A Guide to Postcard Printing and Effective Postcard Marketing

by Rich B

Postcards can be a very cost effective method of selling to your customers. They’re cheap to produce, cheap to deliver and can have a high impact, especially since the customer has no option but to see what’s on it – even if they intend to bin it!

And used with a high quality mailing list and customer-focused message, can really bring in business.

Large format postcard printing

Large format, eye-catching creative, single standout message. Job done.

Benefits

  • They’re cheap to produce
  • You can measure their effectiveness and therefore calculate your Return on Investment
  • They can directly drive sales
  • Particularly effective for younger and older demographics
  • They are an affordable method to regularly keep your name and products in front of your customers
  • They have a higher perceived value – especially if they include an offer or coupon
  • They’re cheaper than online PPC Ads in many competitive sectors
  • Your message can be read in less competitive environment, typically in the home
  • Your message is exposed at all times, not hidden behind an envelope or email header
  • They’re a great way to use with a customer list to drive repeat orders

Postcard Printing Considerations
The most popular size for postcards is 210x148mm, printed both sides in four (full) colour to maximise impact. Postcard printing is usually a pretty straight forward business and the distribution can usually also be carried out by the postcard printer or by a separate mailing house. The card used to print on is typically anything from a 150gsm to 300gsm wood free stock (making sure it’s size and weight will keep you under any threshold for lowest mailing costs).

Finishing techniques such as cutting and laminating can really make your postcard stand out from the crowd too.

However, successful postcard printing is only one part of the jigsaw. Eye-catching creative which draws in the customer and the tracking of each response is key to drawing in the customer and improving response rates for future campaigns too.

Other Things to Consider

  • Keep your message brief – with one call to action.
  • Good design & writing improves impact, readability and ‘keepability’
  • Add an offer or order code – so you can track the postcard’s effectiveness.
  • Full colour improves response rate and ‘keepability’.
  • So too do offers and coupons.
  • Use a quality data list of customers to maximise response rates. This goes for any direct marketing campaign.
  • Keep the font size above 11 point for max impact and readability for older readers.
  • Drive customers to a custom landing page so you can track their response, capture the sale and cross-sell other products.

If you’re looking to drive customers to the phones, a quality printing services company or direct mailing house will be able to advise on the most cost-effective ways to deliver to the mailing system. These will often give more specific target street-dates, allowing you to staff up your phone lines at the right moment.

 

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Mark Lightfoot March 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I’ve recently done a postcard run of 10,000 cards printed on a lovely cast coated 285gsm stock. Printing was great with good tonal range. The problem I had was in the finishing. The cards were designed with a 4mm White boarder all around the full page image. So in effect there was a margin on all 4 sides. The cutting was done in such a way that a fair proportion of the cards came out with uneven boarders. Client complained and the printer explained that there was a tolerance on his cutter of 3-4mm. Stack height was kept to a minimum to try to minimise the problem. Judging by the imposition the cards that were on the bottom of the pile came out worse than those on top. Size of trimmed card was the standard postcard size. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

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