How to start and grow a cleaning business when you’re over 60.

This is a how-to article on using EDDM – Every Door Direct Mail.

Using EDDM is fairly straight forward. Once you’ve done it one time, it’s a breeze after that.

To start, you need EDDM regulation-sized postcards advertising your business. Your postcard needs to be at least 10.5 inches long or 6.125 inches high.

A suggested size might be 4.5” by 11”. That size would certainly get the attention of the resident.

Most postal routes have around 850 homes. This means you will want to order 1,000 postcards.

Not a pitch for this company but I use because they are the cheapest printer I have found.

The postcards will need what is called an “indica postmark” in the upper right corner. It will also need to have the wording “Local Postal Customer” in a box where the address would normally go.

When you receive the postcards from your printer, you will portion them out in bundles of 50. Then use size 64 rubber bands to secure each bundle. Size 64 rubber bands are what the post office uses.

Looking at the home page of the USPS website, tap the business tab at the top right of the page, then scroll down and tap on “using EDDM.” When that page comes up, tap on “EDDM Online Tool.” A map should come up showing the United States.

Now, pick the area you want to mail to and put in the zip code that the community is in and hit search.

What type of residential homes do you want to mail to? I chose upper end to high end homes mostly populated by high income retired people in areas near me. Look at the top of the map to filter your search.

If you wish to attract office cleanings, you can look at how many businesses will receive your postcard in a chosen area (again, at the top of the map).

Side note: I could not use Google Chrome to view the map. I have to use the Microsoft Edge browser.

When you have decided on a postal route, tap it to lock it in (the streets will turn blue), then over to the right under summary, tap the words “next step.”

On the page that comes up, click on “sign up now,” unless you have a postal business account already.

The next page will ask you when you want to drop off your postcards (drop-off date). Pick a date.

You will also answer if you want to pay online or in person at the post office. Personally, I always tap “pay at post office.”

Tap the box to agree to the “Terms and Conditions.”

Going back to the post office page scrolling down to number 3, you will see how many bundles of 50 postcards you need to mail to the area you’ve chosen. This also equals the number of facing slips you need. Tap on “Downloads: Facing Slips.” A facing slip will show up as a PDF. You fold the filled out facing slips in half and then added to the top of each bundle by pushing them under the rubber band. Before printing them, I use the text button to add the date, the number of mail pieces per bundle (50) and the total number of bundles. You can also write this information out by hand after printing the facing slips.

Print out the number of facing slips you need, then fill in the blanks.

Fold the facing slips in half and then, slipping them under the rubber band, put one on top of each bundle with the slip face you just filled in, facing up.

Place the “face slipped” bundles in a box in numerical order. I use a post office (white plastic) carrying box. When you are at the post office, ask for a couple so you have them for next time you do an EDDM mailing.

Now go back to the post office page #3 and print the form:  Mailing Statement-USPS Form PS3587. It’s right next to the facing slips link. Print out the two pages and then fill in the following areas on the sales form:

  1. The total # of bundles you have.
  2. The total # of pieces (postcards) in each bundle.
  3. Check mark the box “EDDM Retail Indica.”
  4. Put down the weight of one post card as whatever the weight is. You should have a scale at home. Buy one if you don’t.
  5. Go down to the two boxes that ask you to sign and print your name. Do so and then fill in the date where indicated.

Place both forms of Form PS3587 on top of the bundles.

Place a postcard on top of the two pieces of paper. You do this because the postal clerk will weigh the postcard to verify the weight.

Take your box of bundles with inserted facing slips, the sales sheet, and the other sheet to the correct post office. Look on the post office page #3 to see which post office you will need to take your postcards to.

When you get to the post office and you are in front of the postal clerk, put the box on the counter, hand the two pieces of paper and the postcard to the clerk. Let them do their thing and then pay for your EDDM mailing.

Answer the phone calls you get from the postcards you’ve mailed.

Get some new clients. Make more money.

My first house cleaning postcard mailing went to 950 homes once every other month for 3 months. I didn’t get any calls from the first or third mailings.

I just mailed about 1500 postcards to two new areas yesterday. I will write about the results of that mailing later.

Update: July 2023, Got one new monthly client out of the mailing of 1500 postcards. Terrible return on investment.


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