THE SOURCE - Summer 2015 - (Page 27)

marketing matters A Different Kind of Distribution Lesson for Public Awareness By Vicki O'Neil, City of Tallahassee When public awareness requirements were first enacted, the City of Tallahassee, Fla., fulfilled its safety obligations by educating our customers on pipeline safety issues through our utility bill newsletter, The Insight. This newsletter is included in every utility bill that is sent to each customer throughout our service area. In addition, our outreach included web-based information and advertising media. This was a great program that served our public well; however, we felt that we may be missing customers along our distribution system that may have other service providers or no mail receptacle at all. Add to that, the united states Postal service (usPs) in our area-and perhaps elsewhere-will not deliver to a customer when the name on the label doesn't match their information, such as when the person moves. Because of these inefficiencies or unknowns, City of Tallahassee now utilizes the usPs every Door Direct mail (eDDm) option. In early 2014, we were contacted by usPs and asked if we were interested in the eDDm. The price was attractive at $0.17 per piece, but the delivery method was what sealed the deal for us. The usPs eDDm system removed any need to put addresses on mail or create mailing lists. Additionally, the mail was guaranteed to be delivered to every mail drop along the specified route. This eliminated returned mail as well as the chore of creating a mailing database that included persons other than our direct utility customers. To use the eDDm program, set up a customer profile online at Inside the program, specify the zip code areas you wish to target, select the areas, and then the system will print out your receipts and a validation sheet that can be retained for records and any official audits. The usPs eDDm sales force sold us on the ease of use of the system with their slogan: "You choose the areas, you choose the week of delivery, and then leave the rest to us." Although not exactly that effortless, we were still intrigued by the program and so we began. From may through July of 2014, we took this new system out for a test drive, and we learned some valuable lessons from this experience, which we are pleased to share. The first lesson that we learned is that when you have your printed material prepared, have it bundled in groups of 100. We were originally told bundles of 1,000 would be good but that did not work well for us. Bundles of 100 will keep waste down when mailing, such as when your entire piece of mail is 4,004 pieces. second, we learned that delivery is limited to only 5,000 pieces of mail on a single day from a single usPs office location, and our local usPs office would not let us bring them all at once. With nearly 110,000 pieces to mail, this proved problematic for us until we realized that we could make trips to several different post offices in one day, which was quite a road trip. continued on page 28 The USPS EDDM system removed any need to put addresses on mail or create mailing lists. Additionally, the mail was guaranteed to be delivered to every mail drop along the specified route. THE SOURCE | SUmmER 2015, vOl. 7, ISSUE 4 27 »

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Summer 2015

Problem Solving
First Person
APGA Events
Q&A with Chairman Bay
Natural Gas: The Fuel of Choice
Volatile Oil Prices
Home-Based Reporting
The Learning Curve
What Is Net Zero?
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Summer 2015