The US Postal Service started a new program in 2011 called the Every Door Direct program that’s making money for a lot of small businesses. This is perfect for many businesses to target people in their neighborhood including: car dealers, pizza places or other restaurants, dry cleaners, real estate people, lawyers, and accountants.
They’ve Made It Relatively Easy
No postal permit is required for this and you don’t have to buy a mailing list. And using the Postal Service’s online tool, you can pick either a business/residential or just residential route. What you can’t do (at least yet) is choose business-only. But the post office says they’re working on that option.
You pick the zip code and the postal route. Using their website and that tool, you can see the routes and the number of addresses on it. You must mail every address on the route. You can’t target just one stop like an apartment complex. You can choose whether to include businesses or apartment complexes and post office boxes.
There’s another way instead of picking individual routes. Using their online tool, you could enter the location of your business and ask for every address within a mile or within three miles or whatever. It immediately shows you how many places that would be and the exact cost.
And the Maximum
But this is the postal service which means you’ve got to do it exactly their way. You can only mail up to 5000 pieces of mail per day at any one post office.
Bundling Them the Post Office Way
They must be packaged in groups of 50. Let’s say a route has 226 addresses. You would have four bundles of 50 each plus one bundle of 26. Each bundle has to have a “facing slip” on the front which identifies the postal route.
You could pay a mailing service to handle the whole thing or hire someone to bundle them. Or you can sit down in front of the TV with your family members and friends and have a bundling party. Careful with the counting though because the post office is picky.
Each piece has to have an “address bar” that has to be in a specific place on the mailing.
How to Use It
Here’s what you can mail in this program: big postcards. The post office calls them “flats.” Up to 12×15 inches at 14.5 cents each (for most deliveries). I’ve seen that reference of “for most deliveries” but I’m not sure in what situations it costs more.
Then you take them to that post office and pay by check, cash, metered postage or debit card (but not credit card the last I heard but they were working on that as well). If you wanted to send your cards to another city just mail them in a big box with all the paperwork (and payment) inside.
If you’ve got questions about the program, just do an online search or call their hotline: 877-747-6249.
Many marketers are using these big cards to sell ads to individual businesses all in the same area. The Postal Service really has a good idea here. I urge you to give it a look.