
  • Drop off mailings at large USPS mail processing centers (BMEUs)
  • Pay with a bulk mailing permit
  • Drop ship mail to receive lower postage rates

Designing Your Mailpiece

In order to qualify to use EDDM, your mailpiece must be considered a flat size. The mailpiece must only exceed one of the dimension minimums, but be within all flat size maximums. The minimum size of a flat mailpiece is:

  • > 10.5" long or
  • > 6.125" high or
  • > 0.25" thick

The maximum for a flat size mail piece is 15" long, 12" high, and 0.75" thick. If looking to mail a letter-sized piece or another size not compatible with EDDM, you would need to consider a saturation list.


Here is the indicia and address block that can be printed on your EDDM Retail card to save addressing costs. If you choose to use EDDM BMEU, a bulk mail postal indicia will be used instead of the EDDM Retail indicia. Your mail service provider will be able to assist with artwork for the indicia. Note that the address must be placed as is required for a flat size mailpiece. The address must be to the left or right of center (not in the center) for a horizontal mailpiece or in the upper half of a vertical mailpiece.

Selecting Your Neighborhoods and Audience

A sender uses the EDDM mapping tool to choose the carrier routes where they would like the mail to be delivered. To get started, search for a full address, city/state, or zip code. If you are going to use the radius feature, you must put in a complete street address, city, state, and zip code. This can get a little frustrating if you don't key in the information exactly as the USPS wants it. Be sure you have the correct, complete address entered in.


Once you have entered the address, you will be able to select the radius you would like to use for the address entered the search bar. You can select a radius from 0.25 miles up to 5 miles. Be sure to keep in mind that only a portion of the carrier route needs to be within the radius for the route to be included in your count. You can then select and deselect carrier routes to be included in your list.

You can reduce the quantity by selecting only Residential or Business addresses by selecting the tabs below the search bar. Other tabs include age range, household size, and household income based on U.S. Census data. So you can be a little selective by choosing routes with average income over a certain amount, or routes with certain percentage of age groups. However, keep in mind that these are just averages for all the households on the route and current Census data is 10 years old until the 2020 Census results are released.

The postage cost for Retail EDDM is $0.191 cents each, far less than first class or marketing mail postage for flats. Postage for BMEU can go as low as $0.164 cents each depending on where the mail is entered into the mail stream and its destination. Drop shipping is also an option if your mail volume is high enough for postage savings to offset the transportation charges.


EDDM can be a great tool for mailing to all residences in a specific area and works best for businesses marketing a product or service where anyone can order it, like pizza or real estate. If you are looking for consumers with very specific demographics (children in home, higher income, residents approaching Medicare age), a targeted mailer to only these households will probably perform better. 

Happy Mailing,

About the author

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Rob Hanks

Rob Hanks

Rob Hanks is a inside sales representative at Suttle-Straus and has more than 25 years of experience in direct mail. Rob is a Certified Direct Mail Professional and a Certified Mailpiece Design Professional though the United States Postal Service and serves as the Industry Co-Chairperson for the Greater Madison Area Postal Customer Council. Rob enjoys the challenges of mailpiece design within postal regulations and helping clients save on postage costs.
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Topics: Direct Mail