EDDM, also known as USPS Every Door Direct Mail, is a really inexpensive way to target customers for your direct mail marketing campaign. It’s not super precise, but you can mitigate that by targeting just the zip codes and routes that make the most sense for your product.
This post will deal with targeting across all of the United States and city targeting, both with summary demographics of the zip code and carrier routes. If you live in the city you’re targeting, here’s the process of how to send via EDDM. If you’re targeting nationwide (which the linked-post doesn’t cover), we’ll give you some steps below on how to send your campaign.
This post is useful for both software brands who are targeting first by demographics and also small businesses who are targeting by location first, them demographics.
We couldn’t find a great single tool to do all of this (we’re working on it), but this post should help you navigate several tools to do this right.
EDDM Targeting in the USA, Demographics First
If your product is useful for anyone in the US, here’s the way to find which zip codes match your ideal customers and then how to further filter that into just the best carrier routes within those zip codes.
The first step is to head over to ZipWho. As cheesy as this graphic is, there’s a TON of power in this tool and if binocular woman knew it… she may still make that face.
Here’s what you’ll find.
This search will target the wealthiest zip codes in the United States. But this is not all you can do. You can mix and match with this tool. Let’s get into the awesome power that is ZipWho.
Want to target the richest zip codes, who own their own homes, have college degrees, and have the highest divorce rate? Yea, ZipWho can help you do that. You can target 4 different criteria at once.
This is just the start of your journey. Let’s take three of the zip codes above, just the wealthy ones with no further filtering. Then head over to the USPS EDDM tool and let’s look at 60043, 94027, and 07078.
First, there’s a neat little hack you can do to find the most lucrative routes from all of these zip codes at once. Paste them in with commas into the EDDM tool. You won’t get a map, because, well, duh, but you will get this handy table. Note, you can only do 21 zip codes at once.
Once pasted, click Income, click highest, then click out of the dialog box.
You can see the routes within each of these zip codes that have the highest average income. There’s an additional filter under the Residential and Business sections (which do the same thing, by the way) to filter out the business addresses. In this case, it’s only 32 businesses. You should filter these out if you’re targeting consumers.
All of those weird C numbers are carrier routes. And the data about them is limited to just the routes your friendly postal carrier walks, runs, or donkeys. Write them down, and skip ahead to the end of this post on how to send postcards to them.
EDDM Targeting by City, Location First
Surprisingly, the EDDM tool is the best tool out there if you’re targeting local zip codes. If you’re looking for the best routes in the 5 closest zip codes near you, I’ll breakdown the best way to do this in the hyper local targeting section. If you’re doing hyper-local targeting, it means your customer’s location is the most important demographic. Like, for a coffee shop or a local business.
If your product can serve all of New York, but not really anyone outside, I’ll break down that process in the city targeting section.
For hyper-local targeting (1):
To target just the 4-10 closest zip codes to you the best way is to use the EDDM tool. Don’t be fooled, do not type in your address into this tool (also, typing in your city doesn’t work either).
If you type in an address it shows this weird ring thing and dots that actually obscure the zip codes you want to search for… it’s a 2.5 star Yelp experience.
So what you want to do is manually zoom into the city. Here I’ve zoomed into the financial district in San Francisco. It’s so much easier to see which zip codes you need to target (especially if you know where your address is… duh).
Once you type in the zip codes (as I did above manually), just click search. In this case I’ve sorted by income. Notice how all routes for all zip codes appear here. Now I can target just the ones that are best for my product.
For larger city-level targeting (2):
This works if you’re targeting 3, 4, or 5 zip codes. But what if you’re targeting Chicago with 85 zip codes. Or 166 codes in New York.
Google, “New York City Zip Codes.” You’ll get a list for most major cities this way.
You’re limited to 21 zip codes at a time because, well, it is the government after all. So, you’ll have to do this in steps of 21.
How to Send Postcards to your Zips + Carrier Routes
We won’t use the EDDM tool to actually do our sending. It’s logistically a nightmare to do that with this tool when the zip codes are all over the country. If you’re just sending to a few local zip codes, your best bet is to call a print shop (we’ll do it for you, but these local print shops will be cheaper).
But what about if you’re sending zip codes and routes all over the country, like in our first example?
Using EDDM directly via the post office to send to these routes is near impossible. You’d have to find local printers who did EDDM for each of these zip codes.
We just use lob.com for this as they can do the printing and deliver easily to all the various zip codes and routes with a 6×11 card. Or if you don’t have an engineer, we’ll do this for you with a markup.
We’re working on making this process easier, but hopefully this post will give you some guidance on how to do it yourself in the meantime. Next up, a post on all the tools that exist to do EDDM and how they rank.