The EDDM mail piece must be a flat so it avoids having to be sorted in line-of-travel order like letter mail. Effective in May 2012, the USPS also began allowing an additional size for EDDM of at least 10.5 inches, but no more than 15 inches long, and a height of between 3.5 inches and 12 inches, with the restriction that the length must be greater than the height. This allows for an EDDM mailer of 8.5 inches high by 11 inches long.
Retail does not require a mailing permit, allows the mailer to enter mail at the retail counter of the destination post office, and to pay postage with cash, check, or debit card. Retail is limited to 5,000 pieces of mail per day, per destination post office. Retail is a good choice for price-sensitive customers because the package price does not have to include delivery to the post office or postage—the customer picks up prepared mail, takes the mailing to the destination post office, and pays at the retail counter.
BMEU requires a permit, must be entered through a bulk mail acceptance unit (NDC, SCF, or DDU), and postage must be paid via deposit into the permit account. There is no limit on the number of pieces in the mailing.
Although EDDM is most often used for small local mailings, it also has potential for mailings that are regional or even national in scope due to the USPS Priority Mail Open-and-Distribute (PMOD) option for delivering the prepared mail to the destination post office. After preparation for bulk mail acceptance, the mailing is put into a USPS-approved container, marked with a special barcoded label, and entered at a bulk mail entry unit (NDC, SCF, or DDU). PMOD postage charges are based on the weight of the mailing (excluding the tare weight of the container) and the standard Priority Mail distance-based pricing.
For customers and prospects worried about “do not mail” requests for simplified mailing, the USPS contends that market research indicates such requests are minor, and offers a way to opt out of such mailings. The recipients who do not wish to receive mail with simplified address notify the mailer who in turn notifies the local delivery unit using the same processes as for rural routes.
One limitation of EDDM is that it cannot be used for business-only mailings. This is mainly because a saturation mailing requires 90 percent of the addresses in the carrier route must be delivered, and there is a minimum of 200 required in the mailing. It is rare for a route to consist of 90 percent businesses.