What is Allowable in Direct Mail Pieces? 

Direct mail pieces should be easy to read and respond to. Color and copy are great ways to catch the eye of the recipient. Make sure to repeat the message on the envelope when they open the piece and make responding to it easily. Follow these guidelines to create a direct mail piece that gets a higher response rate.

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The DMPEA is a federal law that regulates the mailing of solicitations and direct mail pieces. It prohibits non-governmental firms from sending direct mail with misleading or deceptive claims or implying a connection with the federal government. It also sets strict rules about what types of direct mail can be sent to a recipient, and it makes it extremely difficult for marketing organizations to send mail without violating the law. If a direct mail piece violates DMPEA rules, it will be rejected as “non-mailable” and detained by the USPS until the violation is corrected. This means that marketers may face legal action and a large fine. 

As a result, DMPEA rules require direct mail marketers to provide recipients with an easy way to opt out of receiving marketing messages. The Act also stipulates that recipients must be allowed to opt out of receiving future messages, as long as they are given clear notice of the possibility of opting out. 


If your direct mail piece includes photographs of children, you need to ensure that you are compliant with COPPA. This federal law requires that any company that collects data about children comply with its principles. This includes tracking cookies and online assets directed toward children. Non-profit organizations, however, are exempt from the law under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. 

To minimize your chances of violating COPPA, make sure your contact information is prominently displayed. Include a phone number, an email address, or an online form. Also, provide additional information, such as FAQ E.2. 


While there are several regulations regarding FERPA, direct mail marketing can be done in a manner that doesn’t violate FERPA. The act prohibits educational institutions from disclosing student information to third parties without prior consent. To avoid violating the Act, companies should avoid purchasing student data from educational institutions. 

This law applies to all schools, private and public, that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education. Under FERPA, schools may not release directory information or personally identifiable information about students without their consent. However, private and parochial schools are not typically covered by the law. 


EDDM, or electronic direct mail, is a form of direct mail that is allowed in some postal regulations. Mail pieces containing EDDM are permitted in the United States if they fall within certain dimensions. Typically, these dimensions are around the thickness of three sheets of printer paper stacked on top of one another. To determine whether a piece of mail falls within these dimensions, use a ruler to measure the height, width, and thickness of the piece. Once you have these dimensions, you can determine whether or not the piece is EDDM. 

EDDM is allowed in direct mail pieces because it does not require a name to be associated with each address. In addition, EDDM is not intended to suppress existing customers. Its purpose is to attract new customers. However, EDDM can confuse existing customers and lessen the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.