Home Digital Marketing The Downsides of USPS EDDM for Targeted Marketing
The Downsides of USPS EDDM for Targeted Marketing

The Downsides of USPS EDDM for Targeted Marketing

by Ruhia

Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), a service provided by the United States Postal Service (USPS), is a common choice for businesses looking to distribute promotional material to households within a specific geographic area. On the surface, EDDM appears to be a straightforward and cost-effective way to execute a direct mail campaign. However, when the aim is targeted marketing, USPS EDDM may present several disadvantages that could impact the effectiveness of such campaigns.

Limited Targeting Capabilities

EDDM operates on the principle of saturation mailing, meaning that it delivers to every door within selected postal routes. This broad-stroke approach does not account for the demographic nuances that targeted marketing relies on. For instance, if a luxury car dealership wants to reach high-income households, EDDM would not provide the means to filter out addresses that do not meet its specific financial demographic criteria.

Lack of Personalization

A core element of targeted marketing is personalization. Customers today expect messages tailored to their preferences, interests, and behaviors. EDDM’s format does not support this level of customization. Without the ability to personalize, the mail pieces may be perceived as irrelevant by recipients, leading to a lower engagement rate compared to campaigns that use targeted mailing lists.

Inefficiency in Resource Allocation

Budgets for marketing are often finite, making it crucial to allocate resources efficiently. EDDM may lead to wastage of print materials and postage as businesses cannot exclude addresses outside their target market. This inefficiency can result in a higher overall cost per lead or sale, diminishing the return on investment of the campaign.

Potential for Lower Response Rates

Targeted marketing is designed to elicit a response from a specific audience. Since EDDM distributes to an entire route without discriminating between likely interested and uninterested parties, the overall response rate can be significantly lower. This blanket approach dilutes the concentration of marketing efforts, potentially reducing the impact on the intended consumer segment.

Challenges in Tracking and Measuring Success

One of the hallmarks of an effective marketing strategy is the ability to track performance and measure success. EDDM does not inherently provide detailed analytics or response tracking mechanisms. Businesses that use EDDM are often left with a less clear understanding of how their campaign performs, making it difficult to optimize future marketing initiatives.

Incompatibility with Omnichannel Marketing Strategies

Modern marketing often employs an omnichannel approach, which seeks to provide a seamless customer experience across various channels and platforms. EDDM’s lack of targeting and personalization capabilities makes it challenging to integrate into a cohesive omnichannel strategy. The disconnect between the generalized message of EDDM mailings and the targeted messaging of other channels can lead to a disjointed customer experience.

Regulatory and Content Restrictions

The USPS has specific regulations and content restrictions for EDDM mailings. These guidelines can limit the creative execution of a campaign, potentially stifling the message a business wishes to convey. While these rules ensure uniformity in mailings, they can also hinder the creation of a unique and attention-grabbing piece that targeted marketing campaigns often require.

The Importance of a Focused Approach

In contrast to EDDM, a more focused approach to direct mail allows businesses to identify and reach out to potential customers with precision. By utilizing targeted mailing lists and customer data, businesses can create campaigns more likely to resonate with the recipients. This method enhances the potential for engagement, driving better results for the investment made.


While USPS EDDM is a tool with potential benefits for certain types of mail campaigns, it is not without its shortcomings, particularly in targeted marketing. Businesses that require a precise approach to reaching prospective customers might find EDDM’s limitations a hindrance to achieving their marketing objectives. By considering the specific goals of a campaign and the importance of targeting, personalization, and efficiency, marketers can make informed decisions about the methods that will best suit their needs and lead to successful outcomes.

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