Do direct mail partnerships diminish returns?

I recently decided to utilize EDDM for marketing in the immediate area around my store. Considering I run (13) 4 week periods, I planned on mailing 5,000 8.5x11 full color double sided pieces on 80lb glossy paper, spread out as evenly as possible over the 4 weeks, with the plan to start over each month with a new piece.

Our business neighbor is a mattress store, who was recently approached by a competitor (PJs) to go on the back of their flyer. He declined because of our ties, and would like to go half and half on some flyers with us (allowing us to do 10,000 or more each period).

Obviously, this will allow me to only utilize one side of the flyer, which in itself is not a problem. I am curious though as to if this will impact perception of the piece, and if so will the loss of return I see on it be offset to a net gain by the doubling of flyer output? Anyone have any experience with this?

If you are talking about just the response to your flyer, my best guess is that it will be diminished…However, that may not mean it is a bad investment…Just for sake of argument, say it only costs you 50 cents on the dollar and your return is 20% less, you are still ahead…

This math is just to explain and not real numbers…Hopefully you can follow…Say by yourself you get 100.00 in sales for each 100 flyers x 0.30…So each 1.00 costs you 30 cents…But if you do a co-op piece say you get 80.00 in sales for each 100 flyers x 0.15 (your half) each 1.00 in sales costs you .1875 cents…So your return on investment is better as a co-op piece…

You will see a lower response rate compared to providing the consumer with something of greater value (ie: a full pizza menu w/ coupons). But, as Royster stated, at such a low price point, it will likely produce a positive ROI. You are essentially turning an EDDM “solo” mail piece into an EDDM “shared mail” piece by including the other advertiser.

On another note, be careful when mailing 8.5x11 Flyers on 80# Gloss paper. Technically, this format does not qualify for EDDM (not thick enough to meet USPS standard).

Your local Post Office may or may not accept them as a result.

To guarantee you meet EDDM standards, use a 7PT 8.5x11 --OR-- an 80# folded 11x17 format. Once it’s folded, the 11x17 on 80# will be thick enough to qualify for EDDM.

Helpful Link:
EDDM Retail Print Products

Hope this helps, let us know how it works out.


Royster and Chris,

Thank you very much for the insights. That is exactly what I was assuming and looking for some verification on.


Our post office accepted this last piece, and has in the past so I hope not to run in to a snag, but I will double check with them as a guarantee for protection. Thank you for the heads up.

Perhaps you could help me with another question, I know Frequency > Reach. But what frequency should I shoot for? Once per how many weeks?


The idea that frequency is more important than reach does not fully apply to pizzerias (although it is important). Speaking in broad strokes, you provide a product/service that consumers purchase (by in large) with a frequency of 1-2 times per month (90+ percent of Americans eat pizza regularly). Please note that these numbers may fluctuate significantly if you are in a very rural town versus a college town.

With this in mind, I usually recommend sending out (2) direct mail campaigns per quarter for starters.

Target the first drop date to be “in homes” the first week of the month (especially in areas with high gov’t employee density). Send the second to be “in homes” the 3rd week of the next month. By doing so, you will reach consumers who have different purchasing cycles, while also maximizing the “shelf life” of your menus, postcards, or coupons.

The idea is to attract as many new customers as possible, while keeping current customer engaged and ordering as frequently as possible.

Most importantly, track your results via your POS system. The data points generated with your first quarter’s EDDM campaign can (and will) help you optimize all aspects of the campaign, from the offers, to the best distribution time-frames, as you move forward.

All the best,


I have been removed from selling pizza for a very long time…In the past I have done frequency as often as every 3 weeks and as long as 10 weeks…The actual frequency you arrive at will depend on your market and your own testing…But as a starting point, you might divide your list into 5, 6 or 7 segments and mail 1 segment each week and repeat…

If others in your market are not as aggressive you can increase time in between mailings…If your market is quite aggressive you may need to decrease the time in between mailings…

Good luck…

I have had good luck in splitting my EDDM peices with other local businesses. Decreases cost but still gets the word out.