POSTCARDS: DOES ONE SIZE FIT ALL?

Tuesday July 16, 2019

 

With so many sizes, which is the best postcard size for your company?  If you are going to invest money into a direct mail postcard marketing campaign, you want it to be as effective as possible. One of your first questions when starting the design process is going to be something along the lines of, “what is the best size of postcard for my business?”

 When potential clients go to check their mail and they pull out a stack of advertisements, letters and postcards, will your postcard stand out among the rest and catch their attention? A smaller postcard might save your company a considerable amount of money – and perhaps small is all you need to get noticed. However, small postcards have a higher potential of getting “lost in the shuffle.”

Larger postcards may have a better chance at standing out in a pile of mail. Small isn’t ineffective, and large won’t always guarantee results. It’s all about what is right for you.

While there isn’t an end-all answer to the question regarding the best size of postcard for your business, there are a few styles that are more popular than others.

 

 

Below, we have listed several common postcard sizes. The size you end up with will depend on your budget and your message. Keep in mind that the smaller sizes offer more affordable postage, while the larger sizes are more likely to be noticed in a stack of mail.

 

• Standard Size

The standard size for a postcard is 4 inches by 6 inches, or 4.25 inches by 6 inches. While these sized postcards have a limited amount of space, they are cost effective since they qualify for the post office’s first class delivery times and the standard postcard mailing rate.

Since these cards are on the smaller size, they are perfect for things like announcements, reminders, save the dates, special offers or anything that has a minimal amount of content associated with it.

The standard size postcard works great along with other marketing efforts – mass emails, brochure mailings, etc. They are an additional opportunity to get your brand noticed.

 

• Large Size

This postcard is 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches, 6 inches by 9 inches, 5.5 inches by 11 inches or 6 inches by 11 inches. It does not qualify for the cheapest postal rate, but it comes with many other perks that are usually worth the additional cost.

These larger postcards have quite a bit more space. That means you can adequately convey your message, include a call to action, and still have room left for photos.

When it comes to direct mail postcard printing, large postcard sizes stand out from other mailers, so they are practically guaranteed to be noticed. There is nothing wrong with 4 inch by 6 inch postcard printing or 5 inch by 7 inch postcard printing, but a 6 inch by 11 inch postcard will undoubtedly earn the attention of your audience.

What should you use the large postcard for? These oversized marketing tools are perfect for introducing your business or products to new or prospective customers, announcing a grand opening or other significant event, and launching new products or services. Basically, you’ll want to use a large postcard any time you have a longer message and have accompanying photos.

 

 

• Jumbo Size

The jumbo postcard measures 8.5 inches by 11 inches or larger…  If the large postcard failed to get your target audience’s attention, this one surely will!

This excessively large postcard is perfect for times when you have a ton of information to share. Or, if you have been having a hard time setting yourself apart from the competition.

Try using the jumbo postcard when you have new information to share with your existing clients. You can also use it to reach out to prospective clients.

 

 

So, What’s Best For You?

 No two companies have the same definition of “best” when it comes to the design, purpose, or size of a postcard. There are several factors you will want to take into consideration when determining the size of your marketing postcard.

 

First, consider the postcard design ideas you have to work with. An elaborate design with a lengthy message will require quite a bit of space. On the other hand, something simple – like the announcement of a new product – could easily fit on a smaller card.

 

 

You will also want to consider your other marketing avenues. If you have spent a lot of time and money producing an innovative brochure, you do not want your jumbo postcard to upstage your other printed efforts.

In the end, the best size of postcard for your business will come down to your marketing plan, intended audience, and available funds.

 

Taking the USPS Rules into Consideration

Perhaps the most noteworthy factor in choosing the best size of postcard is the price. Cost is a major component to consider when determining the size of the postcard you want to create. Postcard prices are determined by size and weight. Every inch and added weight will add to the price, and the price of your postcard is based on the United States Postal Service’s rules and regulations.

 First, understand that the post office does not classify mailings as postcards simply because they are a single sheet of paper. They actually define a postcard by its size and weight.

 

 

If you want to qualify for the First Class postcard rate, your mailing must be:

• Rectangular

• At least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick

• No more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick.

Is your postcard larger than 4.25 inches by 6 inches? Don’t panic; you can still put it in the mail. However, you’re going to have to pay a little extra.

• Anything larger than the postcard maximum is considered a letter. Therefore, you will have to pay postage equivalent to a traditional envelope stuffed letter. But bear in mind – letters have maximum size allowances too. Your postcard can not be bigger than 6 inches by 11.5 inches by .25 inches thick. If it is, it will need even more postage!

 

TIPS

• If you are planning to mail a postcard, First-Class Mail gives you the best value for your postage dollars. There is no lower priced postcard in USPS Marketing Mail.

 • 0.007 inches? As a guide, an index card is thick enough.

• Make sure your mail piece meets the minimum thickness requirement. Thin, flimsy pieces tend to get caught in mail processing equipment. If your mail piece gets damaged in the equipment, then your message does not reach your customers.

 • What is high? What is long? Length is the side parallel to the address. Height is the side that is perpendicular to the length.

 

 

Once you decide which size is right for you, you can start the design process…

 

 

POSTCARD DESIGN

You are a Consumer and you know how long you spend scanning through your Mail and what catches your attention, right?  Remember that the average Consumer takes 5-8 seconds to decide if your postcard is going to BENEFIT them or not.

 

Did your postcard make the cut? Did your postcard get saved for later?

 

These are the 8 important steps to creating a Winning Postcard Design

1. Your business name, logo, website and phone number.
 2. Your business contact information and return address.
 3. A ‘Grand Slam’ headline on the front of the card that pulls in the reader.
 4. An eye catching graphic that ‘WOWS’ the reader.
 5. Design and color that pops.
 6. A ‘Home Run’ headline on the back of the card that ties in with the front of the card.
 7. A ‘Call To Action’ – what does the reader have to do to benefit from this card?
 8.  And lastly the ‘OFFER’ – Be sure the postcard clearly spells out an ‘Offer’ that initiates a clients’ quick response to take action.

 

 

 If you follow the ‘8 Tips for an Effective Postcard Design’, coupled with your “Bullet Proof” Targeted Mail List, your Postcard is going to have a much better chance of turning these recipients into buying customers.

 

 The Offer

Obviously, your service or product will dictate what you offer as an incentive. If you are asking people to see you or visit your place of business, it might be a good idea to provide something in return.

 

A few good ideas would be:

• Offer special pricing or discounts.

• Offer an added service or product for every purchase.

• Free trials.

• Punch card reward with one free punch.

 

 

Add a call to action

Last but not least, your postcard copy should feature a powerful and compelling call to action. Your call to action can:

  • Go over your primary benefit and/or your unique selling proposition
  • Deliver your deadline
  • Restate your offer
  • Tell customers exactly what to do next to take advantage of your offer
Examples include:
  • Save 40% when you sign up by June 1 at www.YOURWEBSITE.com!
  • Don’t wait – offer expires June 1 – call 800-555-1234 to enhance your weight loss today!
  • Use coupon code FREESAMPLE at www.YOURSITE.com to get your free sample today!

 

Postcards are one of the most effective forms of print marketing. No matter what size you choose, you are very likely to capture your customers’ attention with a straight-forward, easy-to-understand message. In the end, the best size of postcard is the one that is right for your company's marketing needs, target audience and budget.

 

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