The US Postal Service started a new program in 2011 called Every Door Direct that is making money for many small businesses. This is perfect for many businesses to target people in your neighborhood including: car dealers, pizzerias or other restaurants, dry cleaners, real estate people, attorneys, and accountants.
They have made it relatively easy
Postal permission is not required for this and you do not have to purchase a mailing list. And with the Postal Service’s online tool, you can choose a business/residential or residential-only route. What you can’t do (at least not yet) is choose only businesses. But the post office says they are working on that option.
You choose the zip code and postal route. Using your website and that tool, you can see the routes and number of addresses on it. You must mail all addresses in the route. You can’t target a single stop like an apartment complex. You can choose whether to include businesses or apartment complexes and PO boxes.
There is another way instead of choosing individual routes. Using their online tool, you can enter your business location and request 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 have to do it exactly their way. You can only send up to 5,000 pieces of mail per day at any post office.
Bundling them post office style
They should be packed 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 should have a “slip” on the front that identifies the mailing route.
You can pay a courier service to handle everything or hire someone to bundle them. Or you can sit in front of the TV with your family and friends and have a package party. However, be careful with the count because the post office is picky.
Each piece must have an “address bar” that must be in a specific place in the mail.
How to use it
This is what you can mail in this program: large postcards. The post office calls them “flats.” Up to 12×15 inches at 14.5 cents each (for most deliveries). I’ve seen that “for most deliveries” reference but I’m not sure in which situations it costs more.
Then take them to that post office and pay by check, cash, metered postage, or debit card (but not credit card, last I heard, but they were working on that too). If you want to send your cards to another city, simply send them in a large box with all the paperwork (and payment) inside.
If you have questions about the program, simply search online or call their hotline: 877-747-6249.
Many marketers are using these large 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 take a look.