EDDM vs. Targeted

EDDM vs TDM -- a tradeoff of cost vs response

Comparing EDDM and TDM

The approximate mailing costs for EDDM and TDM mail pieces are as follows:

Mailing Cost Factors EDDM Mailings TDM Mailings
Select Neighborhood by Carrier Routes Free
Purchase Demographic-based Address List* ∼ 6¢ each
Sort & Dedup Address list per USPS** ∼ 2¢ each
Certify Address List per USPS** ∼ 2¢ each
Print Addresses on Mail Pieces 6¢ each
Count & Bundle Mail Pieces per USPS 2¢ each
Sort & Tray Mail Pieces per USPS 2¢ each
Generate Required USPS Paperwork 0.7¢ each 0.5¢ each
Deliver to Post Office(s) No Charge for Local No Charge
Postage*** 18.3¢ each ∼ 27¢ each
TOTAL 21.0¢ each ∼ 45.5¢ each

*  The price of the Address List is dependent on the number of optional criteria that are selected.
** These charges are somewhat dependent on volume — the unit costs decreases as the quantity increases.
*** The postage for pre-sorted targeted mail depends on the quantity and dispersion of the addresses.

Response Rates

Although there are no definitive studies of direct mail response rates in the open literature, there are reports on many limited studies and much antidotal results. Most emphasize the importance of having an attractively designed mail piece that contains a compelling offer and is sent to carefully selected recipients with the appropriate demographics. Adding personalized variable data to the targeted mail piece would be expected to increase its response rate.

Although reported response rates varied from 0% to over 10%, the general consensus is that they typically range from 0.25% to 2%. Given the difficulty of finding a homogeneous carrier route with the desired demographics, it would be expected that the response rate for an EDDM mailing would be at the lower end of the range while that for a comparable TDM mailing with variable data would be at the upper end. Finally, keep in mind that there are no guarantees on response rates because they are a function of a myriad of controllable and uncontrollable factors.

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