Designing an Effective Direct Mail Postcard

Direct Mail postcards are one of the most effective forms of marketing and advertising – they are also one of the cheapest! However, in order to not get lost in the shuffle of everyday junk mail, it is critical to understand the importance of graphic design in the use of direct mail marketing. A well designed postcard will help you gain a multitude of new customers, while a poorly designed card may keep business away.

Some important factors for a designer to keep in mind when designing a postcard are color, layout, headers, and photos. Here are some tips to ensure your postcard designs are on the right track.

  • Utilize both sides of the postcard. In most cases, the cost for printing a one-sided card does not vary much for printing double sided. Make use of the extra space to showcase sales or upcoming specials and promotions, as well as photos of your best work. There are some limitations that come from the USPS regarding clear space (free of any design elements) on the back of a postcard, to allow for barcoding, addressing and permit printing. If you are unsure of where your design limitations may be, please contact us with your inquiry.
  • Less is more. Don’t feel the need to bombard your customer with everything that is listed on your website with the use of a single postcard. Focusing on a single product, promotion or sale will keep your customer clued in to what they need to know, without feeling overwhelmed. Keeping your design clean and clear will draw the eye of your customer, making your sales efforts seem less cluttered and chaotic.
  • Make them save it. We all know from experience that a direct mail piece that has a tangible purpose will be saved and placed aside. Whether it be a detachable perforated coupon, or a printed calendar for reference, making your card “useful” will increase the chances of it being read and retained by your customer.
  • Be professional. While it is certainly possible to design a postcard using non-graphic software such as Microsoft Word, it is not recommended. Word processors tend to compress images and graphics, therefore potentially sacrificing your customer’s very first impression of your business. Using imaging software such as Adobe InDesign or Illustrator will allow for a more exceptional looking piece that will draw the right kind of attention to your business. If you do not have access to graphic design software and/or would like assistance in designing your direct mail postcard, please contact us today – we will be more than happy to help!

Check out the amazing examples of postcard design below for some inspiration. Once you are ready, contact Gen3Printing to help you get your postcard printed, mailed and in your customer’s hands. FREE digital proofing, including checking your design for correct bleeds, margins, resolution and USPS regulations are included with every order!

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