Keeping in line with our digital, fast-paced lives, the postcard has emerged as a powerful tool for communicating with our audience.
The postcard has increased in effectiveness because of colorful images and short calls-to-action that demand attention and trump any subject line in a marketing email.
Take another look at the postcard as we provide tips on increasing the effectiveness of this cost-efficient powerhouse.
In this month's Markit-in-a-Minute Newsletter we offer quick tips to:
Improve the Design of your Postcard
Enhance Effectiveness with Better Paper, Color, Coatings and Size
Increase Customer Response with Select Specialty Postcards
Save Money on Delivery
Have you Tried Anything New Lately?
Top Tips for Postcard Design
The postcard has evolved into the marketing instrument of choice for many successful B2B & B2C companies. Marketing Postcards provide a method of presenting your company's message quickly and clearly, without asking too much of your prospects' time.
A lot rides on the design of your postcard because you must capture the reader's attention before they discard it (if you will).
For valuable insider tips on getting the most from a postcard
When many think of postcards, they conjure up images of the old-school 4" x 6" ineffective version. Today's postcards come in many sizes that get you noticed in a mail stack of #10 envelopes.
We recommend designing a 6" x 11" postcard with an in-your-face image area to get their attention.
Color Outside the Lines
Always, always, always print your postcard in full color. Wow your prospect with color. Don't stray too far from your brand colors but certainly don't be shy about making them big and bold.
Use color on the entire postcard and beyond. Don't use borders; bleed your colors off the edge of the sheet to create intrigue.
Use full color postcards for maximum impact.
Write it Right
Keep your copy short and to the point.
The reason postcards are so effective is that we've learned to scan subject lines in our email for relevant content. Write your headline copy like you would an email subject line. The advantage postcards have over emails is that you also have graphic images and color to get their attention as well as copy.
Use 2 or 3 word headers, bullet points, and just enough copy to engage your reader. Make them want to look on the other side.
Break the Code
The front of the postcard captures attention, but the back of the card should be designed with the clear response mechanism (or call-to-action) in mind.
Consider how you want people to respond and make it easy for them with a phone number, website, address or map to your location.
QR Codes can be added to the design to allow potential customers to scan the card and give them more detailed information on their mobile device.
Tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do; visit your website, sign up for conference, call for more information, go to your store location on Saturday for the 2 for 1 sale.
The response prompt should be the focus of the back of your postcard.
Postcards can be used for more than just mailing, the offer many benefits:
They make for a great tradeshow booth handout
Fit nicely into a pocket in presentation brochures
Are an effective "leave behind" at sales calls with potential customers
Don't take up much space next to the checkout at your store
Following these design tips will increase the response rate of your postcard.
Postcards may be the most cost-effective marketing pieces to manufacture, but making the right choices in paper, ink, coating and size can increase your response rate by leaps and bounds.
Short run capabilities and personalization allow you to speak directly to your audience. Capture your reader's attention using their name in the salutation.
Read on for the 4 most common printing practices to save money on production while increasing your ROI.
1. First Impressions Count - Choose Paper Wisely
Postcards are received without any other type of packaging (envelopes) so the thickness of the paper can add to the perception of your company's image. The post office requires a minimum thickness of .009mil paper but thicker is better to give the feel of stability.
White paper provides for the truest reproduction of color. Printing ink is transparent and it changes when printed on colored paper.
We recommend printing postcards on .014mil, white, glossy paper.
2. Ink Spot Color vs. Process
As we recommended in the previous newsletter article about postcard design, you should always use process color (CMYK) to get noticed.
Colorful reproduction of your graphics and photos gives your postcard the advantage of standing out in a pile of mail. There's nothing junky about a beautifully colored graphic image.
Process color printing allows an endless choice of colors.
3. Protect your investment with Coating
During the sorting process, the postal sorting machines can damage postcards. Adding a coating to your postcard not only reduces the amount of scratching caused by postal delivery, but it makes your ink colors jump off the card making your image POP!
Add an Aqueous or UV Coating to give your postcard a rich finish.
4. Go Big for Maximum Message Space
Postcards come in various sizes but most people think of the little 4" x 6" option of days gone by. Smaller sizes get lost in the mail and lose effectiveness because of the limited image area.
A larger postcard, like the 6" x 11" option, has 132 square inches of image area. Plenty of room to display a compelling image and tell them how to respond.
Go with 6" x 11" postcards for maximum space for your message.
To sum up our recommendations for printing an effective postcard:
Paper: use .014mil, white, glossy
Ink: process color
Coating: UV gloss coating on the front
Size: 6" x 11"
Markit can Design, Print and Mail your custom postcard with your message.
Contact us today at 877-553-0857 or
Want to take your postcards to the next level? There are very exciting options in postcard materials that will enhance your message.
Specialty postcards can create a lasting perception of your brand that goes beyond a creative design. Listed below are some examples of effective postcard products and how they can be utilized.
For commonly uncommon specialty postcards that stand out
Eco-friendly brands have had huge success sending postcards that have wildflower seeds embedded in the paper. Your postcard recipient can actually plant the paper it's printed on. Talk about growing your customers!
We've all seen lenticular cards with more than one image that changes as you tip the card back and forth but probably never knew what they were called.
A lenticular postcard is effective in announcing a change in your brand with an image of your old brand changing to the new. This process can also be utilized to create a 3D image on your card to give it some depth.
Whether you're mailing to your current customer list or purchase a list of targeted prospects, postcards require the least amount of processing of all direct mail products.
The only processing required is getting the addresses on the cards after your list is sorted for best postage rates, and mailing them.
If you choose Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service, you don't even need to print an address on the card.
Take a moment to read this short article to better understand your options for mailing postcards.
Easy Mail Processing:
Planning ahead for your postcard mailing allows for postage options that can save a lot of your mailing budget. The post office offers reduced postage services for the mailing savvy and printing the appropriate postage indicia on your postcard can cut your postage in half.
Here are some postage options to consider:
Presorted 1st Class - same delivery speed as 1st Class for only $0.39 each instead of $0.49 each.
Presorted Standard - may be a longer delivery speed but postage is reduced to $0.28 each.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) - $0.17 each but can only be mailed to all addresses in a carrier route. No target list.
Keep these options in mind for your next marketing campaign. Postcard mailing can make direct mail a very affordable, effective sales tool.