Mail is one of those things that we tend to take for granted. Every day, we go to the mailbox to receive letters, but how often do we think about the time and energy that goes into standard mail delivery?
When you’re a small business looking to build a direct mail marketing campaign, you need to understand as much about this process as possible. After all, you need to make sure that your advertising materials are reaching the right customers. That’s why we are going to discuss postal carrier routes and how they can affect your direct mail marketing.
What is a Postal Carrier Route?
We all know what a zip code is – it’s the five-digit number that goes after the city and state in an address. However, zip codes can cover a vast distance, which is far too much for a single postal carrier to cover (even with those little cars they use).
So, to help expedite and streamline the mail delivery process, the United States Postal Service (USPS) breaks down zip codes into carrier routes. A nine-digit number designates each one.
This is an example of one of these codes: 97206C009
The first five numbers are the zip code for the area. In this case, we’re looking at 97206, which is Portland, OR. The C in the figure represents the fact that this area is a city. If the route were in a rural district, the letter would be R instead. The last three digits of the code refer to the specific course that the letter carrier will take.
Typically speaking, mail carriers walk the same route all the time, although the code changes from month to month. In the US alone, there are roughly 600,000 carrier routes for about 40,000 zip codes. This translates to about 15 carrier routes per zip code.
Why Carrier Routes Matter
Now that you know how mail carriers know where to deliver, what does that mean for your business? Well, you can look up individual carrier routes online at everydoordirectmail.com. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) is a service offered by USPS that allows businesses to research vital information about a particular area.
Available details include population, demographics, and which addresses are businesses and residences. As you can imagine, getting this information can help you determine the best way to format your direct mail marketing campaign.
For example, if you’re a family restaurant, you want to make sure that your ads reach households with children. There’s no point in sending a postcard to a business (particularly a competitor), so you can eliminate those from your list.
With EDDM’s tools, you can focus your attention on the addresses that matter. Not only can this targeted reach help you improve your ROI, but it can help you save on printing and mailing costs.
In many cases, companies assume that to saturate a particular market, they have to send mailers to addresses in a zip code. However, as we mentioned, that covers a wide area, which can increase costs and dilute your investment. By narrowing in on carrier routes instead, you can pinpoint neighborhoods and streets that have the most potential.
Another benefit is that you can analyze your results much more easily. Let’s say you run two different coupon mailers for two carrier routes. By generating unique coupons, you can tell where new customers originated, allowing you to see which area gets the most hits. Over time, you can focus your attention solely on those neighborhoods that get the most customers, ignoring the rest.
Typically speaking, small businesses can send up to 5,000 pieces of mail every day with this program. If you want to send more, then you will have to apply for a bulk mailing permit with your local post office.
Let Always Direct Marketing Help
Knowing the value of postal carrier routes is one thing – how can you capitalize on this information? Fortunately, Always Direct Marketing is here to help. You don’t need to be a master graphic designer or understand how to appeal to certain demographics. Let our in-house team take care of all of the details for you.
With our direct mail marketing services, you get customized materials to reach your targeted audience. Entering new markets has never been easier, and the impact it can have on your business is incredible.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist your brand and see how direct mail marketing can help your company thrive.