What could be an important product for local retailers to make their baby steps into direct mail, keeps declining as the USPS raises prices on the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service.

EDDM is not for everybody, but local restaurants, real estate agencies, retailers, and others find the service attractive because they can select specific geographies for mailing without having to purchase lists.

Many printers have found that EDDM is an interesting product offering for select customers. Rather than treat this as a gateway service to more sophisticated use of the mails, USPS has raised prices in the hopes of increasing revenues. Volumes have declined and higher prices have not made up the difference.

The use of the mail is affected by many factors, including alternative media. But digital media are still challenged for local applications. The more the USPS raises its prices, the greater the value disparity with digital media be, despite its shortcomings for many local uses. Some may say the last price increase was not even a full penny. Yes, budgets for local retailers are that narrow, and the perceived risk of promotion preparation and printing costs beyond postage costs cannot be ignored. EDDM, you coulda been a contenda.