The EDDM Myth

Many businesses have come to believe that EDDM®, or Every Door Direct Mail®, is the least expensive form of direct mail. This simply isn’t the case but the perception has been perpetuated by the USPS and many mail providers looking to keep the execution of direct mail campaigns as easy as possible.

Spectrum has the data technology, expertise, and mail formats to execute higher ROI campaigns using “smart” saturation mailings.

EDDM vs Smart Saturation

Higher Costs of EDDM vs. Saturation Mailing

EDDM Mails to Bad Addresses: Have you ever wondered why EDDM counts are higher than a normal Saturation mailing? It’s because you are sending to records that should have been removed. Vacancies, do not mails, and excessive drops have all been removed from regular occupant files. Every “extra” EDDM address–often as high as 10% of the list–is a waste of postage and printing.

EDDM Does Not Allow Removals: To qualify for Saturation rates, you only need to mail to 75% of all addresses in a CRRT or 90% of all Residential addresses–whichever count is lower. So why blanket your mailings to every address? With standard occupant data, we have all sorts of removal options that allow clients to optimize their mailings, while maintaining the best possible rates. Here are three great choices:

  • Saturation Record Filters: This allows you to trim a list to the count you want. For example, if you have 11,748 records and only want to mail to 10,000 of them, you can select to remove certain types of records (trailers, apartments, PO Boxes, businesses), or you can trim by lowest income CRRTs first. This gives you a “smart” way to remove those records.
  • Penetration Indexing: By analyzing your existing customer list and looking for areas you’re already successful, we can effectively target areas that contain “look-a-like” consumers that are more likely to respond to your offers.

EDDM Has Lower Response Rates: Time and time again, I’ve had new customers come to us because EDDM just performs poorly when compared to normal Saturation mailings.

  • The postal carrier, sometimes, packages all EDDM pieces together, so EDDM mailings become less of a standalone mail piece.
  • EDDM mails to extraneous addresses that normal Saturation mailings would skip thus reducing the overall results.

But What’s the ROI Difference?

With EDDM you do not need to purchase the mailing list or spend as much time processing the job, whereas with saturation mailings you can save on postage and on wasted mail piece delivery. How does this affect the overall ROI of a mailing?

Calculate the following costs:

  • The average cost to address a postcard: .004
  • The average cost to purchase a mailing list: .007

Consider the following savings:

  • Postal savings will be .001 to 2.3 cents.
  • Delivery savings will be .002 to .004, since only SCF is needed for letter Saturation mailings.
  • You save 3% to 10% on wasted mail pieces: vacancies, do not mail addresses, and excessive drops (1 to 3 cents).

Overall smart saturation mail costs less than EDDM!

All of this shows that Saturation mailing generally ends up costing less than EDDM overall.Additional benefits of saturation include narrowing your list selections on a household level (through Saturation Record Filters, Penetration Indexing or Response Boosters) and Saturation mailings typically perform better.

EDDM & Full Service Mailing Guide

The Takeaway


You will typically get a better ROI with our “Smart” Saturation Mailings Program. While from a pure numbers standpoint, Saturation Mailings tend to beat out EDDM even with their “free data”, but there are other reasons other mail vendors might prefer to use EDDM.

They don’t have the capability to ink-jet address, they can turn EDDM jobs around faster, or don’t have the expertise to execute them properly. So if you use EDDM often, think about whether it is the right choice for your marketing campaigns – you may be wasting resources.  Not sure?  Spectrum will do a free marketing analysis to help you to determine which targeted mailing list option is best for you.

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