EDDM vs. Bulk Mail is a question many dentists ask. In this episode of Dental Marketing Mastery, Mark and Howie break down the differences, when you should use EDDM, which demographic is better, and more.



Podcast Highlights:

  • What is EDDM?
  • When should you use it?
  • The right budget for EDDM
  • Why EDDM is best for price-incentive-based marketing
  • Which demographics work best for EDDM?
  • When Should You NOT use EDDM?
  • Income targeting
  • Carrier rates
  • How some households will skew EDDM targeting
  • When to use Direct Bulk Mail
  • Ad types for Direct Bulk Mail
  • Advantages of Direct Bulk Mailk
  • Budgeting

Podcast Transcription:

Hello, and welcome once again to the Dental Marketing Mastery series. This podcast is brought to you by DentalWebContent.com and New Patients Incorporated. I’m Howie Horrocks, the Founder of New Patients Incorporated, along with me once again, as my friend and partner and the President of New Patients Incorporated, Mark Dilatush.

Howie: Hello once again, I’m here with my good buddy Mark Dilatush. We’re going to do another podcast for you. How you doing Mark?

Mark: Good. And who are you Howie?

Howie: Oh, yeah, I forgot myself.

Mark: I’m here.

Howie: I’m not a vegan, but I’m a Las Vegan. Let’s put it that way.

Mark: There you go. That’s Howie Horrocks, my friend and business partner, and what is our what’s our subject for today?

Howie: Well, as I pull one out of the hat here, I think what might be appropriate is to have a discussion about EDDM vs. Bulk mail.

Mark: Okay.

Howie: There’s a bit of discussion about that on some certain dental forums. And I think it might benefit our audience to just explain that a little bit. And we might start with what the heck is EDDM anyway.

Mark: Okay, EDDM is an acronym for Every Door Direct Mail. It’s a service provided by the United States Postal Service. It is, um, it’s basically a carpet bomb.

Howie: Right

Mark: With and I, I’ll go through each targeting method. But basically, it’s a carpet bomb. When it comes to EDDM vs. bulk mail. Now, that doesn’t mean carpet bombs are bad. They’re not because EDDM to its benefit is cheaper than direct mail most times by about 10 cents, okay. So, it’s not like you can ignore it. But it’s something that you use, well, it’s, it’s like every other marketing medium, and EDDM has its pros and its cons.

Okay, so let’s, let’s go through Every Door Direct Mail. And let’s go through its pros. It is less expensive. That’s a pro. However, the lower expenses actually up front, because of the con is it’s targeting isn’t really real. Okay. So, so when do you use it?

You would use Every Door Direct Mail, I would use Every Door Direct Mail, if I were, let’s say a young dentists just starting out, we just purchased a practice, have a severely restricted marketing budget, and I and I, I just wanted to get new blood in the door, the quality of the patient didn’t matter that as much to me at this point in my career, I just want to fill the capacity I have so that I feel busy. EDDM would be a reasonable choice for that type of a situation.

Because you can hit more doors for the same for less money. Now, I would also use EDDM, if I have made the decision to use price as my design element that’s going to get the phone to ring. In other words, a reduced exam fee some kind of some kind of an initial get to know you fee or welcome new patient exam, an X ray fee something some way some financial motivation to get the recipient to pick up the phone dial seven numbers and make their first appointment.

Howie: Yeah, in other words, a deal.

Mark: A deal, right. So, if I were that dentist in that situation, and I was going to go after the bottom half of the dental market. And I had and I made that decision to do that, I would consider EDDM, Every Door Direct Mail by the US Postal Service, an option. Okay, so under those circumstances, it’s an option.

Now we can compare EDDM vs. bulk mail, if we’re going after the bottom of the market, if we’re going to use deals to generate phone calls. To me, the EDDM choice, if that’s what if that’s the half of the market that I’m going after, that’s fine, I have no problem with it. I’m not sure it’s saving you any money. Because ultimately, you go get your permit number. You’re the one who has to sort and band the mailers into packages or packets of 50 to 100. There’s a lot of manual labor involved in deploying an EDDM campaign, versus a campaign as deployed perhaps by a local printing mailing company, or a company like ours, okay.

Now, where EDDM doesn’t even remotely enter into the conversation is when you compare it to real direct mail going after the top half of the market. Because those EDDM prices are for postcards, and if you’re going after the top half of the market, you can’t use a postcard because you don’t have enough room to talk about the benefits of the dentistry you provide. You need a larger, you need more real estate, let’s just put it that way.

And under that pricing, there is no comparison. Because especially when you deal with targeting, because if you go to the EDDM website, and I would I would recommend everyone do that who’s interested in EDDM. And I would also recommend that you look at very carefully at what they’re saying when they do geography and income targeting. When you go to do income targeting on an EDDM website, it brings up a large area, carrier route, and it tells you the average income level for that carrier route. And what you’re going to do is you’re going to select the carrier routes with the highest income level.

Howie: Let’s for those of you who don’t know what carrier route is, it’s simply the route that the mail carrier takes.

Mark: Right. It’s the guy that gets into the little Jeep.

Howie: Okay.

Mark: He’s a carrier, okay. And the route he takes every day, right?

Howie: There you go. Okay, continue. Sorry, Mark. Go ahead.

Mark: That’s okay. So, um, so really, when you look at their income targeting, what you’re saying is, is I want to mail to that whole carrier route. That is very different, actually extremely different than targeting a bulk mail list. A bulk mail list says, if six households on Maple Street, don’t fit my criteria, don’t mail to them. Okay, that’s very different than mailing to an entire carrier route. Now give me an example. Why? How many 20, how many $20,000 a year earner does it take to offset one $1 million a year earner? And the answer is 50.

