How to Layout an Effective Church Direct Mailer (EDDM): A Complete, Step-by-Step Guide for Churches
Many churches are using direct mail strategies to reach out in their communities.
Maybe you’ve also considered this option for your church, but you’re just feeling overwhelmed by the process. This post is going to give you a step-by-step guide for setting up a direct mail campaign at your church.
If you already have a mailing list that you will be using, then you just need a postcard design. Just choose a design, apply your labels, and send them out to your list.
But if you’re looking to strategically reach people you don’t know yet in the areas around your church or in your community, you will need a different approach. Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM might just be the perfect solution for you.
The first and most important step in the process is your mailer design. Because first impressions matter.
For some people in your community, this mailer will be their first introduction to your church.
There are 3 key areas to consider when creating or selecting your mailer design.
The USPS has very specific guidelines for EDDMs. To qualify for EDDM mailing options, your mailer must exceed at least one of the minimum dimensions provided by the USPS:
- It must measure more than 10.5″ long
- It must measure more than 3.5″ high
- It must measure more than 0.007″ thick
Additionally, your EDDM design must NOT exceed any of the maximum requirements:
- It must NOT be more than 15“ long
- It must NOT be more than 12“ high
- It must NOT be more than .075“ thick
The USPS also has guidelines for how to format the address and postage info for your cards. Each EDDM must be simply addressed to “Postal Customer”. It must also include the EDDM Indicia, a postage mark that works as a substitute for a postage or meter stamp.
The key to effective mailer content is brevity and clarity. In other words, you want it to be short and to the point. Don’t fill up your whole card with text. When you get something like this in the mail, the last thing you want to see is a wall of text.
When you’ve finished crafting your message, you should have multiple people proofread your mailer. Nothing will ruin a first impression like a mailer filled with grammatical and spelling errors.
Make sure all the event details are clearly communicated. If this mailer is for your weekly services, include the address and service times. If it’s for a big event (like Easter or Christmas), include all the essential details for someone who wants to attend.
Finally, make sure there is a clear call to action in the main content of your mailer. Don’t be vague about what you want people to do. Think about the next step you want people to take after they see your mailer. Then, make sure that’s highlighted in your design.
- Are you inviting them to service?
- Are you inviting them to attend your event?
- Do you want them to call you?
- Do you want them to RSVP for an event?
- Do you want them to visit your website?
Pay attention to the margins on your design. Don’t allow text to run all the way to the edges of your postcard. You want to give your text some space!
Use contrast to your advantage. Don’t write dark text on a dark background or light text on light background.
Choose a few colors and use them creatively. Normally, you will want to choose 3 or 4 complementary colors and use throughout the design of your mailer.
Add great photos for a personal touch. Stock photos can work here. There are a lot of options out there for great stock photos. For most churches, this is going to be your best bet.
If you have high-quality, professional photos of your church family, you can also use. it can add a more personal touch to your design. Just make sure the photos are are not going to distract from the message. If the pictures are dark, blurry, or awkward, they’re really not going to help you connect with your community.
Once you get your EDDM design finalized, you’ll be ready to send them out in your community.
There are 5 steps that you’ll need to take in this stage.
With your USPS account, you can send up to 5,000 cards a day.
Using the EDDM Online Tool, you’ll easily be able to choose the streets and neighborhoods that you’d like to target with your outreach campaign. The online tool will also allow you to filter potential homes based on specific demographics (age, size of household, etc.)
Choose the neighborhoods in the EDDM Online Tool where your customers live. Use the tool to target customers by specific demographics such as age, household size, and income.
Next, you’ll need to choose the payment and drop-off options for your mailing.
For more details on these option, you can check out the EDDM User Guide.
Once your USPS order is complete, you’ll be able to print the forms needed to ship your EDDMs. You’ll also need to print a facing slip for each bundle of EDDMs that you are dropping off with the USPS. Don’t forget to write down the number of printed pieces on each bundle’s facing slip.
At Lifepress, all of our EDDMs come with the option of including bundling as part of your order. You can get your mailers bundled in stacks of 50 or 100.
The final step is to drop off your EDDM bundles at the post office location(s) in the area code(s) you selected for your mailing.
To verify the drop-off locations, you can check the order summary in the EDDM Online tools, the one that provided payment verification. It will also list the selected Post Office locations for drop-off.
Along with your EDDM bundles (and facing slips), you’ll also need to fill out an EDDM form.
Your church mailing is done, but your work is just beginning. Here are three simple pointers for maximizing the impact of your church mailer campaign.
By sending these mailers out in your community, you have welcomed hundreds (even thousands) of people to visit your church. Be sure you’re ready to make them feel at home when they come.
Have friendly people waiting to welcome people on Sunday. Use some welcome signs for a fun and creative way to let visitors know that you’re glad they’ve come… Make sure you have connection cards ready to give out to first-time guests.
Put out some coffee and donuts in the church lobby. Remind your church family to go out of their way to introduce themselves.
These are not complicated or expensive ideas. It’s the simple things that often communicate most effectively.
The only real failure is to do nothing to let first-time guests know that you have planned for their visit.
Once you’ve saturated your community with your church’s message, you should consider a follow-up outreach event that mobilizes your church family to get involved in reaching out to those people.
With very little time and expense, you can easily print mini invite cards that use the same design and message as your church mailer.
One church in the Lifepress community sends out mailers asking people if they have any prayer requests that they’d like to share. The mailer includes a link to a simple landing page with a form that the recipient can fill out (anonymously, if they like). Then, they follow this up with an all-church canvassing event, where members of their church go door to door with mini invite cards that carry the same message and invitation.
The idea behind these follow up events is to capitalize on the exposure that is created by the community mailing. Hopefully, there are people who will recognize your church name in the future.
We’ve shared a lot of resources and ideas that we hope will make your church mailing more effective, but we must never forget that without God’s help, all of our effort and strategies will be worthless.
At every stage of this process, you should have staff, volunteers, and church family praying that God will bless your efforts to reach your community.
Pray that God would stir your church to love and welcome strangers. Pray that God would bring visitors to your event or weekly services. Pray that God would help you reach more people with the good news of Jesus Christ. Pray that God would grow your church - spiritually and numerically.
God is already at work in the hearts of people in your community. Your task is to fully engage in the mission He has called you to be part of.
We hope this guide will give you another tool to add to your outreach strategy.
If you have any questions or if you would like more info about any of our EDDM design templates, please let us know. Just click the chat button in the bottom right corner of your screen.
At Lifepress, we love the gospel, and we love helping churches get that good news to others.