Okay, so if you’re going to do income averaging and you’re going to mail to an entire carrier route, and you’re not going to skip any of those households, you’re going to mail to 50 $20,000 a year earner to reach the one millionaire. You just wasted did 50 mailers, okay. So be very careful with your understanding of what their income targeting is actually saying to you. Okay. It’s actually saying to you that the average income in this carrier route is X. And we’re going to, we’re going to mail that your piece to the entire carrier route, and we don’t care what any, we don’t care what they don’t care what the what the means are to create the average. Right? It doesn’t have

Howie: You know, one or two houses can skew the whole average. Throw it all off,

Mark: Right. And then and so here’s my argument, not my argument, here’s the facts. The facts are is if you’re trying to save 10 cents on postage, but you’re wasting 50 out of 51 mailers. What are you doing?

Howie: Yeah, how much you’re saving?

Mark: Okay, right. What are you doing? I am, I mean, I guess it makes people feel good, maybe that may have more control, maybe they’re doing it themselves. I know one thing that that’s nice with EDDM that dentist like, and that is, is that they don’t really have to plan for a whole year of mail, they can just do whatever they want.

Howie: Right, right.

Mark: But from a marketing standpoint, Howie and I will be the first ones to tell you that the chances of you being successful doing things whenever you want, are almost nil. You may be successful initially. That is certainly possible with EDDM, initially, to about five to six impressions to the same household, you’re going to do well, you’re going to do fine. The problem is, is that you’ve really, when you really sit down and look got it, you could have hit the right house holds more times and gotten more ROI for the same amount of money.

All you just had to do is plan it out. plan on doing it every month except for July and December. Plan on doing it in equal volumes, plan on tracking it properly with a tracking number plan on all the things that we do when we plan out a real direct mail campaign. Yeah, it’s a little more expensive on the front end, but oh my goodness, look at how much how much less waste there is by delivering the pieces to the right people.

Howie: Right. And also, you know, as you alluded to earlier, if you’re going to EDDM your combined to a postcard, so not only do you save the waste is you increase your impact because you have more real estate, more ways, more room to promote the wonderful miracles of modern dentistry to the people that you want to reach, who can afford you.

Mark: Right. So, it if you’re going to use EDDM, there is absolutely an application for it in dentistry. And I would say on short term bursts of additional new patient volume when the quality of the new patients doesn’t really matter as much as filling the capacity. I would say that’s a great use for EDDM. But I will argue that spending money for your staff to band 50 or 100 mailers that count them and band them 50 or 100 mailers at a time and deliver them to the post office and all the labor, I would argue that that has value as well.

Howie: Right.

Mark: So at the end of the day, if you’re doing everything yourself and you think you’re saving money, I don’t think you are thinking the targeting and the lack of targeting and a lack of proper targeting, combined with doing a lot of the labour yourself, that you’re actually ultimately spending more money, although for the dentist with a severely restricted marketing budget, and you all know who you are, you call here quite a bit and say, Hey, man, I’m down to my, you know, last whatever, $2000, $3,000 we’re probably going to send you EDDM way. Because to us, that’s really the only thing that makes sense with that restrictive budget.

But if your budget is not that restricted, and you can plan a direct mail campaign out, and you can go after the top half of the market, and you’re not trying to fill vast voids of capacity in instantly, like next week. Um, then you should always do bulk mail. Always. The target, just for the targeting makes up that 10 cents in in in negated waste. So that’s, I mean, there’s there are differences in geography targeting as well.

You know, it’s funny, the doctor will call me and say, Well, I’m doing 5000 pieces with EDDM and I have, you know, four carrier routes, the total is 4012. And I say to the doctor, where’s the other 900? You know, where’s the other 988? going? I don’t know. When you mean, you don’t know, don’t they? Don’t they go to that next carrier out closest to your office? And the answer is always? I don’t know. The answer is I don’t know. Because the post office doesn’t even know. Okay, that what happens is is they take they take the extra eight 882 of these, and they put them in that little Jeep, and that postal delivery person chooses who gets them on their route.

Howie: Really?

Mark: That’s it? Yes. That’s how there’s, there’s no address on Howie. That’s how it works. Okay, so they could deliver five to an address, not deliver some, they could deliver them all furthest away from your practice, if you’re lucky, they’ll deliver them all closest to your practice, but you have there’s no control elements, there’s no control at all. Okay. So, anyway, so they from an income targeting standpoint, from a geographic targeting standpoint, from a price standpoint versus waste standpoint.

EDDM has a place it has a place in direct mail for dentistry, just use it for the purposes that it’s good for you if you have a just totally restricted marketing budget and you need, you’re just desperate. Right? And you don’t have a lot of money. You have a couple grand left. And that’s all you can spend. Try EDDM. Try to get your momentum moving forward to the point, you know that you can do dental direct mail marketing properly. That’s really what EDDM is for.

Howie: Right. Well, sounds good, Mark. I think we covered that pretty well.

Mark: Did we beat the heck out of that Howie.

Howie: We punched it until it won’t get up again. So,

Mark: Okay, all right.

Howie: Okay, we’d like once again, thank you all in our audience. We appreciate the audience seems to be growing week after week. We really appreciate that. So, tell your friends all about us and Mark and I will be back again with you very shortly. Thank you.

Mark: Thanks, everyone.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our podcast today. You can find more podcasts on our YouTube channel, on Stitcher and iTunes. Also on our websites, dentalwebcontent.com and newpatientsinc.com.